Starting this Sunday, 10:30am Mass will become our weekly Family-Centered Mass. Families, of course, are welcome at all of our weekend liturgies, but this Mass will have some special features:
Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLW) will be consistently offered at the 10:30am Mass each week, giving parents and kids time to reflect upon the Word of God separately if they so choose.
Special music will be used at this Mass that will tie in with our weekly school Masses.
Special prayers and intentions for families will be included in the petitions.
Children will be asked to take on special roles such as bringing forward the gifts, as well as gathering around the altar for the Eucharistic prayer.
Every third Sunday at 10:30am, we will take our family-centered Mass a step further with the celebration of a “Children’s Mass” in the church. This Mass will be similar in format to the special children’s Masses that we celebrated in the gym on Easter Sunday. All children will stay in the church with their families for the entire celebration. We will have many special moments during this Mass for the children to participate from prayers to readings to singing in the new family choir. The homily will be specially geared towards children, and the readings will be taken from the children’s lectionary. There will be a reception following this Mass, sponsored by our Hospitality Ministry. We will no longer assign grade levels to participate in these Masses or to host a reception. This Mass will also coincide with “Welcoming Sunday” where we recognize and greet new parishioners. We will be working in collaboration with our school and religious education staff to meet the needs of young children and help them to grow closer to God at Mass.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER MASSES?
We will also make some small changes to our other weekend liturgies. Our 7:30am Mass, for instance, is our smallest and most intimate weekend celebration. This liturgy is characterized by a quiet reflective atmosphere, often met by the rising sun casting beams through the stained glass. Many of the prayers, such as the Gloria, which are sung at the other Masses, will be spoken. The rest of the music will also be simplified to suit this small and prayerful community. Our 9am Mass will continue to feature our wonderful parish choir in a more traditional style. The reality is that you can just do more with a choir than without one, so we will continue to use this great gift to help us pray at this Mass. On the third Saturday of each month, our 5pm vigil will feature our newly formed Schola Cantorum Benedicti, an auditioned group of singers. This Mass will highlight some of the beautiful and ancient liturgical traditions of our faith including Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, and some Latin. I will write a little more about these other changes in the upcoming weeks.
Our faith tradition spans centuries, continents, and cultures. It is this diversity which makes us truly Catholic, truly universal. Is important to remember that regardless of the “liturgical flavor“, the Eucharist draws us all around the same table every week. It is our hope that by offering different and unique experiences that it will help our congregation to pray well together and to experience Jesus in the Liturgy.
As always, we welcome your feedback and insight as to how we can meet your spiritual needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the rectory staff with any questions or concerns.