Expert Answer Forum

Children in liturgy QUESTION from Jeff May 5, 2000 The canon you quoted in your response to Baptism in the Cottage included a comment that it was desirable to have children elsewhere during the liturgy of the word. Does this refer to the infant to be baptised? My wife has brought all of our infants to Mass with us, leaving only if they cry. As we use ecological breastfeeding as part of our NFP, she even nurses them during Mass as necessary, always, of course, making due provision for modesty by the skillful use of a receiving blanket and deft movements (which, admittedly, I do not understand how she does without ever showing an inch of flesh). Are we somehow in the wrong bringing our infant into church with us for Mass? It has always been our belief that the Catholic Church is the proper place for families, and the Mass the best context for practical catechesis of children from the very earliest ages. Please let me know if I have misunderstood the Church's position on this. Many thanks and God bless you.
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on May 5, 2000 Dear Jeff,
I believe the paragraph in question has in mind that there might be numerous infants, perhaps even a great many, waiting to be baptized. As you could imagine, if all these infants happened to be fussy at the same time it would cause a great distraction. Some parishes schedule baptisms at special times, and others, like mine, have a special crying room. Our room is in the back of the church and has seating for at least a dozen people with infants. It is soundproofed but the wall facing the sanctuary is glass allowing for full view of the Mass. Overhead speakers allow those in the room to hear everything going on during the Mass. You have the ideal solution for quieting the baby and you are quite correct for remaining.
God bless you,
John Miskell
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