At the beginning of each year we take time in the Atrium to lift up and honor the great gift of The Holy Bible. In Children’s House (Level I), the children carry the Word of God in a procession. Then we listen to John 8:12: “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world, Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” When asked what Jesus was telling us after this Scripture was read last week, one five-year-old child said, “He’s saying, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am with you.'” A bit later when asked what we might say to God who had given us such a beautiful message this same child responded, “Thanks be to God.” Another child said, “Thank you for all the words in the Bible.”
The children are then given an opportunity to hold God’s Word with reverence and show their love for The Holy Bible. This year many of the children traced a cross on the cover of the Bible or held it to their heart and a few even kissed the cover as Father kisses God’s Word after proclaiming the Gospel at Mass. At the end of the presentation the children are invited to come to the prayer table any time they are in the Atrium and enjoy the great gift of God’s Word. This year in four of the six Children’s House groups a child immediately came forward to sit and enjoy The Holy Bible, and in one group two children were both ready to sit with God’s Word! One agreed to wait until the first had finished…and the second child waited quietly for about five minutes as the first child quietly paged through The Holy Bible. The second child was then able to come forward to enjoy God’s Word on the prayer table as well!
After this celebration, one four-year-old received a presentation at the Model Altar on several new articles including the Lectionary, the book which contains the Word of God that we hear at Mass. After asking that the candles at the altar she had set be lit, she sat and paged through the tiny model Lectionary one page at a time for about fifteen minutes.