School Mass Guidelines and Mass Planning Guide (Policy 2.1.3)

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             __________________________    Date                            ___________

Theme _______________________________    Feast                                                   

Place    _______________________________    Time                                                   

Presider ______________________________    Planners                                              

Music Ministers____________________________________________________

Gathering Rite

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                                                                     

Entrance Song                                                                                                                        

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 _______________________________________________

Dismissal Rite

Closing Song