How coronavirus is pioneering new ways of worship

11 May 2020

Online children's liturgy

Online worship gives families an opportunity to celebrate their faith in a way that is familiar at a time when we are being asked to do things so differently.

When the coronavirus pandemic caused masses across the country to be cancelled, we launched our weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ so families could come together to celebrate. Since then we've been so inspired to see hundreds of families joining us every week! 

In March, when many families had just entered into isolation, we were thrilled when 500 families joined our first online session. In the following months, our community has grown, and we have welcomed families from across the world - some as far afield as Australia and South Africa.

Register for this week’s liturgy

Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising and Participation, said:

“Online sessions give families an opportunity to celebrate their faith in a way that is familiar at a time when we are being challenged and asked to do things so differently.

“During these tough times, it is so wonderful to be able to reach out to each other and to those who are feeling physically distant from the ones they love and their traditional places of worship - and virtually come together as a community and Catholic family.”

Celebrating as a local and global family

We are thrilled to have had at least 500 households joining us each week - some live at 10 am, while others watch the recording afterwards. Our children’s liturgy page – which has been visited on average 14,500 times per month – has come in use for so many families.

Aude De Lucia, mother of Edoardo, Federico and Lorenzo, from the Parish of St William of York, in London, said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the two mums and dad (Eileen, Bronagh and Martin) who helped us and our children pray and sing this morning. In fact, I was so moved at the beginning of our virtual meeting that I could barely sing! 

“It was amazing to be connected together live and I think our children were deeply touched by the experience. It’s such a lovely consolation to the sadness of no longer being able to go to church. And much more adapted for children, in my opinion, than putting them in front of a televised mass, so a big big thank you. We’ll be there again next Sunday!”

Lynda, who joined with her family in East Dulwich, London, added:

“We were all upset when masses were cancelled, so it was so wonderful to have an uplifting liturgy, which was an utter pleasure to join and take part in – we’re all already looking forward to next week.”

Exploring faith in relation to everyday life

We hope that while schools are closed, our Children’s Liturgy Live! sessions can help to build on the work that we already do within Catholic schools to help children learn about the lives of children and families who live in poverty around the world. 

“We started producing resources for a children's Liturgy of the Word in late 2009 and have gradually increased our offerings so that we now have resources for every Sunday in the Church's three-year cycle of readings,” explained Catherine Gorman, CAFOD’s Theology Programme Communications Lead.

“We created these resources to offer something back to the Catholic community of England and Wales - to offer something that helped with parish life, met a need within the community and made the lives of those who lead children's liturgy in their parish a little easier. The Children’s Liturgy Live seemed a natural follow up to this.

“We hope that our children's liturgy resources will encourage children to reflect on the gospel and make the link between their faith and how they live their lives today. They aim to help children understand that love for our neighbour and for our earth are a key part of our faith and Church life.”

If you would like to join us this Sunday, please register and we will email you a link.

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