Mass With Kids: Seeing Jesus in the Chaos


We’ve taken a lot of little ones to mass.  When one or both of us ends up standing in the back with fussy children, it crosses my mind that we are wasting our time.  The kids aren’t listening, we can’t pay attention, and none of us are getting a single thing out of mass!

Of course that’s not true.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

Every now and then, we are blessed with one of those miraculous mornings at mass—you know, when all the kids actually brushed their hair and they kneel, pray, listen, and sing their little hearts out to Jesus.  This Mama sure is proud and appreciates hearing the scripture readings and homily!

Usually, though, we have our fair share of sneaky elbowing, accidental kneeler  dropping on brother/sister’s foot, and fighting over sitting on my lap.  My personal record is nursing a newborn, balancing a toddler and preschooler on each knee, and snuggling up against an older child on each side.   All at the same time!  My poor husband sits lonely (or is it peacefully?) at the end of the pew.

Despite the wiggles and frustrations during mass, my kids let me know that they ARE listening.  They do know Jesus from the mass.

Sometimes I catch Maren (my feisty 4-year-old) shoving her little fist in her glass of water at lunch and making the sign of the cross.  I’m sure it’s an “ancident” (a Maren-ism for accident) that she splashes everyone around her.

At bedtime, Maren reminds me that Jesus has His arms out wide to give her a hug.  This is how I distract her during mass, pointing to Jesus on the crucifix with His arms outstretched to hug us all.  I can’t imagine a happier way to fall asleep!

Last week, Joel (my 5-year-old) kept singing in his beautiful little voice,

“When we eat this bread and we drink this cup we will play with Him until He comes!”  He has many versions!


“Jesus, HAM of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.”

To all the parents out there with young children, don’t be discouraged.  Consider your kids’ crying and screaming at mass to be joyful singing to the Lord.  Jesus’ love IS sinking in.  He will pour His mercy out on your family, even if you can’t notice it right away amidst the constant potty breaks and thrown sippy cups.

 All your sons shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  Isaiah 54:13



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11 thoughts on “Mass With Kids: Seeing Jesus in the Chaos

  1. That sounds so familiar, but on a smaller scale with my family. Our older two are finally old enough to get through mass without being taken out but we are in the cry room and/or back of the church every single week with our one year old. Thanks for the encouragement!


  2. Thanks for sharing this. It does encourage moms with little ones. I know there was a period, when our oldest was five and there were three younger children. It seemed impossible… God blessed me with patience and humility. He is so faithful and helped me grow in virtue through all these little trials. Now that our oldest is twelve (and even altar serving) and his six younger siblings are in tow, it is better… not perfect, but better. 🙂


    • What a wonderful family you have been blessed with! 7 kids in 12 years is just like our 9 kids in 15 years! I bet we could share some crazy, funny stories about our children! So much does seem impossible with this many little ones (and big ones) who need us. All things are possible with God….I repeat this over and over with the occasional small glass of wine. 😉 My children have made me a different person, a better person! God bless!


  3. A great post of encouragement, Jaimie – my kids are 9 and 11 now and really pay attention at Mass – but I believe this is largely due to the fact that they have been attending Mass since they are newborns! It is so worth the sacrifice and struggle! I love their changing of the words of the Mass parts – adorable!


  4. Pingback: Hugs From Jesus | The Fruitful Mama

  5. The other day i was at the mass, sitting on the floor and coloring with 2 little ones and since they were quiet, I was really listening to the mass. But my dh pushed me aside and said that I couldn’t color with t he kids. I stood up feeling that he was wrong and kids started fighting about crayons… I thought. Jesus loves me because I’m in his house with my kids, there’s no problem if I entertain them so to have an adult conversation… As I would do if I were at my own fathers house… Sigh.


    • Oh goodness. It is hard not to feel the pressure for your children to be perfect little angels in church. Most masses, I don’t kneel or stand because if my littlest ones are content sitting on my lap I don’t want to mess it up. I often draw little shapes for them to color on a little notebook (or church envelope!) just so they will stay quiet. Someday they will be quiet and actually participate! My oldest kids behave very well for the most part now. I hope your mass this morning goes well. God bless.


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