Parents wishing to have their child(ren) baptized are asked to call the Rector at 617-523-2377 to make an appointment. We also encourage prospective parents who attend the Advent to advise clergy of the impending birth of their child and their desire for Baptism. This allows dialogue to begin between parents and clergy and focuses the attention of all on the child receiving his or her first sacrament. Instruction for parents and godparents is usually given the Saturday prior to the baptism.
Baptisms are normally conducted at the 9 or the 11:15 am Mass with family, sponsors and parish family in attendance. Four particular days are especially appropriate for Baptism: Easter Eve, All Saints' Sunday, Pentecost Sunday and the First Sunday after Epiphany. Other times are possible if there are pastoral considerations.
The Family Mass
The 9:00 o'clock Mass, a sung Mass with hymns, is considered the Family Mass. Using Rite II, it is less formal, more participatory and tends to be of shorter duration. To help children learn the liturgy, there is available from an usher for your use a booklet, "A Child's Guide to the 9:00 o'clock Mass," with the proper responses. We ask that you please return the booklet at the end of the Mass.
Children in the fourth grade and above are expected to attend Mass; it is one part of their religious education. However, if your younger child is able to behave in a fashion leaving you and others able to partake of prayer and worship, they are certainly welcome to attend Mass. Young people age 10 years or older displaying interest and maturity are encouraged to become involved as acolytes by serving on the altar during the 9:00 o'clock Mass. The first step is to become a torch bearer, then acolyte, crucifer, thurifer and so on. By the time our students are seniors in high school some will serve as subdeacons. Service in the church is another dimension of a child's religious education and becomes a part of their preparation for receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. Interested children and their parents are encouraged to speak with Peter Madsen. You may speak with him following the service or reach him through the church office.
Acolyting at the Family Mass
Participation in the liturgy of the Mass is a rich and meaningful component of religious education. As such, we encourage all children to become involved as acolytes. By their service at the altar, our acolytes demonstrate a purposeful commitment to be formed by the life of worship. The term acolyte refers to "one who follows." During the Mass, an acolyte is one who originally followed the bishop or priest in procession and assisted with the liturgy. During the 9:00 Mass, we are delighted to have children serve at the high altar in positions including torch bearer, crucifer, and thurifer. Families who are interested are invited to contact Peter Madsen. After an initial appointment with Mr. Madsen, the child will receive individual training for serving at the high altar. The commitment to be an acolyte requires the child to arrive at the church by 8:30 and to be vested by 8:40 on mornings when (s)he is scheduled to serve. There may also be one or two training workshops a year that last for 1 or 2 hours each. These are offered on either Saturday or Sunday to allow everyone including parents to attend.
First Holy Communion
The receiving of Holy Communion for the first time is a very special event. Here at the Advent, our Rector, Fr. Warren, handles this on an individual basis, emphasizing the importance and solemnity of this Sacrament.
While some parishioners prefer to honor the tradition of waiting until the time of Confirmation for receiving Holy Communion, Fr. Warren encourages children who have demonstrated an understanding of the celebration of Eucharist and who have shown interest in receiving the sacrament to pursue instruction.
Please call the church office to set up an appointment with Fr. Warren for consultation and instruction.
At the current time, Young People's Confirmation Classes take place every other year.
Classes and assignments as well as retreats are in addition to Sunday School classes. Since these classes occur throughout the year starting in the Fall, please speak with clergy immediately if you are interested in being confirmed or call the church office and make your wishes known.
Young people of high school age or older seeking Confirmation may make special arrangements with the clergy.