By the Students, For the Students: Teens participate in leading each all-school Mass


Delaney Johnson

Fulfilling her role as a Eucharistic minister, senior Shea McGraw hands communion to freshman Lauren Lopez at the Archbishop Mass on Sept. 1. In addition to giving Communion, McGraw also sang in the liturgy choir.

Ava Belchez, Copy Editor

As all-school Mass begins, hundreds of students file into the gym to take their seats. They join the large number of students already in the gym or prepping to help lead Mass. Whether it’s singing in the liturgy choir, reading the scriptures or being an altar server, students have an essential role in all-school Mass.
The liturgy choir, which is open to all students, leads songs and psalms from the front of the gym with student cantors.
Senior Shea McGraw has cantered numerous times and said to her, music is a key aspect of her religion.
“Once I listen to the song all the way through, I want to listen to [it] over and over again,” McGraw said. “Then I start to memorize the lyrics and then I listen to the message that’s being said in the song.”
Singing in the liturgy choir allows students to better focus and think about what is coming next in Mass, according to McGraw.
Freshman Michaela Wilcox, who has been an altar server at all-school Mass, agrees that being involved in the Mass keeps her attentive.
“I did it because I wanted a way to make it easier to pay attention in Mass,” Wilcox said. “When I was just sitting there, I couldn’t pay attention. Then, when I had to do something, I had to pay attention.”
Wilcox has been attending Mass as an altar server since grade school and followed her alumni brother by becoming an altar server.
“I feel like I actually am part of [Mass], not just watching,” Wilcox said.
Senior William Vani manages all aspects of sound at Mass, including turning microphones on and off and changing the volume. Vani said he has to pay attention in order to know when to mute certain sources.
“I enjoy making sure that everything runs well and that the sound is satisfying for everyone at Mass,” Vani said. “I also enjoy working with all the people who are also a part of the Mass because they are all super kind and helpful.”
Not only is a student-led Mass beneficial to the students leading it, but to the student body as a whole, according to McGraw. She said Mass at school feels less like something she is forced to go to.
“Your choir and your cantors are students, your Eucharistic ministers are students, the people leading into the Mass are students,” McGraw said. “It makes it a lot more meaningful.”
The efforts of the students leading Mass are beneficial to everyone in the community, not just those leading it, according to Vani.
“I think a benefit that comes because the Mass is student-led is students pay more attention and care for what is happening more because they appreciate their peers’ work towards the Mass,” Vani said.
As a Eucharistic minister, senior Francesca Dessert said she enjoys working with her peers to make Mass feel special.
“It’s really fun to work with the priest and be up at the altar,” Dessert said. “It makes me feel better about Mass and look forward to it.”
Involving students directly with all-school Mass is an aspect of the school that increases the feeling of community, especially for students, according to Dessert.
“I think it really helps students get involved with the church and get back into their faith,” Dessert said. “It’s a good way for students to feel they belong to a community.”