Notes from the Atrium

The Spiritual Life of Children

Posted By Micki Hill on June 20, 2013

If you were to ask one of the children coming out of the atrium, “What did you do in Sunday school?” it is very likely they would shrug  their shoulders and say, “Nothing.”

Recently one of the children, when working with The Last Supper diorama and figures, lifted the cup and passed it to Jesus’ disciples and said, “The cup of salvation!” He replaced the work on the shelf and hurried off to the Altar where he prepared the table with fair linen, chalice, paten, candles, crucifix and once again announced, “The cup of salvation!” as he lifted the chalice from the table. I asked, “Have you heard those words before?” He said, “Yes, at communion.” I asked him, “Why do you think those words are used?” He said, “Because Jesus saves us.” He added, “He is stronger than death.” These links between Bible and Liturgy take place so easily in the atrium.

What does it mean to nurture the spiritual life of children? Children need time. They need time for silence and reflection. They need time to transition from one environment to another, time to cultivate a sense of awe and wonder, to appreciate God’s on-going Incarnation in the world around them and they need time to be of service, to have a sense of purpose. On Sunday mornings, our 3-5 year olds have a space that has been carefully prepared to meet these needs. With thoughtful preparation, every item has been chosen to serve as a gateway to prayer and meditation.