Welcome to the 10:30 a.m. Sunday mass in the Blessed Sacrament School Gym. Whether you are a single person or a family with many children, you are invited to join our active community, which celebrates mass together weekly from late August until the end of June. We cultivate an atmosphere that is reverent yet dynamic, with activities to involve all ages in the mass and in putting our faith to work through service. We have a committee that organizes all of our activities and an army of volunteers who carry them out. The best way to meet people is to volunteer, so we urge you to get involved.
ACTIVITIES DURING MASS:
- Host families and monthly coordinators: Each week, a volunteer host family performs several functions at mass. Arriving a few minutes before mass, they hand out hymnals and greet people as they arrive. The family processes in with the priest. They help take up the collection and bring up the gifts before the consecration. After mass, they bag up the weekly food collection. This is a great way to get your family involved in mass, with a small investment of time. The Monthly Coordinator lines up host families (drawing on a list of volunteers collected early in the year), gives them their instructions, and helps out as necessary during mass.
- Children's liturgy: Every Sunday, except the second Sunday of each month, children ages 2-6 are invited to leave the gym during mass and go to the auditorium for a special liturgy of the word and homily activity appropriate to their age groups. They return to the gym after the creed. Volunteers organize and conduct the children's liturgy, using materials provided by the parish youth ministry. In addition to the separate liturgy, many priests invite children to come up to the altar during the homily and/or the consecration.
- Music ministry: Singers and instrumentalists offer a mix of contemporary, traditional, and gospel music, which is a unique and popular part of the gym mass. New talent is always welcome. The choir practices on Thursday evenings and for an hour before mass on Sunday.
- Environment ministry: The gym mass has its own store of banners, liturgical objects, and seasonal decorations that-with the frequent addition of fresh flowers and plants-transform the gym into a church. Volunteers are needed year round, but especially at Christmas and Easter.
- Palm Sunday Passion Play: Children third grade and older are invited to play roles in our annual mute passion play, which is acted out during the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday.
- Weekly food collection: Every week at mass, each family is invited to bring an item of nonperishable (and unbreakable) food such as canned or boxed goods, which are brought up to the altar during the offertory. After mass, the food is bagged up and delivered to various local charities and soup kitchens.
- Christmas Giving Tree: Perhaps the gym mass community's most beloved tradition, this project involves delivering personal gifts to hundreds of needy children and adults in the DC area. Coordinators work with local charities to collect names, ages, and gift preferences, and then post them on a tree. Parish members from the gym mass and all other masses pick a name, and then bring back the wrapped gift. Volunteers deliver the gifts to the charities just before Christmas. Children love participating in this festive and meaningful project.
- Hospitality Sundays: Once a month, we gather in the school auditorium for coffee, doughnuts, and bagels after mass. Kids love to help out with set up (and to reserve their favorite flavor of doughnut in advance).
- Outdoor mass and picnic: In mid June we have a final big bash, with an outdoor mass, picnic, games, and amusements. We need lots of volunteers to carry off all the fun.