The children were called to the altar. Some children rushed, while others waked tentatively. While some children, despite their parent’s urging stayed put in their pew, close to their parent or parents.
Billy and I were at the 9:00am Family Mass. My favorite. I love it because the homily is directed right at the kids. The connections to the gospel are simple and our priests manage to have some fun during these kid centered homilies. I’m not afraid to admit, I tend to pay attention more.
When the homily was over, the children scurried back to their parents. The pews were once again filled with families. Filled with parents occupying their kids, urging those old enough to participate as much as possible, kneel, stand, sit, pray. I remember those days vividly, sometimes that one hour was a lot of work.
Yesterday, the mass was particularly crowded. It may have something to do with the fact that there was an Easter egg hunt immediately following mass. Billy and I were surrounded by families.
The family beside us had a daughter and a son. The boy was maybe 18 months and the daughter maybe 3. They had walked into mass a little bit late, OK, a lot late, the gospel was about to be read. I laughed and imagined what it took for them to get out of the house. I was glad they were there, sharing a pew with us.
A few pews in front of us was a family with three kids. One daughter, between two and three smiled the whole mass. She was in her father’s arms and he periodically lifted her up and over his shoulder. She was just so happy to be with him.
The family behind us snuck in right as the opening hymn was finishing up. They had three kids. Once they were settled, the youngest, I think wasn’t using his indoor voice. “Easter Bunny” he repeated and repeated. He couldn’t contain himself. I soaked in his innocent excitement.
I often accept the invitation to attend mass each week because I have so much to be thankful for. This week, I was glad to have gone, just to be in the company of all those families and their kids. They made me happy.