Saint Henry Catholic School, Nashville, Tennessee


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Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction

Every First Friday, the whole school takes part in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel.  Through adoration, we express our devotion to Jesus as present in the consecrated Host.  The consecration of the host, through the miracle of transubstantiation, changes the substance of the host into the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus, wherever a consecrated host is, Jesus is there also.  During adoration, our students meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus and the miracle of the Eucharist.  The tradition of Eucharistic adoration is an ancient one in the Church, and Saint Henry’s modern practice of it connects our students to the long-reaching history of the Church. 

At the End of the day on First Fridays, we head to the church to participate in the service of Benediction.  Benediction, meaning “the saying of blessings” in Latin, was first recorded as taking place in Hildesheim, Germany (the death place of our Patron, Saint Henry) in 1301, and remains little changed even today.  In the service of Benediction, the Host itself is elevated and used to bless the people.  Here at Saint Henry, the monstrance, a special receptacle containing the Host, is moved from the small chapel back to its place in the tabernacle on the high altar by either a priest or deacon.  This movement is usually accompanied by special prayers, incense, and hymns.  The student body gathers to witness this transportation, and through prayer and song, is united in devotion and blessing. 

Why First Fridays? 

The tradition of First Friday Adoration can be traced to the visions of Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque.  These visions established the practice of First Friday venerations in honor of the Sacred Heart, a practice that over time has become traditional for many parishes.  Furthermore, it is fitting for us as Catholics to venerate the Body and Blood of Christ on the same day that Jesus gave his body for us. 


Stations of the Cross

On Friday afternoons during Lent, our students head over to the church to follow Jesus’s journey to Golgotha through the Stations of the Cross.   Through prayers and readings, the students meditate on the sufferings of our Lord and prepare their hearts for his joyous resurrection at Eastertide.  This corporate act of worship focuses and strengthens our student body while asking them to think about how the lessons learned from the Stations of the Cross can be applied to their daily lives.


The Living Rosary

Saint Henry’s Living Rosary is a unique way that our school brings the rosary to life.  Each class is assigned a part of the rosary and act as leaders for the rest of the school, with children as the beads.  Eighth grade students are assigned meditations on the mysteries to read aloud to the school.  The student body then prays the rosary together in unison.  The living rosary is an act of corporate prayer unique to Saint Henry School. 


May Crowning

May Crowning is a Mass dedicated to Mary that marks the culmination of the spiritual life of Saint Henry, and is a particularly special occasion for the eighth and second grades.  An eighth grade girl is elected to be the May Crowner, and an eighth grade boy is elected to be her attendant.  Two second graders are chosen to be the crown bearers, and all the second graders wear their First Communion outfits.  They process in and crown Mary at the end of the Mass, to mark the school’s special veneration of Mary during her month.  The May Crowning Mass is often the first all-school Mass that occurs immediately after First Communion, and as such is the first Eucharist the second graders get to receive as with their Saint Henry School community.  After Mass, the eighth grade leads the school in a decade of the rosary, and then goes to breakfast as a class.






               Our Faith Rally takes place over two days during Catholic Schools Week.  The entire school takes part in the Faith Rally, from kindergarten through eighth grade.  The student body is broken up into small groups of about 10-15 children, each with a faculty advisor and two eighth grade student leaders.  Over the course of two days, the students study and share their faith, learn about that year’s theme, and get to know each other across grade lines.  The second day is an entire day devoted to adoration, praise, and worship. Beginning with an all school Mass, the children take part in a day-long praise and worship experience led by a professional musician and music minister.   The day ends with a benediction service held in the church.



Saint Henry

Feastday: July 13

Patron of the childless, of Dukes, of the handicapped and those rejected by Religious Orders.

Saint Henry, also known as Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, was born  in Germany on May 6, 972.  The son of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and his wife Gisela of Burgundy, Emperor Henry II was a great-grandson of German King Henry I, and Burgundian King Conrad I. Since his father had rebelled against two previous emperors, the younger Henry was often in exile. While in exile, Henry was educated by St. Wolfgang, the Bishop of Ratisbon, who inspired in Henry a great love of and respect for the Church’s teachings. In 999, Henry married St. Cunegunda, the daughter of the Count of Luxembourg.  He and Cunegunda remained chaste for the entirety of their marriage to honor a vow they had made to God, and had no children.  Henry remained devoted to the Church, the glory of God, and monastic reform his whole life, particularly after his election as Holy Roman Emperor in 1002.  Henry was renowned both as a holy man of prayer and as a just ruler who was able to balance his royal duties and his spiritual life. 

As Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was often driven to war to protect his people and the Church, but was always just and humble even in victory.  Towards the end of his reign, Henry wanted to abdicate his crown and live the monastic life, but that was not God’s plan for him.  Instead, he honored God through the holiness of his daily life and actions, and through his actions as emperor, making numerous pious foundations, giving liberally to the poor and the church, and sponsoring the building of the Cathedral of Bamberg.  Saint Henry died in Hildesheim, Germany on July 13, 1024.

Saint Henry inspires us to balance our own spiritual and temporal responsibilities, showing us that holiness is possible even in the busiest of lives.  Through doing his job as emperor, Henry was fulfilling God’s plan; just as we are called to fulfill God’s plan through our daily life and work. 

Saint Henry is often shown holding the cathedral he built at Bamberg, a sign of his holiness and devotion to the church, and either his sceptre or an orb of dominion, symbols of his temporal power as Holy Roman Emperor.  He is always depicted as crowned, and sometimes holds a sword, a symbol of his victories and responsibilities as a military leader and defender of the church.



Morning Prayers

Our Morning Offering

O God, I adore you and love you with all my heart.  I offer you my day – all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings – in union with Your Son Jesus Christ, Who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist.

I unite my prayer with Mary, the Mother of the Church, and with the intentions of our Holy Father.  May the Holy Spirit be my guide and my strength so that I may witness to Your Love in all that I do today.  Amen.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Full of Grace. The Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Invocation to the Saints

St. Henry – Pray for us.
St. Dominic – Pray for us.


Afternoon Prayers

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am Heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.


Grace Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, for these Thy gifts which we are about to receive, through Thy bounty through Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen. 



First Communion and First Penance

In second grade, the majority of our students partake in two major Sacraments for the first time; First Penance, and First Communion.  Our students prepare for these Sacraments throughout the year as part of their Religion classes. 

Penance or Reconciliation is when the faithful receive God’s grace and mercy for their sins, and are reconciled with their community and the Church.  At Saint Henry, the second graders experience their First Penance in preparation for their First Communion.  They learn the Act of Contrition, and examine their past actions so that they can be fully prepared to receive Jesus through the Eucharist.  Saint Henry encourages the families of the second graders to receive Penance on the same day as their second graders, uniting the children and their families together through the experience of the Sacrament.  After their First Penance, Catholics are required to go to Reconciliation at least once a year. 

First Communion is a very special day for our students, and usually takes place during the month of May.  A hugely important stepping-stone in their religious life, the celebration of First Communion marks the first time the students can fully participate in the Eucharist.  The second graders practice processing, and also get to take an in-school retreat in the Fellowship Hall before their First Communion.  Traditionally, First Communion takes place on a Sunday, and the students dress in special ways, the girls in white dresses and veils, and the boys in suits.  After a year’s worth of careful preparation and learning about the meaning of the Sacrament, each child receives the Eucharist in both bread and wine, that is, both the body, and the blood.  At the end of the service, the children sing “The Table Prayer” for the Saint Henry Church community.


In eighth grade, our students undergo the preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  This Sacrament seals the students with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strengthens their bond with the Church and with Christ in a reenactment of the first Pentecost.  Taking place at some time during the spring semester, the Bishop anoints the Confirmant with chrism, and blesses them by the name of their chosen Confirmation saint.  Here at Saint Henry, our preparation for Confirmation includes a retreat at the Dominican motherhouse, completing a Confirmation Scrapbook, learning about the meaning of the Sacrament and discernment, and the completion of at least 20 hours of service.  All eighth graders must complete this preparation regardless of religious affiliation.

Who Can be Confirmed?

Anyone can be confirmed, provided they are baptized, have the use of reason, are suitably instructed and are properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises.




               Every Wednesday, our students take part in the Mass in the main church.  Weekly, the classes take turns providing lectors, singers, and gift bearers for the Mass.  All are welcome to come forward during Communion, but in accordance with the Church’s teachings, we ask that non-Catholics receive a blessing instead of the Eucharist.  This joyous celebration of Christ’s life and death unites our student body with each other, with the community, and with the great tradition of the Church.  All are welcome to attend!


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6401 Harding Pike
Nashville Tennessee 37205
Phone: 615-352-1328 / Fax: 615-356-9293
Development office: 615-353-6477
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