Yes, We Should Bring Our Kids to Mass.Should we take our kids to Mass? Yes. Here are words of encouragement from priests.
Have you received disapproving looks from others during Mass when you have been with your kids, even if the noise they made was less obvious than the adults sitting a just few rows ahead of you?
We have, as well. We actually had a woman give us disapproving looks during Mass one day at our parish–only to find out later she was just visiting. Our kids were not even very disruptive (that time!).
Kind words from priests
Due to the kind words from different priests over the years, I was able to let go of my discomfort when my kids were not quiet during Mass. Because let’s face it: kids are not born with the “sit quietly during Mass” gene. It does not exist! Besides, how else will they learn how to participate in the Mass if they never come?
“I didn’t even notice.” Fr. Joe K.
One Sunday my husband and I decided to sit in the front row of the church with our son who was about a year old at the time. Oh, my goodness. He squirmed and squirmed and squirmed some more. He made noise and was, well, a typical one-year-old.
After Mass, I tried to apologize to Fr. Joe for our son’s behavior, thinking he might have been a distraction. After all, we were sitting in front of Fr. Joe’s chair on the altar. ????
However, Fr. Joe’s response surprised me by his response: “I didn’t even notice.” He went on to say that he doesn’t notice kids being kids because that is what they do. He said what he does notice is adults talking because they know better! Kids making noise did not bother him at all; that is what they do.
“It reminded me of when we used to have the bells.” Fr. Philip
Our oldest son (again!!!) was making noise during Mass. I think he was less than a year old. We were sitting close enough to the front that we thought Fr. Philip might have heard him during Mass.
After Mass, I spoke with Fr. Philip about our son’s noise during Mass and he said it reminded him of bells during the Consecration. At that time, the bells were not present during the Consecration, so our son’s noise was pleasant to Father instead of disruptive.
“The noise of the children does not bother me.” Fr. D
When we had two toddlers and one baby on the way, we moved to a new home and a new parish. We were nervous about going to Mass at a new parish with young kids, wondering if we would be welcomed or if we would get looks from other parishioners if our kids (remember our oldest son…) made noise. We soon found out we did not need to be concerned.
A few months after we had been attending Mass at the parish we chose to go to, the pastor included a letter in the bulletin to all parishioners. He wrote, “Our church is growing and it is growing young. The noise of the children does not bother me. I hope it does not bother you.”
The area where we moved to had been largely filled with retirees. As new homes were being built, young families were moving in, which meant more kids! It was so wonderful to read Fr. D’s words to the parish: children were welcome. (Not all the parishioners at the local churches seemed to think the same way, so we were very happy to attend this particular Church. ????)
“He was just performing his function.” Fr. Celestine
Our third son (it seemed to be our boys, most of the time rather than our girls…) was Mr. Figitity during Mass one day. It was nonstop movement. He was probably about two years old.
I spoke with Fr. Celestine after Mass about my fidgety son and he had a response that surprised me: “He was just performing his function.”
Yes. My son’s function as a little boy was to move, not sit perfectly still. I must say, he did perform his function well!
“Don’t take the kid out!” Fr. Joe G.
Fr. Joe G. was in the middle of his homily when a young child started crying. And crying. And crying. Her father walked toward the back doors to take her out and Fr. Joe stopped his homily and said very forcefully, “Don’t take the kid out! Her crying does not bother me at all. Stay in the Church.” He said that kids belong in Mass and should not be removed if they make noise.
The father of the little girl stopped in his tracks and stayed at the back of the church until his daughter settled down. I thought Fr. Joe was going to walk over to the dad in the middle of his homily, but he didn’t. He resumed his homily, keeping an eye on the father with the little girl.
We need to take our kids to Mass.
Now that my kids are older, when I hear the noise of younger kids at Mass I remember these words from these five priests. I remember when my kids were little and fidgety and squirmy and noisy and were just being kids. They get older and learn how to participate in the Mass.
We can encourage others to bring their kids to Mass and make sure they know they and their kids are welcome.
For more on the topic of kids at Mass, you may want to read: