The Family Mass
The family mass is now in its 5th year of existence at St Joseph and St Benildus Church. It was originally set by a group of parents who felt there was a need create greater participation for young children in the mass. Family mass is celebrated every Sunday from September to June at 10.00am.
The Children’s Liturgy is also celebrated in St Mary’s Church Ballygunner, every first and third Sunday.The children are divided by age into two groups and are accompanied by volunteer parents in their respective activities.
The children aged 7 years and under leave the main mass just before the readings and move to a smaller room in the church where a child friendly version of the gospel is communicated through stories, pictures and symbols. The children are encouraged to ask and answer questions relating to the weeks liturgy.
The children return to the main mass just before the Eucharistic prayers. Meanwhile, in the main mass the older children participate in the family mass as readers of the liturgy, bidding prayers and reflections. During the special seasons of Advent and Lent the children explore the appropriate themes to link them with the Sunday gospels.
Throughout the year we have a lovely Christmas choir of singers and musicians led by volunteer parents to help us celebrate the mass. At Christmastime the children participate in our annual Carol Service, over the last four years we have raised much needed funds for local charities. Twice a year we invite all the parishioners after the family mass to tea and goodies in the parish hall adjacent to the church. This has proved to be a popular event for all ages and serves as a wonderful opportunity to meet new parishioners for a welcome chat!
It is important to point out that all our volunteers are Garda vetted prior to appointment and each volunteer is expected to be knowledgeable and conform to our standards set by our Safeguarding Children Policy.