Faith in Action: Youth Play Key Roles at School Liturgies


Photo taken during a School Mass.

Most Tuesdays during the school year, parish school students attend the 8:15 a.m. liturgy. The students participate in several ways, including liturgy planning, serving, proclaiming the first reading, and leading the assembly for the prayers of the faithful. 

During the current school year, four 8th grade boys have served in key roles. They include, musicians Nathan, Ian and Joe, and assisting sacristan Luke.

Nathan plays piano, keyboard, and organ during the liturgies, while Ian and Joe handle percussion. He also plays solo as the lead musician or accompanies the lead musician at some weekend liturgies.

The boys attribute the encouragement they received from parents and teachers for their involvement. Nathan noted Mrs. Honoré, former associate director of music, encouraged him to share his talent at liturgies when he was in sixth grade. “I was so excited to be able to use the talents I received from God,” said the soft-spoken Nathan.

Ian and Joe said they review the songs that will be played at the school Mass and then decide which instruments they will use, whether the conga drums, tambourine, or other items. Joe noted that he and Ian “like to improvise, too.”

Ian said he “always looks forward to the school liturgies” and noted that classmates always provide positive feedback and support after they play.

Joe said the “best part of being a musician is serving God and my school.”

All three musicians also perform in the school band.

As assisting sacristan, Luke makes sure everything is set for the Mass, including getting the hosts and wine ready, replacing candles, putting the sacred oil and supplies out if anointing will be part of the liturgy, and doing clean up after. “As a server, I was already helping with clean up after Mass,” Luke said.

Then, three months ago, he was asked if he would like to take on the larger role of assisting sacristan. He enthusiastically agreed and has been in the role ever since. Luke currently is training to serve as an assisting sacristan for weekend liturgies.

"The confidence and talent that these young men share is inspiring to young and old, and to me,” said Dan O’Connor, director of liturgy and music. It is an example that the young are welcome and vital as members of our parish community, of the Catholic Church at large. In a day and age when there is a decline in the young feeling "connected" to the Church, these young men give us all hope for the future. We need to do much more of this as a Church."

All four of the boys are confident that some 7th graders will follow in their footsteps to play integral roles during school liturgies next year, noting they would be happy to provide training and support to their younger classmates.

As Joe, Ian, Luke and Nathan head off to high school, the school and parish express heartfelt thanks for helping make our liturgies a most powerful prayer experience. Well done. You set a fine example for all.

 


If you are looking for ways to be more involved at Mass: 

 

Contact Us

Daniel O'Connor
Associate Director of Liturgy and Music
(414) 425-2174
Email: liturgy@stmaryhc.org