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“Little Priest”

It’s been (unusually) a relatively heavy week on this site this week. Let’s end the week with what I hope will be seen as a lighter moment.

3-year-old Samuel Jaramillo is becoming an internet sensation with his Eucharist. He neither reads nor writes, and is an ordinary lad who enjoys his computer games. He is an orphan who lives with his grandmother and aunt in Medellin, Colombia. The family has not pushed this on Samuel, nor do they think of themselves as avid churchgoers. But Samuel asked on his Christmas wish-list for clergy robes and the Mass supplies.

If you want a more serious reflection: here is a lad who has clearly not been sent out to Sunday School instead of worshipping with the whole of God’s family together.

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11 thoughts on ““Little Priest””

  1. Phillip Hadley

    While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.(Sirach 51:13)

    Because of her [Wisdom] I shall have glory among the multitudes and honour in the presence of the elders, though I am young. (Wisdom of Solomon 8:10)

  2. Chris Darnell

    Cute! I remember watching a similar video a number of years ago on YouTube and being horrified by the flurry of comments decrying the breech of (Roman) church law. Good on the parents for doing a great job.

  3. Hugh McCafferty

    My 8 year old self did a similar thing at the kitchen table. My vestments were more rudimentary. My poor brother was relegated to the role of altar boy. Not sure I got all the Latin right 🙂

  4. I remember playing Mass as a young boy….no vestments though. I used my brothers preschool case as a tabernacle!

  5. I’m remembering our practice as small children of holding funerals for our various small pets–fish and turtles, mostly. Late one afternoon a goldfish passed away. Our parents were entertaining a friend who was an Episcopal priest for dinner, and we asked him if he would officiate. He did a splendid job; we thanked God for the life of our fish and said we were returning its body to the earth. Amen.

  6. I didn’t realize that the Laudian custom of copes for the Eucharist had been so successfully inculturated elsewhere…

    Your remark about banishment to Sunday School stings a bit, Bosco… 🙂 In principle I’m right with you (our eldest was singing the Agnus Dei at age 2 in our British parish), but it wouldn’t go over so well in our current parish, where at least there is a wonderful nursery for the 5-and-unders that our three little ones love and look forward to. The worst part of the service is after Communion (in which, as an update to our ongoing thread from some time ago, all three kids are “active participants”, including the 1-year-old!), when we are chasing them around the nave trying to keep them quiet during the extended Solemn Liturgy of the Notices.

    What I think would most help, actually, would be the removal of seating in the nave and the installation of some child-friendly stations to visit during the liturgy. Keep everyone necessarily casual and flexible. I’ll never forget my first glimpse of three-year-olds at an Orthodox Vespers, being lifted up to venerate the icons and light candles. The clergy just worked around them. “Slightly chaotic reverence” is how someone once described authentic Orthodox worship to me (as at home in the church as in the house, since it is the Church’s house). I can’t help but think it would improve the preaching too…

    1. Could you expand a bit please on the Laudian cope custom, Jesse?

      I noticed he took off the cope at the Offertory but did not put on a chasuble. And wondered about what practice he was regularly seeing.

      As to Sunday School. I just want people to think about what they are doing and why and what underlying stuff is in there and what the effect might be. Is it: children learn; adults worship? Is church adult time and children there are a distraction? Is it streaming by age for separate learning time (in which case why do the adults always stay in the worship space)? Why is it so difficult to move children from (exciting/interesting) Sunday School into keeping on going to (boring) church? I wrote about some of this as a chapter in my book Celebrating Eucharist. I have seen different models all work well and different models all work badly. My hope is that people pause and realise that there are different models. And you have suggested one, for example.

      Christ is risen.

  7. My son loved playing vicar when he was very young. He fashioned robes for himself out of his Oma’s old winter nightie, borrowed a scarf for the stole, and made his own chalice and plate out of play dough, which he reverently kept in a box ornately decorated with fake gems and glitter glue.

    When he came to the Eucharist part of his service, he would pause dramatically before solemnly intoning, “Änd now, for our feature presentation.”

    Perhaps his play was inspired not only by our family’s regular church worship, but also by our love of DVD movies!

  8. The child is wonderful, as are the adults who made it possible for him to “play Priest”.
    Laugh, if you will, but some of us on rare rainy days played at “Nice Nuns” .

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