Dearest Parents of Young Children:
The Lord said so clearly, “Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them…” (Mark 10:14).
Rejoice in the gift of your little ones and know that God gave them the vibrant energy that sometimes causes them to wiggle and make noise. They belong right here in God’s house where you have so faithfully brought them. Stick with it! Do what you can to quietly explain the parts of the Divine Service, the actions of the pastor, the altar assistants, and the like. If you need help, the volume Kids In The Divine Service is there in the pews at your fingertips and it is full of helpful explanations regarding why we do what we do in holy worship.
Remember, too, that children learn the language of faith in the same way they learn to speak their native language – by watching and listening to you! Sing the hymns, fold your hands and pray, participate in the liturgy as best as you can. It will take patience. It will be challenging. It may even take a few YEARS! But it will be worth it!
Certainly we don’t want to make it difficult for the people around us to receive what Christ is seeking to give to them, and so there is a certain level of courtesy and common sense that must be employed for keeping a child in the pews when he clearly needs to be taken into the Narthex for “parental recalibration” (e.g. screaming at the top of his lungs during the scripture readings or sermon). Nevertheless, you and your child belong in the presence of Jesus. Correct and calm him as best you can and then come back AS SOON AS YOU ARE ABLE!
Dearest Members of Our Savior:
The presence of the little ones in this place is a gift from God and a visual reminder that He is keeping His promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against His church. Behold, a simple proof that the Gospel will indeed be preserved for generations to come!
Be sure to greet the little ones with a smile, and build up and encourage the parents in love.
+ Soli Deo Gloria +