你可能記得在兒童或嬰兒洗禮中﹐家長向教會承諾﹐會教導孩子認識天主教信仰。我們說 “兒童” 或 “嬰兒” ﹐是指那些未達自我辨識之齡﹐而不能自行宣認信仰的兒童。為滿全聖洗聖事的真正意義﹐兒童必須在往後的日子中﹐接受信仰培育﹐而聖事本身就是其基礎。信仰培育﹐是他們應得的﹐旨在引導他們逐步學習天主在基督內的計劃﹐最終使他們接受這個已受其洗的信仰。
這一次﹐我呼籲有子女的父母﹐請讓你的孩子參與兒童禮儀。正是 “多多益善” ﹐參加的孩子越多﹐孩子會越感到自在。我也想呼籲一些可幫助兒童禮儀的家長﹐與眾同樂！希望這一次有更多的人響應。
Last week I spoke about the cleaning rosters and how we are in need of volunteers to make the cleaning service easier for everybody. Today I want to talk to you about another aspect in the life of the parish that I think we need to give more attention to: The Children’s Liturgy.
As you may remember at the time of Baptism, parents make a promise to the Church that their children will be instructed into the Catholic faith. When we use the term “Baptism of Children” or “infants” we refer to those who have not yet reached the age of discernment and therefore cannot profess personal faith. To fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament, children must later be formed in the faith in which they have been baptized. The foundation of this formation will be the sacrament itself that they have already received. Christian formation, which is their due, seeks to lead them gradually to learn God’s plan in Christ, so that they may ultimately accept for themselves the faith in which they have been baptized.
This formation is first and foremost the duty of the Catholic parents of the child. They are the first ones who should introduce their children slowly into the mysteries of our faith. In our Christian faith, both the Church and the local community play an important role in helping parents in the task of sharing their faith with their children but we should always be careful not to overtake the role of the parents.
Children on their part have the right to be formed. To develop in their hearts, at an early stage, the desire for what is good and what comes from God, to be able to learn how to communicate with God who is their Father and Saviour and of course to understand their faith in a language that makes sense to them.
In our parish community, we have been trying to make the Children liturgy a reality that children can enjoy. In the second and fourth Sundays of every month, during the 9 o’clock mass, children are invited to go with the volunteers and have a special time when they can meet with one another and in community to learn about what God talks to us during the readings of the day. Sometimes there are a few words or ideas in the Homily that children may find too difficult to understand. It is good when parents sit next to their children and try to ‘rephrase’ the homily so they can understand, however this is not always possible as the experiences of a child cannot connect with those of an adult to whom the liturgy is addressed to.
After going through the readings with activities and examples they can understand, the children rejoin the congregation to celebrate together the Liturgy of the Eucharist and as one big family offer the sacrifice of the Mass to God our Father.
This time my appeal goes to both, parents with children to please allow your children to join other children in the Children’s liturgy. As you say in English “the more the merrier” if more children join kids won’t feel unease. I also want to appeal to some parents who may want to help with the Children’s liturgy, share the fun! Hopefully this time I will get more people.
Peace in Jesus