Dear Editor: It is important at St. Mary’s Church, Long Island City, that “Word and Sacrament” be embraced at all levels and by all age groups, and through every media.
With the background of electric trains, and the sparkle of multi-colored lights flooding the manger scene, the students of the religious education program shared their gifts of music, acting and singing to Baby Jesus at the 5 p.m. Christmas Family Mass.
They sang in different languages: “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” and then “Felice Natividad.” This was followed by “I believe in Christmas” and other carols. One eight- year-old child lead the students in two pieces: “Away in the Manger” and “Joy to the World.”
But you see. There is more to it. More than just the Family Mass. At the 9:30 Mass on Christmas morning, two students from the First Holy Communion preparation class exchanged the “Blessing Cup.” This is a custom we have been carrying on during the entire academic year. One student takes a chalice home each week, offers family prayers and then returns the chalice and presents it to another student.
Well. There were visiting adults present at this exchange of the chalice who were in genuine awe of this little ceremony.
And this is part of everything that Saint Mary’s is and does. Openness. Flexibility. Being available to all people.
MSGR. JOSEPH MULQUEEN
Long Island City
Editor’s Note: A photo of the students who performed can be found in this week’s Tablet TALK.