Young Children in the Church
Young Children in Worship
Children are always welcome in the sanctuary at Trinity Church. While parents of young children often worry when their children make noises, you need not worry at Trinity Church. Worship is not a performance, and it is not possible for your children to disrupt the worship service. God made children to be noisy, to have short attention spans, and to require lots of interaction, and we welcome all of that into our worship service.
Parents of young children may sit wherever they like in the sanctuary, but be encouraged to sit where children can see – such as in the front few rows of the church. On Sundays where there is a baptism, children are invited to come right up to the font at the baptism so they can see what’s going on.
If a child does need to go out from the sanctuary, a staffed nursery for children 0-5 is available in the lower level of the church.
Young Children and Communion
Parents who have grown up in other traditions often wonder why young children take Communion at Trinity Church. Indeed even “cradle” Episcopalians often did not receive Communion for the first time until after Confirmation. This leaves some parents with a conundrum: how and when should we allow our children to receive?
In the Episcopal Church, in keeping with the practices of the ancient church, the emphasis is placed upon Baptism. Once an individual is baptized they are viewed as full members of the Body of Christ with access to the sacraments. Nothing “completes” Baptism – neither First Communion, nor Confirmation, nor reaching a certain age. This is why children are welcome to receive Holy Communion. This doesn’t mean that children are fully formed as Christians; none of us are. We spend our entire lives living into our Baptismal vows and entering into the mystery of Christ’s “real presence” in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. And, on a practical level, instruction about the meaning of Communion takes place at various points in the Wednesday night children’s curriculum.
That said, we do occasionally offer brief, conversational training sessions about communion geared toward young children. We discuss the nature of the sacrament, what happens, and why this is such a special “meal.” Please contact the parish office to find out more information.