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The Liturgical Year at Holy Rood

As a Catholic Primary School, we carry out many celebrations, liturgies and events to mark various events in the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Year is the celebration of a series of religious feasts and seasons. It is the calendar of the Catholic Church. Take a look at what the Liturgical Year looks like at Holy Rood.

2023-2024 Liturgical Celebrations

September 2023 - Start of Year Mass - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Updates coming soon!

2022-2023 Liturgical Celebrations

June 2023 - Feast of St. Alban

We had a lovely day celebrating the feast day of St. Alban’s for most Alban classes on Thursday. This is a lovely way to remind the children that the letters in their class name mean something very important and are attributed to inspiring people of God.

June 2023 - Year 3 First Holy Communion Thanksgiving Mass

On Tuesday, children in Year 3 got dressed in their amazingly beautiful First Holy Communion outfits and other special outfits to join together, with their families, year group and school staff to celebrate those who have made their first holy communion in recent weeks and those will do in the upcoming weeks. This is always a very special Mass as the children are able to receive the Blessed Eucharist in school for the very first time in front of their friends, family and the school community. Fr. Richard, from St. Saviour Church helped to celebrate the Mass alongside Deacon Liam. During mass they reminded the children that every time they receive the Body of Christ, they are growing in faith and that our faith is a gift we must nurture and nourish by attending mass. Thank you to Fr Richard and Deacon Liam for celebrating this very special Mass with us and to Mrs Cusack, Miss Gallagher, Mrs Chambers, Mrs Luurtsema, Miss Saxby and Miss Evans for helping the children to prepare for this important event in our school liturgical year.

April 2023 - Easter celebrations 

We mark the jubilation of Christ’s resurrection as a school community in so many different ways. We have had Easter Bonnet parades, Easter Garden Blessings, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Mass, Easter Liturgies and Nursery Family Egg Hunts…. phew! What a week! Thank you to everyone who has helped to organise these many events across the school and to all our parents and carers who have been in school to join in with the celebrations!

March 2023 - Stations of the cross

To conclude this Spring Term, our Chaplaincy team, along with the support of Mr Correa, led the school in a ‘Stations of the cross’ liturgy. This began with everyone coming together in the hall for a short prayer service. Then, the chaplaincy team led each class through the Stations of the cross using artwork they have produced. Thank you to our Chaplaincy team for all they continue to do to support the prayer life of our school, particularly during important liturgical seasons like Lent. Thank you also to Fr. Gerard for joining us for this liturgy this morning.

March 2023 - Year 4 Passion Play 

On Thursday this week, the very talented children of Year 4 performed their Easter production, ‘He is risen’, which tells the story of the passion of Christ. Told through narration, acting and song, the children led their family members (and the children of Holy Rood who attended a performance earlier this week) through the events of Holy Week. Telling the story with respect and reverence, the children also allowed their many God-given talents to shine through. A huge thank you to Mr Molloy, Miss Carlon, Mrs Frost, Mrs Caroleo and Miss Cooper for preparing the children so well. Thank you also to Mrs Luurtsema who helped the Year 4 team with the beautiful backdrop. We would also like to thank the many family members who attended on Wednesday morning. Finally, thank you to the children for their commitment to learning their lines and songs, and for their commitment to help us all take time to reflect on this hugely important event in the life of Jesus, as a reminder of the gift of eternal life and salvation.

February and March 2023 - SPEC

Over the course of two weeks, our wonderful Year 5 children set off with their own classes to the SPEC retreat in Pinner where they stayed for three days and two nights. Led by staff from the Diocese of Westminster Youth team, the children engaged in a variety of spiritual activities to learn more about their faith, as well as celebrating Mass, adoration, stations of the cross and special times of prayer throughout their stay. They also engaged in treasure hunts, drama, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Nature Art

Outside of these activities, they also spent a lot of fun time together as a class family with free play, a campfire, and a movie night to build a bank of memories which we hope will last for a long time.

Upon returning to school, the children wrote thank you letters to the SPEC team to share with them just how much they enjoyed their stay.

Fr Gerard from Holy Rood joined us to celebrate our Key Stage 2 Ash Wednesday Mass. During the mass, Fr Gerard spoke to us about what we, as Catholics, are called to do during lent. He explained this includes fasting (giving something up), almsgiving (giving time or money to those who need help) and taking time to pray more. Fr Gerard blessed ashes and then all children in Key Stage 2 were able to receive this special reminder of penance.

Shortly after, our EYFS and KS1 pupils gathered together for an Ash Wednesday liturgy. During this liturgy, Mrs Willis spoke about how sometimes our life can become a little like an empty vase. However, when we focus on God, we add a flower to that vase. When we pray, we add another flower. When we give to other, yet again we add another flower to the vase. By the end of our good deeds and focusing on God, our vase becomes full again like our lives.

