Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLOW)

What is Liturgy?

Liturgy is the work of the people; the public worship of the faithful people. Its purpose is to give glory to God through prayer; to build up the faith of the people, to teach and instruct the faithful in the meaning of Christ’s Word through the sacred mysteries. It should engage the whole person, through intellect, senses, emotions, and gestures and postures.

What is CLOW?

A gathering of children assembled to listen to God’s Word and ponder its meaning, but in a way suited to their abilities and their interests. At the conclusion of CLOW, the children rejoin their parents for the entire assembly’s celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Why is it offered?

Children hear God’s word with greater meaning when its proclamation and explanation are designed especially for them. They hear from the Old Testament, a psalm, the New Testament, the Gospel, Creed, and prayers of the faithful. This helps to prepare them to transition to worshiping with the entire assembly in later years. Adults/teens who lead CLOW find greater richness and new life in God’s Word even for themselves as they read and ponder the scriptures in preparation for sharing them with the children. 

How is it different from the adult assembly?

It addresses the need of the child to hear the word of God in a vocabulary that is accessible to them. It will familiarize the children with the full adult celebration of God’s Word, as the CLOW has within it all the same elements of the  adult celebration, in the same seasonal order. Great care is taken to accommodate the child’s differences in experience, maturity, and vocabulary.

Isn't that like teaching?

Although there are common skills between a good teacher and a good leader of CLOW, they are distinct. The leader of CLOW should always strive to make the distinction in the minds of the children, their parents, the community, and fellow team members. Liturgy shouldn’t be referred to as “class”, or to an outline as a “lesson plan”. The leader should remind the children frequently that the purpose of the CLOW gathering is to celebrate the presence of God in the word being proclaimed. 

How do I prepare to lead CLOW?

The resources will be made available to you. Begin by reading the scriptures for the given Mass. Then read the support materials completely. Now re-read them looking for the elements with which you are most comfortable. Never attempt to use the outline exactly as it appears. It is only a catalyst for the leader’s own thoughts. The leader should not hesitate to personalize an outline by changing or adapting it.  The more the leader reads and reflects on the scriptures for personal enrichment, even when not planning to lead CLOW, the richer the liturgy will be for the participants. 

If you would like to learn more about CLOW, you are invited to come with your child any time.  We would welcome new members to this ministry.

Children’s Liturgy of The Word Ministry Responsibilities & Requirements
  1. Prepare by reading the scriptures weekly, even when you aren’t scheduled. It will increase your awareness and overall knowledge and love for the word of God.
  2. Meet with your team 15 minutes before Mass begins to review your presentation and to set up the Chapel.
  3. The Chapel needs to be cleared after each mass.  Take all of the items and put them back in the Liturgical Ministers Room. 
  4. Do not use the altar for anything other than the cross. Do not put notes or other items on the altar.
  5. Dress appropriately.  No shorts (even dressier shorts), no bare shoulders, no flip flops, no short dresses or short skirts.
  6. Do NOT use your cell phones before or during mass.  Anything you need can be done before you walk in to the church or after you leave. 

There are 3 distinct roles in the CLOW ministry. The planning materials will be in the hands of the Lead Minister for each celebration. 

Lead Ministers
  • Scheduled at least once a month on a designated Mass schedule (5:00, 9:00,11:00)
  • Responsible for preparing the Liturgy (usually 35-45 minutes of preparation)
  • Communication with assistant & teen volunteers early in the week. Ask all Teen volunteers to sign in and wear a name tag.
  • Arrive at least 20 minutes prior to Mass to gather all CLOW items from cabinet in Liturgical Ministers Room, meet with teen volunteers and give assignments.
  • 15 minutes prior to Mass check in with Presider to introduce yourself as the CLOW leader for this Mass.
  • 11:00 Mass Lead make sure all CLOW items have been removed from the Chapel
  • Report any issues to CLOW supervisor.
  • Find a replacement if you are unable to lead on your designated mass. 

Lead Minister Requirements:

  • Must be High School age and above. (HS students need to have an adult assist)
  • Safe Environment Trained
  • Complete Lead Minister training and been observed by a CLOW supervisor.

Lead Assist Ministers
  • Scheduled at least once a month on a designated Mass schedule (5, 9, 11,)
  • Meet with Lead 20 minutes prior to Mass.
  • Assist lead with signing in Teen volunteers and assignments.
  • Follow children out of church
  • Provides guidance and feedback to Teen Volunteers
  • Assist lead with liturgy as needed.

 Assistant Minister Requirements:

  • Must be High School Age
  • Safe Environment Trained
  • Completed Assistant CLOW minister training
Teen Assist Minister
  • Sign up for Mass preference (5,9,11,)
  • Check in with Lead or Assistant in Narthex at least 15 minutes prior to Mass
  • Sign in
  • Assist with leading children to CLOW, sit with children and encourage participation.
  • Assist with lesson as directed by the lead.

Teen Minister Requirements:

  • Must be 7th grade and older
  • Safe environment trained
  • Completed Teen CLOW training
All those who volunteer in the CLOW ministry are required to have the Safe Environment Training and ministry training.  You will not be scheduled in this ministry until both are completed. 

Interested in joining Children's Liturgy of the Word?  Click here to get started!
Do you have questions about this ministry? Click on a name below to contact us.

Ministry Lead:  Anne-Marie Smith  

Staff Contact:  Sr. Michelle Nguyen, CMR, 817-421-1387