The Weekly Celebration of the Eucharist at Saint Mary’s Abbey

Peter Butler, Staff Writer

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”-Mahatma Gandhi.

Delbarton prides itself on the vast number of service opportunities in programs for students and their families to get involved in throughout the year.  However, one important way students can serve their school and their brothers which is often overlooked due in part to a lack of notice for service opportunities. Nonetheless, Saint Mary’s Abbey is always looking for lectors, cantors, and servers to help celebrate weekly mass. The masses take place on Sunday mornings when most Delbarton students (who are Catholic) go to church anyway. Getting involved in the mass at Delbarton has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my Delbarton career. I have been cantoring for mass intermittently since my sophomore year and I believe that one of the main reason many students find it hard to do service is because they do not find passion in the service that they are doing. By contrast, the reason that some of my brothers and I keep coming back week after week is because not only do we feel like we are fulfilling our responsibility to the entire student body to participate in service, but we find passion and fulfillment in serving the congregation, the monks, the abbey, and most importantly, serving the Lord.

At the Abbey, there are many positions that need to be filled every week. The organist, Mr. Hatcher, is always looking for cantors and or a choir for Masses. He is available during the week to teach that week’s music during an M-Block, and for a full sing through at ten o’clock in the morning in preparation for the Mass. For any student looking to increase their vocal or instrumental performance experience, cantoring or playing at mass is an excellent opportunity to read, learn and perform an often underappreciated style of music, liturgical hymns. If singing or playing is not a student’s strength, one can also be a lector. Service does not get any easier than reading a passage fluently, clearly, and slowly in front of the congregation. Although, if any performance at all is overwhelming for a student, the Abbey Altar Association (A.A.A.) is a group of boys that works with Fr. Edward to serve mass every week. The network communicates through Schoology, where students can state their interest and availability. No experience is necessary; A.A.A. can provide training for new servers.

These three groups always need volunteers, because many people have commitments that coincide with Sunday morning mass. Saint Mary’s Abbey needs student help especially around important celebrations (Advent, Christmas, Holy Week) with extra music to learn and more jobs for those on the altar. It is my hope that Saint Mary’s Abbey continues the tradition of using volunteer students in important roles for the celebration of the mass. For students looking for meaningful service while growing closer to God, I highly recommend getting involved.

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