In both our mass and our liturgy, we were very fortunate to be led in hymn by our wonderful choir with the help of Mrs Kingsley and Mrs D’Souza. Our thanks to them for sharing their God given talents with us all. Also, our thanks to Year 4, who joined the EYFS and KS1 liturgy as well to support with singing hymns.

January 2023 - Epiphany Liturgy 

Today we gathered for our first liturgy of the Spring Term which was for the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. The liturgy was led by Mrs. Braund and Mrs. Willis. During the liturgy we heard readings from the book of Isaiah and the Holy Gospel of Matthew. We were reminded of the journey that the Magi, the 3 Wise Men, went on. This Gospel reading reminds us that God makes every effort to reach every person on earth with His message no matter how far away they are from Him. Mrs. Willis also reminded us how the Wise Men ‘fell to their knees’ showing that Jesus was no ordinary baby, but rather the son of God.

December 2022 - End of Term Advent Liturgy 

To end the Autumn Term, we gathered together in prayer and reflection. We listened to a reading from Isaiah telling us that we must be ready and waiting as the time is near. We reflected on how we, at Holy Rood School, have prepared ourselves for the birth of Jesus in school over the course of Advent. We concluded with bidding prayers and a special prayer for the intention of keep us all safe over the Christmas break.

December 2022 - Walking Nativity 

On the last day of the Autumn Term, our Year 5 Chaplaincy team led the whole school in a ‘Walking Nativity’. For this, they used the display boards in the corridor which each class had created at the start of Advent as they told the Nativity story in chronological order. Each class was invited to join in on a journey through the Nativity story which included scripture readings, prayers and silent reflection.

December 2022 - Nativities 

Throughout the course of December, we have been blessed to have not just the pleasure of one Nativity but of three! These have been led by our Nursery children, Reception children and Year 2 children. Throughout each of these nativities, we have been reminded of the true story of Christmas and the true meaning that Christmas holds for us, as Catholics, through drama, singing, dance, prayer and readings.

December 2022 - Key Stage 2 Carol Service

We were delighted to welcome the return, in full normality and Holy Rood tradition, of our annual Christmas Carol Service at Holy Rood Church. It was abuzz with excitement and Christmas joy as the KS2 children led the congregation in in the Nativity through song, acting, reading, reflection and prayer. This year, our story focused on Christmas through the eyes of children who come to the realisation of the true meaning and the real excitement of Christmas, beyond gifts under the tree but rather the gift of Jesus! At the end of the service, Fr Gerard, parish priest at Holy Rood, led everyone in prayer. Then, we concluded the evening with the communal singing of ‘Joy to the world’. 

December 2022 - Year 1 Crib Blessing

On Friday 2nd December, parents and carers of Year 1 children had the absolute pleasure of enjoying their Crib Blessing. As always, it was truly wonderful to see the hall decorated with the most beautiful handmade cribs that the children of Year 1 had been working on over the past few weeks. Deacon Liam, from St. Helen’s Parish, also joined us and led us in a special prayer service during which the children sang, acted, read and prayed with confidence and reverence, making this a very special moment in our Advent journey. 

December 2022 - Advent Reconciliation

On Thursday 1st December, we were joined by Fr Richard, Fr Dido (both from St. Saviour’s parish) and Fr Ben (St. Michael’s High School priest) who led us in a beautiful penitential service followed by an invitation to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation to all children who have made their First Holy Communion. Our thanks to our wonderful clergy who always offer great support to our school.

December 2022 - Advent Displays 

Have a look at out Advent Displays we have created to help us mark Advent this year! 

Advent 2022

November 2022 - Advent Liturgy

Sunday 27th November marked the start of Advent. Therefore, in school on Monday we held our own Advent Liturgy. The liturgy, led by Mrs Braund, consisted of prayer, listening to scripture, stillness and reflection. We discussed what Advent is and how it is a period of waiting and preparation. Then, we thought about how we, as Catholics, can prepare ourselves throughout Advent to welcome Jesus at His birth. We also discussed some of the changes we could see around school such as Nativity scenes, a Jesse Tree created with ornaments made by the children and material changing from green (the colour of Ordinary time) to purple (the liturgical colour of Advent. 

November 2022 - All Saints' Day

On the 1st November, we celebrated All Saints' Day with a mass led by Fr. Gerard from Holy Rood Church. All Saints’ day is a holy day of obligation so it was lovely to be able to join in mass together as a whole school community to mark this. During his homily, Fr Gerard explained to us what All Saints’ day is about and how we, as Catholics, are called to constantly be on our own journey to sainthood with the aim to be more and more like Jesus each day. We were also delighted by the number of parents, carers and family members who also joined us for this mass.

