24 Grade 6 Students Commissioned as Liturgical Ministers
Twenty-four grade 6 students stepped to the altar — grouped by their ministry and supported by their grade 5 prayer partners — to have their hands anointed by Father Bob Stagg and begin their terms serving in various ministerial capacities throughout the year. As liturgical ministers, they will be shining examples for their Lower School counterparts that Oak Knoll students live by faith, learn by doing, and lead by example.
As we reported several weeks ago in this story, the students had the opportunity to select from a list of potential ministries what their top choices would be to match gifts or talents they felt they could bring to the community during prayer services, Mass, and other congregational events.
Once officially invited to service, they attended a morning of workshops to learn about their ministry and begin preparations for their commissioning. Their options this year were altar servers, decorations ministry, hospitality ministry, lector ministry, liturgical dance ministry, and music ministry.
The students displayed all of these ministries in the Feast of All Saints Day Liturgical Ministries Commissioning Mass on November 1, 2023. The predominantly student-led Mass included readings, prayers, hymns, choral performances, a liturgical dance, a celebration of the Eucharist, and a Gospel Reflection by Fr. Stagg.
Katherine A. ’30, a member of the lector ministry, shared her public speaking talents by welcoming the congregation and offering some opening remarks.
“We are blessed to be here today to celebrate this important occasion together as a community,” she said. “Saints are people who said yes to God’s plan for them and are now in heaven. And today, our 6th graders will say yes to God’s call for them to serve Him through their ministry.”
In his remarks after anointing the students’ hands, Fr. Stagg — who presides at the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River — explained, “The reason we anoint people is to prepare them to serve others. The symbolism shouldn’t be lost that we’re all commissioned to serve and to make sure people hear the word of God, whether it’s reading well, singing well, dancing well, hospitality, or providing any other experience for people. We bless our new ministers so they may continue to serve you and grow themselves through their service.”
The tradition of liturgical ministry dates back more than four decades at Oak Knoll and is a significant milestone in the grade 6 year. Congratulations to our new Grade 6 Liturgical Ministers.