EL 247 – The Spirit of the Liturgical Child

Module Level


Module Aims

Module Overview: In the catechesis of children, liturgy and sacraments forms a central and important place. The gradual initiation of the child into the life of the church will find its external expression in the place that the child begins to inhabit in the liturgical assembly.

The aim of this module is to introduce the participant to an understanding of the child as a liturgical being, independent of their place in the family and how the church best serves the sacramental and liturgical initiation of the child. It will also introduce the participant into the place of liturgical and sacramental formation in the Catechetical programme, Grow in Love, as it is taught in Irish primary schools

Indicative Syllabus:

  • The Directory of Masses for Children
  • Sacraments of Initiation and Healing
  • Liturgy and Sacraments as a ‘Fundamental Task of Catechesis’
  • Liturgical Formation and Catechesis
  • Liturgical Prayer and the Child
  • Liturgy and the Spiritual Life of the Child
  • Liturgy and Children with Special Needs

Select Bibliography:

Pope St. John-Paul II (1994) Catechism of the Catholic Church. Dublin: Veritas.

Congregation for Catholic Education. (1988). The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. (1973) Directory for Masses with Children. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Sacred Congregation for Clergy. (1998) General Directory for Catechesis. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Adolf Adam, Foundations of Liturgy (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992).

Diana Apostolos-Cappdona (Ed.). The Sacred Play of Children. New York: Seabury Press.

Eleanor Bernstein & John Brooks-Leonard, eds. Children in the Assembly of the Church. Chicago, IL: Liturgical Training Publications,1992.

Jeremy Gallet. “Bodily-based Imagination and the Liturgical Formation of Children.” Liturgical Ministry 9 (Summer 2000): 113-126.

Jeremy Gallet. “The Sunday Assembly: A Place for Children.” Liturgical Ministry 9 (Summer 2000): 127-140.

Jeremy Gallet. “Documents of Formation: The Directory for Masses with Children and the Lectionary for Masses with Children – Another Look.” Liturgical Ministry 9 (Summer 2000): 141-147.

Edward Matthews. Celebrating Mass with Children – A Commentary on the Directory for Masses with Children. New York: Paulist Press, 1975.

Gail Ramshaw, Christian Worship. 100,000 Sundays of Symbols and Rituals (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009).


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