Yes, exactly. Like we do at our church. We're big on processions. On Palm Sunday, and Pentecost, and the Feast of St. Francis, and any other feast day we can get away with it, we take to the streets in procession. After the sermon and the prayers we process out the front doors and march around the block, beating drums and waving palms or banners or umbrellas (depending on the occasion) before processing back into the church to gather around the table and share communion. My three year old is neither mystified nor intimidated by the idea of participating in a protest march. Of course that's something we would do. And of course she should be part of it. This is what we've been practicing in church all along!
I'm reminded of my first week as a priest at St. Gregory's. I brought my oldest daughter, Alexandra, to help out at the Food Pantry. Alexandra (age 5 at the time) was put in charge of distributing cabbages. As folks passed by, Alexandra would extend her little arms and ask "Cabbages? One or two?" After about fifteen minutes, Alexandra turned to me and said, "Mom! It's just like communion. But instead of bread, we're sharing cabbages!"
Yes, exactly. Like communion. My five year old was neither mystified nor intimidated by the idea of serving at the Food Pantry. Of course that's something we would do. And of course she should be part of it. This is what we've been practicing in church all along!
Liturgists love to wax eloquent about how the liturgy shapes us. And it does. The liturgy forms us for faithful living. And not just in an idealized, abstract, academic, adult sense. Week after week, season after season, year after year, the liturgy forms people of all ages. For listening and waiting. For speaking and acting. For hearing and responding. For grieving and giving thanks. For confessing and reconciling. For peacemaking. For offering and receiving. For sharing. For singing. For marching.
Our participation in the liturgy shapes us, and offers a pattern for our whole lives. Sometimes it's a struggle and sometimes it's a delight. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's a mystery. And sometimes we need a child to show us the way.