One of the very first things I did when I started attending my first liturgical church was to volunteer with the children's program. That's where I discovered that liturgy is absolutely fantastic for kids. If this is a new idea to you (which is surely was to me), think about it a minute. Children positively thrive on routine and ritual. They like to know what comes next and what to expect. What better way to provide this structure as part of their worship than through liturgy?
While we attended the Anglican church, my daughter participated in liturgical Sunday worship, just as Adam and I did. Since we moved away, she hadn't been getting her regular infusion of liturgy. In fact, I'm ashamed to admit, she hadn't been getting much of a regular infusion of worship and teaching of any variety.
Recently, I decided that needed to change. We've had a regular bedtime routine that included prayer and a song, so I started with the morning. I wanted to expand the morning Bible reading (which I'd been rather lax about lately anyway). I looked up the morning prayer rites in the Book of Common Prayer and also found a short family prayer service in an older version (the 1928 BCP). Incorporating bits from each of those as well as some songs and familiar pieces from my daughter's former Sunday school class, I put together our own morning prayer liturgy. I made a point to write the words and phrases in language my daughter would be familiar with, so the prayers would be meaningful to her rather than simply words she was told to repeat.
Note: Sections in regular type are read or sung by the leader, bolded sections are read or sung by all.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks be to God.
Leader reads daily scripture passage.
Thanks be to God for the reading of His Word.
Thank You, God. Thank You, God.
Our Father, which art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
(The Lord's Prayer music by Albert Hay Malotte)
God, You have brought us safely into this morning.
Please keep us safe for the rest of today.
Give us strength to fight temptation
So that we will make good choices and not sin.
Help us to be obedient to You, by Jesus’s power.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who gathers these children into Your arms
And makes them living members of Your Church,
We pray that You would give them grace to stand in faith,
To obey Your instructions, and to live in Your love.
Being made strong in the Holy Spirit, may they overcome evil
And have Your joy in their lives, both on earth and in heaven.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all, today and forever.
All spend a moment in silence, listening for God's words.
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end.
(Gloria Patri music by Henry W. Greatorex)