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Lyndhurst Church Announces Service Details For Children With Special Needs

Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst will host a planning meeting for its first inclusive family mass in December.
Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst will host a planning meeting for its first inclusive family mass in December. Photo Credit: mapio.net

LYNDHURST, N.J. — Sacred Heart Church in Lyndhurst has announced the details for its first-ever inclusive family mass.

The all-inclusive family mass will be held on Sunday, December 18 at 3:30 p.m. Families should arrive early for family photos and to personalize a family token.

The mass will accommodate all those in attendance, and especially seek to include families living with developmental, intellectual and/or other disabilities. Father Jim Starasinich will preside over the service.

An adapted Mass book will be provided. This also incorporates the "token" which are Advent wreaths made from construction paper and decorated by Girl Scout Troop 4478. Each family will select one as they come in and write their name on the back. During the Offertory, Father Jim will invite the families to bring their wreaths forward and attach it to the altar banner. The families will be able to bring their wreaths home after.

There will be Mass books with the readings and music that uses symbols and pictures as illustrations and communication, including when to sit, stand and kneel. Members of the Sacred Heart School student council will be the greeters and the music will be led by Mr. Dalzell and Ms. Rooney from the school. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the school cafeteria.

The service will be geared toward children with special needs but all are welcome, Anne Masters of the Archdiocese of Newark said.

"Parents should take comfort in knowing that you can relax and know that everybody in that church understands exactly what you're going through and you are accepted," said Deborah Wertalik, event assistant.

For more information on the Archdiocese’ Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, go to www.rcan.org/disabilities.

Sacred Heart Church is located at 324 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst.

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