As you know, once a week, most often on Fridays, St. James celebrates an All School Mass. The primary purpose of this practice is to celebrate the Eucharist as a community of faith. The reason this is so important is that the Eucharist is the presence of Christ among us in every moment of our existence.

Being a faith community means that we are also a learning community –we learn our faith by interacting with one another, which also brings is closer to Christ. As your children proclaim parts of the Mass, they not only speak but they “feel” those words; the words touch their souls and transform them.

An integral part of this experience is what is called the “Mass setting”.  The Mass setting is the Mass Ordinary set into music. These are the parts of the Mass that remain the same in all Masses and consist of the Kyrie (Lord have mercy), the Gloria, the Creed (I believe in God the Father….), the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy….) and the Agnus Dei ( Lamb of God…). Other parts of the Mass which change based on the particular celebration are called the Proper of the Mass .

Before Vatican II all Masses were celebrated with the Mass setting in Latin. Now the Mass setting can be in the language of the people, resulting in many different Mass settings.

One of the goals of our school Masses is to teach the students about the Mass and the various ways and reasons it is celebrated. So at St. James School we use different Mass settings or music, depending on the season and other aspects of the liturgical celebration. The Mass setting is generally chosen by our Music Director, Mr. Consuer.

Part of the reason we are following particular Mass settings at the school Masses is so they are consistent with the Sunday Mass. Thus, your children will become increasingly familiar with the Mass as you take them to Sunday Mass.

Our new screen in the Parish Center, on which we project the various Mass parts, should help us all learn and participate in the Mass. That is the reason we have it. We no longer have to find various music or responses in theparish bulletin on Sunday or the spend time paging through song books during the school Masses. Our attention can be focused on the Mass and we can fully participate in it.

May this new tool bring you greater joy and help to deepen your relationship with God!