Themed Masses celebrate Loyola culture

Four Advent candles stand outside of Bobet Hall. Each week a new “flame” is kindled atop the candles, indicating the time until Christmas. The fourth and final candle will be illuminated on Dec. 18. In order, the candles represent Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace, with Hope lit above.

WADNER PIERRE/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Four Advent candles stand outside of Bobet Hall. Each week a new “flame” is kindled atop the candles, indicating the time until Christmas. The fourth and final candle will be illuminated on Dec. 18. In order, the candles represent Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace, with Hope lit above.

NHI TIEU Staff Writer

Some Masses held at Loyola are tailored expressly for the school.

Masses at Loyola are not only about the religious observation delivered, but also about the university’s history, culture and Jesuit ideals. Mission and Ministry has celebrated these aspects of Loyola by delivering themed Masses over the past three years.

“A ‘themed Mass’ is a Mass that, by celebrating specifically a particular element of Loyola’s culture, brings our gratitude to Jesus in the Eucharist more explicitly to life,” said Ken Weber, associate chaplain for liturgy and music.

Often, Loyola will incorporate different religious themes into Mass. Sometimes, the theme will be intended to lead the laity to contemplation.

For example, there is an upcoming Mass on Thursday Dec. 8, the theme of which is Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mass observes the significance of Mary and the concept of solemnity. In addition, Immaculate Conception is explored from a deeper religious perspective.

Not all themed Masses at Loyola are designated toward religious topics. There are also celebratory Masses. These are meant to celebrate religious aspects of events that have occurred at Loyola and the world at large. For example, there is a Caribbean-themed Mass to highlight Loyola’s Ignacio Volunteers who go to Belize and Jamaica. This Mass is meant to deepen gratitude to God for opportunities to serve in these countries.

“The idea is to incorporate aspects of the culture of Loyola students into each Mass,” Weber said.

Another themed Mass is Martyrs’ Mass, in which Mission and Ministry remembers the lives of the Jesuit martyrs slain in El Salvador in 1989. The Peace Quad is named for them, and each of the trees by the West Road parking garage is dedicated to a specific Jesuit.

During Black History Month, the Genesis Gospel Choir performs in at least one Mass.

Many students said they did not know Loyola had themed Masses. Among these students is Whittney Smith, a political science senior.

“I haven’t attended a themed Mass at Loyola, but I plan to before I graduate,” Smith said.

Nhi Tieu can be reached at

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