One Body, Many Parts, One Community

Each year in the Lower School, the Liturgical Ministry Mass offers 6th graders the opportunity to shine as Lower School leaders and celebrates the Oak Knoll commitment to service and community. This year, the Liturgical Ministry theme is “One Body. Many Parts,” based on St. Paul’s teaching that we are all connected as humans and part of the body of Christ. Just as the hands depend on the eyes to reach out and touch, and the eyes depend on the feet to seek out and explore, so too do we all need each other in order to thrive as humans.

The Liturgical Ministry Mass, which took place on Tuesday, October 18, served as the launching point for current six graders to select a Ministry Team that they would like to participate in for the school year. Their options were Altar Servers, Decorators, Hospitality Team members, Lectors, Liturgical Dancers, Dramatists, or Musicians. Based on their choice, they will use their special talents to serve the community in various capacities throughout the year.

The Mass itself is student-led, and the central element is Rev. Bob Stagg from the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River anointing students to serve the community in their new ministry roles. To prepare for the midday Mass, students spent the morning participating in Ministry Workshops. The decorators prepared an Altar Cloth with artwork befitting the “One Body, Many Parts” theme. The cloth will adorn the altar for the rest of the year. The Liturgical Dance team prepared a meditative movement to music. The dramatists rehearsed a play highlighting the “One Body, Many Parts” theme. The Music Ministry rehearsed several songs. The Lectors rehearsed their scripture readings. The Altar servers learned about processing to the Altar and preparing it for service. The hospitality team prepared gifts for all the Ministry Team mentors. Throughout the year, they will serve as greeters and ushers during services.

The workshops leading up to the Liturgical Ministry Mass, and the Mass itself, are a fine example of the Oak Knoll commitment to Faith, Wisdom, and Service—the three words that adorn the Oak Knoll Crest. Throughout their Oak Knoll career, students acquire knowledge in a faith-based environment where service to others is the highest of values. Through faith and service, knowledge can blossom into wisdom.