Around the Altar at 9:45am Mass

Jesus said,

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”   Mk 19:14

Twenty-five years ago, our Pastor Msgr. Barry took Jesus at his word and invited all those children who were preparing for, or who had recently received, their First Holy Communion to come around the altar at this most sacred moment in the Mass. For many families, gathering at the altar has special significance.

With a desire to continue our wonderful tradition we ask that you prayerfully consider the following that we believe will enhance everyone’s experience during 9:45am Mass:

  • The Sanctuary is so named because of the sacred act that takes place in this unique space. Given the importance and sacredness of the Eucharist and the words of consecration, anything that detracts from the sacredness or distracts the congregation from this most important of all acts of faith should be avoided as much as possible. Everyone’s attention should be focused on the Bread and Cup that are raised for all to see.

  • The Sanctuary of American Martyrs is not always a safe place. There are lots of marble steps, which are fun to play on, and candles.  These two elements can be dangerous for very young children if they are not carefully monitored.

  • In order to balance the safety of our children and maintain reverence during the Eucharist prayer, we ask that you take the time to remind your children of appropriate and safe behavior while around the altar.  The altar is not a place to play. If you accompany your child into the sanctuary area, please help maintain proper and safe behavior.