Kneeling is an important part of our faith, and is referenced in scripture many times.
1 Ephesians 3:14 “For this reason I kneel before the Father”
Acts 9:40 “Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed.”
Kneeling is a sign of humbleness before God, and this is definitely something we want to teach to our kids!
We kneel in Mass, and that’s easy because (generally), kneelers are provided for us, and everyone kneels in unison. But it is important to teach our kids how to kneel on their own, and also to kneel in Mass even when the rest of the congregation chooses not to.
The above “Kneel” symbol is from my book, A Picture Book of the Mass. The symbols appear throughout the book indicating when to sit, stand, or kneel. Having a book like this can really encourage kneeling, because especially in a Mass where the congregation may not kneel, or in a small Mass (such as daily Mass), having the confidence to absolutely know when to kneel and get up can make the difference between kneeling, and not.
Now, do you need a kneeler to kneel? Absolutely not. I attended Mass at World Youth day in the middle of a rat infested field, and you can bet that we all got right down and knelt directly in the mud. However, having a kneeler is a great way to encourage others to kneel. There’s no surer way to get someone to kneel than to simply provide a kneeler.
In an attempt to encourage kneeling at bed time, and during family rosary, we decorated our very own kneelers using garden foam kneeling pads. I got ours at the Dollar Tree for $1 each, and I grabbed the yellow ones because they were the lightest in color, so I thought they would decorate the easiest.
Supplies Needed to Craft a Kneeler With Kids:
- Foam garden kneeler cushions
- Sharpie markers
- Fabric puffy paint (optional)
On my kneeler, I wanted to decorate around the edge with a rosary design. *Hint* You want to leave the large areas in the middle open without decoration because it won’t be comfortable to kneel on fabric paint bumps!
To make a rosary design around your kneeler, start by drawing the string with a black sharpie marker.
Then, add the Our Father beads with large dots of fabric paint. There are 5 decades, so you can evenly spread out the Our Father’s in a square shape on your string.
Fill in between the Our Fathers with 10 small Hail Mary dots in each decade. Add a cross as well.
Again, notice that in the big open area where my knees will actually be while kneeling, I left open spaces without decoration.
On the back of mine, I wanted to write a quote about kneeling. I’ve seen this quote a lot on Pinterest: “When life gets too hard to stand, kneel”, so I went with that one.
When drawing on these with sharpie markers, just use a good amount of pressure so it fills in the texture dents. Let your kids decorate their own. Seriously. Don’t be a perfectionist… just let them do it themselves. They will like it better this way, and it’s good for them. Different age groups will have different abilities- that’s ok. Your 3 year old may just scribble on theirs. That’s what my 3 year old did.
My 5 year old tried to copy mine.
My 7 year old did her own thing.
Then my 1 year old took a bite out of my kneeler. Seriously. I should have taken a picture of it. But for those of you who always want to know how I craft with so many kids, that’s how we roll around here.
That’s it. This is a simple one. Your children may want to store these under the edge of their bed to use for night time prayers.
Possible Uses for Portable Kneelers:
- Bedtime Prayers
- Familiy Rosary
- Vacation Bible School
- Outside Mass
- Bring to Churches that don’t Provide Kneelers
- Outside Prayer of Any Kind
- Inside Prayer of Any Kind
Yep, that pretty much covers it.
As long as you’re on the topic of kneeling, go over with kids proper kneeling etiquette, and the reasons why we kneel. Teach them especially about keeping their bottoms off the pew (or the back of their feet) while kneeling. Kneeling is different than sitting on our knees.
Although these are fun, and they only cost a dollar, and the work great, I still have my eye on these beautiful kid’s kneelers from Catholic to the Max. The box lid even opens to store holy cards or rosaries. So beautiful! Perhaps for Lydia’s First Communion next year….
- Encouraging Kids to Make the Sign of the Cross
- Encouraging Kids to Use Holy Water
- Encouraging Kids to Participate in Mass
- Encouraging Kids to Pray the Rosary