Beloved in Christ,
Our Holy Church has a vast religious and spiritual tradition that should be experienced by all, men, women, and children. Children are never too young to be brought to Church holy services. The sooner we introduce them to the Holy Tradition of the Church, her divine services, and her wisdom, the sooner we begin the process of "becoming" an Orthodox Christian. In order for Orthodoxy to make sense, our children need to experience all that the Church has to offer.
Make it part of this year's Holy Lenten commitment to attend more holy services, or attend more often. When Holy and Great Week comes, block out all other activities, i.e., sports, birthday parties, social events, etc. etc. Keep Holy Week holy! Make it a point to attend every service you can with your children. Be creative so that you can keep little ones directed and occupied. Locate service books for children who can read. Explain what's going to happen before you enter the church. Talk about what Holy and Great Week and the All-Holy Pascha were like when you, the parent, were growing up.
Paying Attention During the Holy Services
This may seem simplistic advice, but it is nonetheless something which we all very often forget and it can bear spelling out. When in church, attend to the words and actions of the divine services. Often in church people find their thoughts drifting, sometimes people become "bored" or "tired" by services which are admittedly long. But the remedy is not to seek for some distraction, or attend for ever shorter portions of the services, but to apply ourselves to listening to what its being sung or said.
Make no mistake, when we with Our Lord's help increase our effort to grow spiritually, the Evil One (Satan), is not amused and steps up his efforts to lead us into temptation and sin. This is why Holy Lent is a time of personal and communal struggle. During this holy season we need to pray for and with one another.
During Holy and Great Lent, we are in the words of the Holy Apostle Peter, encouraged to "take up the whole armor of God" and fast to the best of our ability, pray more, both at home and by attending as many Lenten services as possible, and demonstrate our recommitment to pursuing the path of holiness by showing love to others in a practical and tangible manner. By making the most of this Holy Season, by the Grace of God, may we truly be spiritually transformed through our participation in the Saving Passion, Death and Third Day Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Worship as an Orthodox Christian family!
With agape in His Holy Diakonia,