School Masses are not always practical as a regular part of the religion program in our schools. However, at certain times they are most appropriate and are a delightful way to mark a particular Church season or the end of the school year. When it is decided that a Mass will take place, the following guidelines are to be followed:
1. It is preferable that the Mass take place in the parish church. However, recognizing that this will not always be feasible, it is also permitted for the Mass to take place in a suitable place in the school itself.
2. When the Mass takes place in the church, proper church etiquette should be observed. Because such points are not always well known to students, especially if their family is not in the habit of attending church, it is recommended that the student body be reminded of the following points:
- Respect for sacred space (the body of the church) is expressed first of all by silence. If it is necessary to speak to someone, this should be done in a whisper, so as not to disturb others in the church.
- Running is not proper in the church.
- Chewing gum should be disposed of before entering the church.
- Hats are not worn in the church.
- There should be no eating or drinking in the church, except of course for communion.
- At the entrance to the church, there are holy water stoups. One is to use the holy water in making the sign of the cross on entering the church.
- As one enters the pew, a genuflection is made towards the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
- Posture when in the pew should be respectful of the place. There is no need to lean back on the pew, or to lie down.
- Cell phones are to be turned off prior to the commencement of the mass.
When the Mass takes place in a suitable room in the school (for instance, the gym), as much of the above should be observed as is appropriate and possible so as to highlight the fact that this is a sacred celebration.
3. All liturgical norms are to be respected. When there is doubt about a norm or practice, teachers or those planning the liturgy are advised to consult the priest who is presiding at the Mass.
4. Readings for the Mass must be from the Bible, and follow the pattern of the prescribed Liturgy of the Word, viz.
Option 1 Option 2
Old Testament Reading Old or New Testament Reading
Responsorial Psalm Responsorial Psalm
New Testament Reading Gospel Acclamation
Gospel Acclamation Gospel (proclaimed by a priest)
Gospel (proclaimed by a priest)
5. Students engaged in any prominent role in the Mass are to be well prepared for their role. This includes choir, readers, and gift bearers. Servers should be selected from among those who are already trained as servers in the parish.
6. Music selections must be of a suitable liturgical nature. If you cannot find it in a Catholic hymn book, check with the presider before deciding on it. Recorded music (from a tape or CD) is discouraged.
7. Eucharistic ministers must be selected from those who have been properly trained and commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers by the parish. These may be chosen from among teachers or other adults present for the Mass.
Accepted by the College of Consultors on 11 February 2010
Amended by the College of Consultors on 16 February 2011
SCHOOL MASS PLANNING GUIDE
School __________________________ Date ___________
Theme _______________________________ Feast
Place _______________________________ Time
Presider ______________________________ Planners
The tone of the celebration is set from the very beginning. The commentator should ensure that the microphone is turned on before beginning. The Opening Rite can be one of many possibilities. The Glory to God is used only on Feasts and Solemnities.
Introduction of theme and welcome of guests before Mass
Written by Read by
Opening rite: [ ] Penitential Rite
[ ] Blessing with Holy Water
[ ] Other
Glory to God _______________________
Liturgy of the Word
There may be one reading or two readings. The First Reading normally comes from the Old Testament of the Bible; the Second Reading normally comes from the New Testament (but not the Gospels). The Alleluia verse must always be sung, or else it may be omitted. The Gospel is read by a deacon or priest.
First Reading Reader
Responsorial Psalm Cantor/Reader
Second Reading Reader
Alleluia verse Cantor ____
Gospel Proclaimed by _ ____________
General Intercessions prepared by
Read by ___________ __
Liturgy of the Eucharist
The Mass parts (Holy,holy,holy; Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen and Lamb of God) should all be sung. Careful thought should be given to Communion of the cup (wine), as many children are not accustomed to this and so tend to approach it awkwardly.
Gifts presented by_______________________________________
Special Instructions _____________________________________________________
Holy, holy, holy _______________________________________
Memorial Acclamation ___________________________________
Great Amen ___________________________________________
Lord’s Prayer [ ] recited [ ] sung
Lamb of God [ ] recited [ ] sung
Eucharistic Ministers Hosts 1. _ _________ 2. 3.____________________ 4.__________________
(0ptional) Wine 1. ___________ 2. ______________ 3_______________ 4._________________
Communion Songs _______________________________________________