The Armchair Liturgist: Catholic Schools Week

Greetings, all. Sorry for the weekend in exile; I do have a busy parish, you know. This past weekend, we had a quinceanero on top of our usual five parish Masses. And my wife and I celebrated twelve years of marital bliss.

In the background was Catholic Schools Week, which locally means parish school and high school involvement for liturgical duties running from singing in the choir to being a lector to passing out bulletins with mom or dad after Mass.

Sit in the armchair and match wits with a tired, real-life liturgist. How would you handle Catholic Schools Week at Sunday Mass:

a. Mention students or the school in a petition, otherwise CSW doesn’t belong at Sunday Mass.

b. Have the kids do the heavy lifting: serve the donuts, pour the coffee, hand out the bulletins. Keep them out of the Mass.

c.  The more liturgical jobs, the better!

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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7 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Catholic Schools Week

  1. Mike E. says:

    I would say: Mention them in the General Intentions, have the kids do the “heavy lifting” with their parents and give them as many of the liturgical roles as possible.
    As great of an asset as Catholic schools are, it amazes me that this week isn’t a bigger deal in parishes with schools. Catholic schools give the familes involved with them a deeper connection to the faith community, and this needs to be celebrated with vigor.

  2. Liam says:

    Happy anniversary, Todd!

    Well, I think the answer regarding ministerial or service roles for children is the same as adults: batch processing is more about us than them (because it allows us to check them off our lists, as it were), so if we want it to be about them individual evaluations about what each child is most suited to/for (donuts, coffee, greeting, singing, reading, altar service, cleanup (I strongly suggest that if there are children holding leadership office that they be first considered for cleanup)) is what would be called for if one is serious about this and has the time. How to include the infirm, shy and the spotlight-averse in a way that is empowering for them but also honors the ministry/service we are trying to match them to? Et cet.

    Which means it cannot happen the week before CSW….

    But hey, what do I know? I am one of those single middle-aged folks for whom the question is personally remote. I am just thinking from the remembrance of being a kid in public schools all my childhood and we were non-persons during CSW….

  3. Anne says:

    Our pastor wrote a nice letter for the bulletin about the parish school and CSW. Nothing was mentioned at the mass I attended. I did hear that there were activities planned at the school.

  4. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Modified (a). Mention it at the end of mass along with the other announcements. If it can’t wait that long, after the homily.

    Keep the untrained away from the liturgical roles. It looks like amateur hour every time it is done. We wouldn’t dream of bringing a bunch of kids together on 3 days notice (yes we know CSW months in advance, but this is never planned in advance) to offer a concert, why would we do it for a mass? Of course for many parishes there is only one requirement for lector: the ability to read aloud.

  5. Ruth says:

    Just remember that not all kids in the parish attend a Catholic school. If you aren’t going to celebrate the other kids and give them a chance to be special, then don’t do it for the school kids. Frankly, I don’t think Catholic Schools week belongs at the PARISH mass. Celebrate it at a school mass during the week.

  6. Liam says:

    Btw, off topic except for the issue of liturgical observances:

    Remember that the propers for Masses this coming Saturday evening are for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, not the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, since the former outranks the latter in the table of precedence in the general calendar.

  7. Matthew says:

    We had our Children’s Choir and Children’s Handbell Choir (90% of our vocal choir and 100% of our bell choir come from the school) lead the music.

    Two grade 8 children from the school proclaimed the readings before the Gospel, and to be honest, did a better job than the average lector at our Parish. In fact, the girl who read the first reading was outstanding.

    The teachers from the school brought up the Offertory gifts.

    It was mentioned as part of the homily (how having an active and alive school is in fact a way of evangelization and reaching out to teach the Catholic faith – Gospel).

    Our closing hymn was based on the “Light” theme of Catholic Schools Day (at least in our Diocese… maybe country wide?): I Want to Walk as a Child in the Light.

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