i happened upon a most wonderful resource…a book called Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children by Joan Halmo. it’s not available through our local library, but through the wonders of interlibrary loan, i am borrowing a copy from the library at Mount Marty Collage in Yankton, South Dakota! it’s also available for purchase. a few of my gleanings:
the home specializes in providing the experience of love and in celebrating it. spiritually, love is the “one thing necessary.”
it is within the rhythm of daily living and within family relationships that we learn many of the gestures and rituals that are intregal to liturgy.
children share in worship with their whole being. they are addressed by the symbols and gestures and surroundings of liturigical celebration–light, water, word, the bread, the cup, movement and music.
the early years are a time for growing in awareness of gifts given, a time of delight in the possession of love, a time of happiness in secure relationships. it is a time to know the Lord and rejoice in his presence. aspects of morality and doctrine will be essential to full Christian development, but preschool is not the time for these topics.
- does the family share meals in common?
- are there household rituals, moments together that regularly and reliably happen?
- is there respect for the wonder of life?
- is there time for poetry, art, music, the enjoyment of nature?
- does the family face and embrace pain or the death of loved ones?
- does the family stand open to the whole mystery of life as it presents itself in the unfolding of every day?