I am planning a Mass with 45 kids and two other teachers. To get the maximum input, several different groups were created and pieces assigned. One homeroom, write the petitions and pick the kids to read; one homeroom, the offertory-pick the symbol to be carried forward in addition to the candles, flowers, bread and wine and who would carry each. My religion class, a mix of the homerooms, would pick the music and fill out the rest of the roles.
In religion, the kids split into two groups--one starting with song selection--taking into consideration the readings which we read outloud together, the other with assigning roles. When done, the group switched to the other topic. The only input I had was that the selections for both had to give evidence of reasonable thought and ultimately, I was the one who ratified their selelctions.
They chose fantastic music! Perfectly suited to the celebration and the readings and indicative of the preferred liturgical style of the kids-- songs with zip, songs with harmonies, songs with life and connection for the students. I took their papers, went to the music teacher, suggested a plan using a mix of the suggestions from the two groups, and she easily agreed.
I told the kids the next day which songs we were doing and they were SO thrilled. We suggested those!! We can do these?? Really?? Awesome!! You listened!!
Well, yes... you made wonderful suggestions, clearly connected to the reason for the celebration and the readings...why wouldn't I listen to you-- you are planning the Mass!
They had such smiles on their faces.
Makes me glad to be an adult at moments like that... an adult who has the chance to help a kid see their own worth, their own value, that what they have to say is important, that reasonable thought and passion behind something helps it to fly.