Do you have trouble working a holy hour into your schedule as a parent?
Why not make your adoration time into family-time?
We’ve slowly worked adoration into our family life and it’s been very rewarding. Here’s a couple of tips for taking kids to adoration and making it enjoyable as well.
Why adoration is important for kids
Adoration should be an integral part of your child’s faith development:
- It introduces your kids to the sacred. The adoration chapel has a certain aura. It’s just different; quiet, calm, and...holy. You can feel the presence of Jesus there.
- Part of the secret to introducing your kids to the Catholic Faith is the witness and example of other Christians. In adoration, kids see other adults besides you that love the Lord and take time to pray. That’s powerful.
- Adoration teaches your kids reverence. Mass can be a mixed bag here--some good, some bad. There are no bad examples in the adoration chapel. Everyone is reverent and respectful.
- This is a prime place for encounter with Christ. Jesus is really present in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s not visible but there is an effect...like being out in the sun. Whether you like it or not, you’ll get a tan.
- It gives your kids a dedicated devotional time.
Taking kids to adoration
My kids are 9 and 11 now so they’re pretty used to the drill, but it wasn’t always easy.
We started small. The key is not trying to do too much right away.
We began taking them to the chapel when they were toddlers. But we’d only stay for 10, maybe even 5 minutes...and not every week. Sometimes we let them walk around a bit if they stayed close. But, if they made too much noise or got fidgety, we’d leave and try again another day. Then we worked our way up.
I think dedicated adoration chapels work best. There’s less distractions. Sometimes adoration in the church can be good as well, especially for active kids that wiggle more.
What can kids do at adoration?
Activities during adoration fall into 3 main categories for us--gadgets, books, and cuddles.
An iPhone and iPad are a major part of our kid’s adoration experience. They use them to say the rosary with the iRosary app. It’s like saying the rosary, and a little bit more.
The beads move, there’s a picture to look at, and you can read the text of the prayers. I think it gives them the sense that, yes we’re praying, but it’s also kind of fun.
Reading must be the most popular activity for everyone at adoration. Every time I look around, that’s what people are doing. Why not kids as well?
But it has to be spiritual reading. You’re establishing adoration as devotional time. Lately we’ve been using the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books & Media.
Rosary apps and reading are great, but an hour is still long for 9-11 year-olds. So, the last part of adoration is usually spent with hugs and affection.
This is also part of a larger strategy to make adoration full of “warm fuzzies.” You want to associate very positive feelings and emotions with going to church and doing church-y things. Hugs and cuddles are part of that. So, we often spend the last 10 or 15 minutes just enjoying the silence with some togetherness. Besides, what kid doesn’t love that kind of attention from their parents?
I definitely think you should work family adoration into your schedule. It’s an excellent way to evangelize your kids and establish them in an amazing and powerful Catholic devotion.
Is it hard for them to sit still and stay quiet? Like anything with kids, it requires perseverance and patience. You have to work them into it. But if you put in the time and effort, I’m sure you’ll be rewarded. How could Jesus not want your kids to come to him?
Now it’s your turn. If you go to adoration with your kids, what activities do you have them do? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Copyright 2013 Marc Cardaronella
About the Author
Marc Cardaronella is the author of Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making It Stick from Ave Maria Press. Marc directs catechist and discipleship leader formation for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. He is married, has two teen boys, and writes about Catholic spirituality and how to share the Faith on his personal blog.