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The Work Of Liturgy On Young Minds

This morning, I was walking up the hallway and heard my daughter Nora, who is 7, singing in the kitchen while making tea. I heard her sing, “…rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” She was singing the Beatitudes, and she was singing them as she hears them in every divine liturgy in the Orthodox Church.

If I sat down with those kids and led them in an exercise to memorize Scripture, it would be like pushing string up a mountain. But immersing themselves in the sung prayers of the Church, which include musical settings of the Psalms and key Scripture passages — is causing the Word of God to sink into their bones. I’ve heard Lucas singing similar passages before, at home, just like he sings the Beatles. It’s startling to me, and pleasing, to see how faithful participation in highly liturgical worship is imbuing their minds with Scripture. So often I think they must be bored and not paying attention, but the liturgy is really doing its work.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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