Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God made the sun, Jesus makes it shine!

The small group was around the altar. A child prayed "Thank you for making the sun."
Wanda responded "God made the sun, Jesus makes it shine!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Listening sooo carefully

In a conversation with 5-year-old, I asked: "How do we know when the Gospel is read in church?"
Kyle: Because I am listening sooo carefully to hear what Jesus wants me to do.
(The answer I had been expecting was, "Because the big gold book gets carried down the aisle.")

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Working alone with altar material, with the paten and chalice in place, Bryan turned toward the center of atruim and called out, "It's almost dinner time." When the altar was "set", he called out to all, "Dinnertime!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Diana had come back to the atrium for her second year. She had prepared the altar many times but had never had the Last Supper presentation. One day in the fall she sat for a long time gazing at a 2-dimensional wooden model of the Last Supper - a work of art kept near the material on the shelf. The cup and plate were crude looking rather like a wooden knob and a flat chip. I (the catechist) went and sat quietly beside her for a while. I touched the cup and plate and said, "They are like the chalice and paten." She looked at me and said intensely, "They are the chalice and paten."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Editor's Note: In our database, I found these two children's responses to a presentation on the altar. Both are from the same atrium, and I couldn't resist posting them together. The first is from this past year. The second is from 15 years ago. Both children were three at the time.

As I was reviewing with a small group the names of the items at the altar, I held up and named the lectionary and Belle, age 3, exclaimed, "Jesus is present in the lectionary. It is the word!"
After preparing the altar Beverly began to "read" from the lectionary and said, "Jesus is in there." Later I found her standing behind the lecturn "reading" and singing, "The Kingdom of God."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

That's Where we Put the Bread!

As I was reviewing with a small group the names of the items at the altar, Blaine, age 4, pointed to the paten and exclaimed, "That's where we put the bread!" He then pointed to the ciborium and said "And here too!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jesus is with us

Felice, age 4, prepared the model altar, asked the catechist to light the candles, and then stood at the lecturn singing to her own tune the following words for about five minutes:

Alleluia (repeated many times).
You make me so happy (repeated many times).
Alleluia (repeated many times).

Jesus is with us (sung once as a proclamation).
Alleluia (repeated many times).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

During our introduction to the atrium with a group of 3-6 year-old children, we gathered outside of the atrium, and we called each child by name to enter the atrium. After a short introduction to the prayer table, we broke up to decorate folders & name tags. John, age 4, who had never seen the atrium, could not concentrate on the folder. He walked to the center of the room, quietly gazing at the liturgy shelf , altar/sacristy, prayer table, baptism, etc. Then he took a deep sigh and said " oh this is so beautiful I can hardly stand it."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Look! Jesus is everywhere here!

A catechist told the story of a 3-year-old's first day in the Atrium.
Rosanne practically danced outside of the Atrium, in the courtyard. It was finally her turn to come to the Atrium! She had been coming with her mother, watching her older brother Devin enter the atrium, for three years. Finally, she would hear her own name called! Rosanne was the first to offer to model a "quiet walk", to whisper her name using "quiet talking", and was very eager to name the items she saw on the prayer table. When I asked what she saw, she said, "I see Jesus, holding a lamb." How amazing to me that children intuitively know Jesus is our Good Shepherd. And as we walked through the environment, quietly taking in all that we could with just our eyes, she stopped before some artwork of the Good Shepherd, which hung on the walls near our Mass area. "Look! Jesus is everywhere here!" Another year is underway.