House of Brigid 2009-10

House of Brigid 2009-10

18 November 2009

"Last Friday" masses with Kennedy Park

One of the most rewarding parts of our work here in Wexford so far has been our involvement in the two primary schools of Clonard Parish. At Kennedy Park school we’ve begun a program of “Last Friday” masses with individual classes. The three of us go into Kennedy Park once a week to meet with this month’s class to prepare them for a mass on the morning of the last Friday of every month. This allows us to pick a theme related to the month and help the class plan every aspect of the mass according to that theme.

October is the month of the Rosary, so with the first of the two fifth classes we planned and prepared a Marian themed mass. We worked with them to compose Prayers of the Faithful that were all related to qualities we find in our Holy Mother. For example: “Mary went to take care of her elderly cousin Elizabeth before John the Baptist was born. She took care of everyone in need around her. We ask that Mary will watch over our friends and family who are sick, and that we may be like her and help to care for them.” The class also presented gifts to the altar that represented things they wanted to thank God for in their lives. This included everything from an Irish jersey to schoolbooks to the Bread and Wine.

Each student had a special job during the mass either as a reader, a gift bearer, or a cantor. It was so wonderful to see Irish ten-year olds so excited about the mass! Giving them responsibilities really seemed to help them find ownership of the mass and of the entire congregation’s experience of the mass. Some of them were “a little nervous” but they all beautifully and reverently read the readings from the Book of Judith and the Psalms and sang their hearts out on some of the great Marian hymnody we’ve found in Ireland like “As I Kneel Before You.” The regular daily-mass goers also seemed to enjoy a little change of pace and some young life in the church and at mass.

In November we’re working with the other fifth class on a mass in honor of the saints, and we’re looking forward to many great “Last Friday” masses to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment