Saturday, January 7, 2017

After Divine Liturgy for young children

Children, as well as adults, should refrain from socializing until they are outside the church. If there is a place provided for children to play, now is the time. Children who have stood quietly throughout the Divine Liturgy should be praised for their good behavior and allow to burn off some energy before the Agape meal. There is a time and place for everything and just because we do not allow children to play in the church does not mean that we do not understand their need to play.

If there is a meal at the church after Divine Liturgy, children's good manners can make for a very pleasant social experience, while bad manners can make the meal difficult for everybody. If the food is being served buffet style, children should always be served after the adults. Small children will need their parents to make up a plate for them, but even older children may need parental supervision to be sure that they do not take more food than they can eat. 

Of course, nobody should take any food until the blessing has been given by the Priest.

 The parents should take responsibility to clean up any mess made by their children. Older children and teenagers should be encouraged to assist in serving the food and cleaning up after the meal. This will help them to feel that they are a part of the community.