Leavers' Mass 2
To say goodbye to the top Year in a primary school
To celebrate their time at a primary school
To appreciate the sadness of leaving
To look forward to their next school
Hosts, wine, water, candles, chalice, ciborium,
cloths, altar frontal showing the waving hands of the children and
adults who are leaving
Large sheets of paper showing the Psalm and Bidding Prayers responses
Symbols of work, to be brought up during the Offertory Procession, see
End of the school year
This is written as a Mass for a Catholic school,
but could be adapted for other services
It could be held during the school day with the whole school present or
in the evening for the leavers and their parents, followed by
The children could make up their own Bidding Prayers, or use the ones
This Mass is
dedicated to the memory of a child who died with her family in the
Lockerbie air disaster.
She wrote the fourth Bidding Prayer a few months before her death.
Hymn Before Mass: "I Will Be With You"
(First 3 verses) by Gerald Markland (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone
PRIEST - Before Mass
Today's theme is 'Goodbye'. We'll be thinking about what it feels like
to have to leave people and places and go off to start a new life
somewhere else. We'll be thinking of what that word 'Goodbye' really
It is hard to wave goodbye. It is one of the most difficult things our
hands have to do - more difficult even than writing, or painting, or
(Refer to pictures on the altar frontal)
Yet, very soon, after waving goodbye, some of us will have the
excitement of making new friends and of learning our way around a new
With us, we will take the confidence, the pride and the sense of
achievement, which we have gained here.
We also know that God will be with us there as he is with us here.
So, with a feeling of excitement and joy, we begin our Mass.
HYMN: "Rejoice in The Lord Always" (as a
two-part round) (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 617)
PRIEST First Prayer
Lord, bless those who are leaving our school today. Look after them -
and keep them happy in your service.
Help them to make full use of all the opportunities you send them,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
CHILD - First Reading
This reading is from Saint Paul's letter to the people of Rome.
In it, he reminds us of the way we should live, as Christians.
It is good advice for anyone about to go to a new school.
"Be a real family, warm-hearted in your care for one another.
Look forward to God's new world with gladness.
In hard times, stand your ground: never forget to pray.
Share other people's happiness and other people's sadness.
Learn to respect everybody.
As far as you can, be friends with everybody."
The Word of the Lord...
CHILD - Responsorial Psalm
The Response is - Lord, we are safe in your hands.
1. We praise the Lord,
for he guides us along the right path
2. By day and by night,
he shows us what to do.
3. We shall not fall.
if he is there beside us.
4. Lord, we are happy,
for we are safe with you.
HYMN: "Alleluia (eight-fold)" (First 3
verses) (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 36)
PRIEST Gospel (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Jesus is reminding us that we shall manage better if we work with Him.
He does not expect us to do everything on our own.
He wants to help us.
"Come here to me
All you who are tired with hard work.
I will put new life into you.
Let me show you how to live.
I will go at your pace and see you through.
And I will give you the secret of a quiet mind: PULLING WITH ME IS EASY.
THE LOAD WITH MY HELP IS LIGHT."
The Gospel of the Lord ...
CHILDREN - Bidding Prayers
Sung Response - Last half of "O Lord, hear
my prayer" (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 542)
1. We give thanks for the seven years we have had here at (name)
school. We pray that we will have a good and happy time at our new
2. We thank God for looking after us in this school and pray that he
will look after us in our new schools. We pray that we will fit into
our new schools quickly and easily.
3. We pray that the children who are coming into this school next year
will settle in quickly and have a happy time.
4. We pray for all the children who haven't had a chance to go to
school, to learn about sports, music, maths, religion etc. We pray that
they may know about God, even though they can't go to school. Thank you
5. We pray that we may be more helpful in our homes and not grumble
when our plans are upset. We pray that, during the summer holidays, we
will make our parents feel glad that we are on holiday and not glad
when we go back to school.
6. We pray for (adults' names) who are also leaving our school and
beginning new stages in their lives.
7. Let us now ask Mary, who was with Jesus at every new stage in his
life, to help carry our prayers to heaven.
Children will offer their work/handiwork.
1. We bring our handiwork.
We bring books. We work hard at school.
2. We bring a recorder. We work to make others happy.
3. We bring some pottery. We work to learn new skills.
4. We bring a ball. We play to rest from work.
5. We bring our love, with the bread, the wine and the water.
OFFERTORY HYMN: "Take My Hands" (verses 1
and 3 only) by Sebastian Temple (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number
PRIEST - Second Prayer
Father, your Son, Jesus, was always ready to face any challenge.
Help those who are leaving this school to face the future with hope and
We make this prayer, as we offer these gifts, through Christ our Lord.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III for children
HYMN: "Echo Our Father" (Songs of the
Spirit number 100)
COMMUNION MUSIC: by orchestra or played
softly on piano - "Lay Your Hands gently upon Us" by Carey Landry
(Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 347)
PRIEST - Third Prayer
God our Father, we are going out from your house now, but we do not
have to say 'Goodbye' to you; you are always with us.
Help us.to remember your presence always, and to help other people to
be happy in remembering it too. We make our prayer through Jesus, your
Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever...
FINAL HYMN: "Walk in the Light" by Damian
Lundy (Hymns Old and New number 547)