I was wondering if anyone could share their experience with starting Life Teen and how essential it is to have a weekly teen Mass. It seems like the parishes with the most teens attending all have a vibrant teen Mass - Thoughts?
Thanks for these @"", I'll make sure everyone follows the rules!
Teen Masses are a huge part of having a successful Life Teen program! You may have the most dynamic youth group in the world, but once they leave for college or move or just graduate the program...if they're not rooted in the Eucharist, then their faith will most likely collapse when not in the LT setting.
Teens need to know they're being valued...and dedicating a Mass to them helps them see that the Church (and Jesus by extension) value them specifically. If your parish can't pull off a Teen Mass, try to build out of another Mass and encourage attendance (make it the de facto Teen Mass)!
At my parish it was our youth mass was the anchor for youth to encounter Christ and follow Him. It was the most important aspect of youth ministry for me outside relational ministry. It was also the best way for me to have a solid and personal relationship with my pastor and priests. This increased advocacy from priests to the receptionist.
Having a Mass where teens can participate in the liturgy as lectors, musicians, greeters, ushers and Eucharistic Ministers (once they are Confirmed) makes a bigger difference than having a Mass that simply has more contemporary worship. That is a great aspect, but helping teens to see their role in the Body of Christ and contributing to the liturgy bears so much fruit in my experience!
I agree on having a Mass for teens. However, it isn't make or break. The strongest programs I've seen have a teen Mass flow directly into Life Night. I've also had success without...in parishes where families actively attend every Sunday and the teens are serving in liturgical roles at various Masses. But, if I could choose, I think the teen Mass is a bigger investment in the youth of the parish and it rubs off culturally beyond the lines of another parish ministry. So, go for it it you can!
I love our Life Teen Mass. (I guess I'm partial because I'm the music minister for our LT program.) I embrace the opportunity it provides our teens to be involved in all aspects of the Liturgy, including music. There are not many opportunities our youth have (outside of being an altar server) and so the LT Mass allows them to share their time and talents with the community as musicians, lectors, greeters, Eucharistic Ministers (confirmed teens), etc.