Children's Weekday Masses
Children’s Weekday Masses are celebrated at Saint Dennis Church on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. (The parish weekday Mass remains at 7:30 a.m., even when there is a later morning Mass for children.) Here are some of the details for the weekday Masses with children at our church.
For the first few weeks, there are special teaching Masses, in which the pastor trains the children about our parish weekday liturgies. At these introductory Masses, the pastor does all the readings and the petitions. He also serves himself at the credence table and the altar as well.
Pamphlets are given to the children with the Mass responses that they need to memorize. Music sheets are distributed to them each week for Mass as well. Music will be used for several weeks in a row to promote congregational singing and to learn the hymns well.
The priest will set up the church for these Masses, and will select the readings, the petitions, and the music. Trained adults will assist the priest with the readings, until the children are ready to fulfill this role. Eventually, other liturgical roles may be shared with the children.
The purpose of the weekday Mass for children is to prepare them to participate fully at Sunday Mass with their families. If the school schedule permits, children who are accompanied by at least one parent may attend the 7:30 a.m. parish Mass before they go to school each day.
With only the younger students in attendance, the focus will be on learning the Mass responses and singing the hymns. Other liturgical roles will be introduced to the children when they are trained and ready. Here are some other protocols for the weekday children’s Masses at Saint Dennis Church.
Those children who regularly serve Mass on weekends at Saint Dennis Church may be Altar Servers on weekdays. When only the younger children are present, the priest will serve himself. Eventually, weekday offertory processions will come up to the credence table with the bread, wine, and water.
The priest will distribute Communion in the main aisle, with two lines coming forward in that aisle. A Communion Server may be needed to bring Communion to those people in the congregation who have mobility issues, and to assist the priest in the main aisle, if needed.
Those who have not made their First Communion may come up in the Communion line with their right hand placed over their heart, to receive a blessing from the priest instead of Communion. Those students who are not Catholic, are invited to do the same.
A parish musician will accompany and lead the hymns. The congregation in the pews is the choir. The parish musician will also ring the consecration bells during the Eucharistic Prayer. All the Mass responses will be recited at Saint Dennis Church, at least at first.
Eventually the Mass parts will be sung at these weekday Masses with children, but first they need to learn the words well first. The Mass parts, referred to here, include the Holy Holy Holy, the Mystery of Faith, the Great Amen, and the Lamb of God. Later, the music for the Lord’s Prayer may be sung as well.
Even when all the students are in attendance for this Mass, these are still the protocols for the weekday Masses with children that are celebrated at Saint Dennis Church. The Saint Dennis parish musician will likewise lead the music for these larger Masses at our church as well.
Information about other Sacraments with Children
Confessions for children are heard on the Saturdays of Advent and Lent at 12:00 noon in church. Please click here for the Confession pamphlet. Children’s confessions are heard in the sanctuary of the church, not in the confessional. Please click here for a pamphlet with all the Mass Prayers. Finally, remember that the goal of these weekday Masses is to prepare the children to participate fully at the Sunday Masses they attend with their families each week, and to adopt a wholesome Catholic Christian Lifestyle as devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Weekday Mass is not a substitute for Sunday Mass!
First Communion is a parish celebration. Children who are parishioners of Saint Dennis Church make their First Communions with all the other children of our parish community. There are parent-student meetings in the fall and the spring for those making their First Confession and Communion at Saint Dennis Church. For more information, please click here. Please note that the school religion classes serve as the required student lessons for First Communion instead of the DRE lessons. However, the school students have the option of taking the DRE lessons in addition to their regular religion classes.
Confirmation is also a parish celebration. Students who are parishioners of Saint Dennis Church make their Confirmation with all the other children of our parish community. There are parent-student meetings in the fall and the spring, as well as a student retreat, for those making their Confirmation at Saint Dennis Church. For more information, please click here. Please note that the school religion classes serve as the required student lessons for Confirmation instead of the DRE lessons. However, the school students have the option of taking the DRE lessons in addition to their regular religion classes.
Special Masses may be celebrated on a weekday with the school students to honor those who have received their First Communion and made their Confirmation. In May, the pastor will lead a May Crowning service after one of these weekday Masses with children. During Lent, individual classes may schedule times to come into church to pray the Stations of the Cross with their teacher. Parents are invited to pray in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel before and/or after Mass. Also, please make use of the Special Intentions book outside the door to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel as well.