Tips on Children in Worship

At St. Martin-in-the-Fields, our goal is for families to worship together at all ages and at all stages of life. Children and infants are encouraged to be in every worship service and we believe the liturgy speaks to children from their earliest days. We ask for all adults to support young families in worship with a warm welcome and a helping hand when needed. We ask young families to be mindful of the needs of the worshipping community for periods of silence and concentrated attention during the service. If your child needs to cry or vocalize – especially during the sermon, the prayers of the people, or quieter musical pieces – we have two areas prepared for this occasion. One is the Mary Chapel to the left of the altar and the other is the Narthex at the rear of the church. Both are connected to the church sound system. Feel free to walk the side aisles during service if that comforts your child. We also encourage young families to sit in the front pews or the right transept – the seating on the side of the altar – so children can see and be engaged. We have a rug and toys there for active children.

Here are a few tips that families have found helpful:

    Coloring/activity pages that follow themes from our liturgical season; these can be found in baskets toward the back of the church attached to a clipboard with crayons; there are also children’s books available at the back of the church.
    Help meet your child’s needs by getting water and snacks and taking a bathroom break prior to the start of the service; consider bringing snacks for small children to eat during the service.
    Infants and toddlers often need to walk around during the service; the side aisles and back are great for this, especially stopping at the stained glass windows that always tend to mesmerize the little ones.
    Bring a bag with quiet activities that are reserved especially for Sundays, a favorite stuffed animal, etc.
    The offertory (when offering plates are passed) can be a high point of the service for children – consider making sure each child has a coin or dollar to put in the plate.
    Allow children to follow along with you in the bulletin or hymnal so that they feel part of the liturgy and get a sense of flow; for infants and pre-readers, whisper in their ear commentary about what’s happening in the service or prayers as they’re being said.
    Make an appointment to meet with a member of the clergy to give children a chance to ask questions about the church and the liturgy.

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-June, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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