The gathering storm…
Our Cathedral’s First Holy Communion many moons ago:
I don't see the harm. It's down at their level (usually) and is presented in a way that is more relatable at that age. Additionally, one could argue that the homily would not be "in the ancient form", or the modern usage for that matter. The liturgy effectively stops for the homily. In the east, sometimes the homily does not occur until after liturgy so that the work that has been started can be finished without interruption. To me, if people are inclined to agonize over this, will we ever be able to see the forest for the trees?
Sitting on the floor should be always and everywhere discouraged, and for obvious reasons. it's unsanitary and, in formal situations, most unseemly.
I'm not a fan of the technique of gathering the kids up front for a "special" homily. It sure looks to me as though it becomes a show for the adults, who smile and find it all so terribly adorable. To my mind, the kids are not there to be on display or amusing to the rest of us. Also, I do not find the "special" homily is done very well.Here's my alternative. If you want to have a message for younger parishioners, create that message and deliver it to everyone -- that's your homily. Alternately, you can incorporate that is part of a larger homily. The kids stay in their places and the homilist stays in his place. Nothing showy or cute. Just prepare a good message, for the intended audience.
Fr. Fox,Respectfully, I'm not wholly agreeing. True, it can be a show/cute but, if done well (the challenge as you rightly pointed out), it is the priest/pastor teaching his flock, in this instance a subset of his flock. And then, what parent isn't going to delight in seeing their child receive such special attention? Parents are going to react like parents would in this situation. Can you blame them? Not that it makes it more "right" because the Orthodox do this as well, but, here are two examples illustrating that it's not just us. The high backed vestments, btw, say to me that they are Russian Orthodox. Being the most conservative patriarchate by a mile, even in it's U.S. OCA/ROCOR instances, if they're ok with it, there must be some good that comes from it. http://www.orthodox.net//photos/parish/2009-10-15-childrens-liturgy-homily-1.jpghttps://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.st-marymagdalene.org%2Forthodoxy-sunday-2019&psig=AOvVaw0CEQn83kZ_gRqayx9DjClV&ust=1632771331292000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjRxqFwoTCIDx266xnfMCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK
ByzRus:No problem, I don't take offense at a different opinion. I wouldn't have even commented, except our genial host asked for comment.
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