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