The Family Mass is celebrated every Sunday during the academic year at 10 am, and it has been happening since the beginning of Lent 2003. Unfortunately, because of the covid-19 pandemic we had to stop until our churches can open again for full choirs and celebrations.
The purpose of the Family Mass is to create an environment where families can come together to celebrate God’s love for us. We aim to create an atmosphere of togetherness where children can understand and participate in the liturgy. We do this through songs, prayers and small plays adapted for children. We provide small children with colouring pages containing an easy version of the gospel of the day, and we project a PowerPoint presentation with our songs and prayers during the mass, so everybody in the church can join us. We hope that the Mass will help the family set firm foundations so that the children of our parish will value and personalise their faith in years to come.
During the year, we host the monthly masses of the ‘Do This In Memory’ program, for preparation of children for their First Holy Communion.
A group of volunteer children do the readings and take part in the liturgy, under the direction of a small group of adults. The choir practises every second Saturday, from 12:00pm – 1:00pm. Children (and parents!) are always welcome to join at any time of the year, by singing and/or playing instruments.
The Family Mass began in 2003 when Sr. Mariana, a Missionary of the Holy Spirit, arrived in our parish. She expressed an interest in becoming actively involved in the community. Our Parish Priest at the time, Msgr Alex Stenson, identified the need for a Family Mass and she took on the responsibility of organising it. Our first Mass took place on the first Sunday of Lent of 2003. The masses have continued and been supported by subsequent parish priests Fr Liam Rigney and Fr Frank McEvoy and their helping priests.
Many wonderful people have joined our team over the years, some for long spells, others for short times while visiting Maynooth from other countries pursuing work or studies here. It has helped create real family-like bonds between many people that over the years have helped as volunteers in the liturgy and the choir.
We always have an outing for the children volunteers at the end of the academic year, usually an exciting day that they always look forward to after the year’s hard work!
Hundreds of children, many of them now adults themselves, have participated in the liturgy and joined the choir over the years and have grown in confidence and, hopefully, in their faith journey by their involvement in the Family Mass. Two of our present choir leaders were members of the choir as children and have come back to help running it.
The Liturgy Team: Preparation includes ensuring that a theme follows through the Mass and finding the children/adults to actively participate in the Mass. We rely upon the help of a group of dynamic volunteers of all ages, to participate in Reading and Offertory.
We communicate through a Whatsapp group for parents of children who volunteer to do the readings and prayers, participate in an entrance procession, bring the gifts at the Offertory, take part in occasional gospel dramatization and any other liturgical participation.
The Choir: We have a core team of adult musicians who organise the weekly songs and fortnightly choir practice. Our singers are all in primary and secondary school. We also have the help of some committed parents. We rely upon volunteers of all ages and the congregation to join in the singing.
The choir has a practice every second week in the Parish Pastoral Centre. New members are always welcome.
We would appreciate any help that you can give – everyone has their own talents and all we ask is that they be shared to further enhance our Mass. People are free to give in whatever way they feel fit. You will not be expected to do something outside your comfort zone.
We welcome any suggestions and observations you may have. We can be contacted through the Parish office at 6293018, or feel free to speak to any of the team after the 10.00 a.m. Mass on Sundays once we are back after restrictions are lifted. Dublin Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Policies and Procedures are followed.
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