October 2022 - St. Newman Feast Day

On Monday 10th October, we celebrated St. Newman Feast Day as a whole school. St. Newman in an important saint to us as one of our classes are named after him. It was a wonderful sight to see on Monday morning as a sea of red (the symbolic colour of St. Newman) walked into assembly to mark the Feast of St. Newman, represented by our Newman classes across the school. Mrs Willis led an assembly to talk about this very special Saint and why he was chosen as one of our class saints for Holy Rood school.  

October 2022 - Harvest 

Once again, we held our annual collection for our local foodbank, Watford Foodbank. We were amazed with the sheer amount of food and toiletries collected through the kind donations from you, our families, in our school community. In total we donated a whopping 212kg! Your kindness will now provide those most in need with essential food and toiletries and remove the worry of where the next meal will come from. It truly is putting Jesus’ teaching into action.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink”. – Matthew 25: 35-36

Thank you also to our Chaplaincy team for helping Mr Correa lead the school in a Harvest assembly on Monday morning and for helping Mr Correa to collect all the donations.

 We also celebrated this by having an assembly led by our Year 5 children who helped to remind us to thank God for all the gifts he has given us.  

September 2022 - ASCAT Memorial Mass for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Today, Friday 23rd September, Holy Rood School welcomed children from across different classes in ASCAT who joined together for a memorial mass for her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In the mass, which was celebrated by Fr Gerard from Holy Rood Church, each school led a different part of the mass from the readings to the offertory. It was a very special way for us to join together and pray for the intention of her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and her family, as well to give thanks for her many, many years of loyal and dedicated service to our country. Our year 4 pupils, who attended the mass, did a wonderful job at representing Holy Rood School.

September 2022 - Education Sunday

This Sunday, Sunday 11th September 2022, is Education Sunday. Education Sunday is a special day celebrated in the Catholic Church every year. It offers an opportunity for us, as a Catholic community, to pray to Almighty God for all people involved in Catholic education, pupils, families and staff, to celebrate the achievements of the past and to ask Our Lord to bless the year ahead. To help us mark this special day, both parishes we serve, Holy Rood Church and St. Helen’s Church, extended an invitation to everyone in our school to attend a mass on this Sunday to help celebrate this special day.

At masses across Sunday and across both parishes, our pupils helped lead the readings and offertory. 

September 2022 - Start of Year Mass - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

 Across the week, children in school have been preparing for and reflecting on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. On Monday, Mrs Willis led an assembly explaining why this feast is also the feast day of our school. Children learnt how on this day Catholics remember the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena (St. Helen), the very saint one of the parishes we serve is named after. Children also learnt that ‘Rood’ means cross therefore our own school, and the other parish we serve, is named after the True Cross – the Holy Rood. On Wednesday, pupils and staff from Key Stage 2, along with parents came together to celebrate this feast day as well as celebrating the start of a new school year. Fr. Gerard, from Holy Rood Church, celebrated mass with us and helped the children in understanding how the cross is a Catholic symbol for us all which helps us to remember the sacrifice Jesus made in dying to take away our sins.


2021-2022 Liturgical Celebrations

July 2022 - A mass for Mr. Wheatley

On Tuesday 12th July, we celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at Holy Rood Catholic Church to mark the end of Mr Wheatley’s time as Headteacher of Holy Rood Catholic Primary School. Mr Wheatley will be moving to a new permanent role as CEO for the ASCAT Trust in September. He will continue to be a very important part of the strategic leadership of our school within ASCAT, however it was important as a community, that we came together to show our gratitude to him for his years of service the children and families of our school. Mr. Wheatley’s family, along with Governors, pupils, parents/carers and staff were also invited to join together in this mass of thanksgiving.

 July 2022 - Year 6 Leavers Mass

Our Year 6 pupils enjoyed a final celebration at our school in the form of a special Year 6 Leavers Mass celebrated by Fr Gerard. Along with the entire school, the families of our wonderful Year 6 pupils were also invited to join us as we celebrated and gave thanks to God for the many gifts, talents and moments of joy our Year 6 pupils have brought to Holy Rood School over their time with us. We took time to reflect on their journey of education with us and to remember their friends who have moved onto different schools already during our time here at Holy Rood and for our very special friend Jessica in heaven.

June 2022- Year 3 First Holy Communion Thanksgiving Mass

Following the celebrations of the Sacrament of First Holy Communion within our local parishes in recent months, on Wednesday our Year 3 pupils, staff team and parents gathered together in the KS2 hall for a special Mass of thanksgiving to celebrate this very special milestone in each of their faith journeys.  We are very grateful to Fr Richard Mway Zeng from St Saviour’s parish in Abbots Langley for coming to celebrate this special Mass with us. Our Year 3 children very much enjoyed receiving the Eucharist in school together for the first time and it was wonderful to be able to welcome our Year 3 families to be part of this wonderful occasion. The children participated in the Mass with great reverence and sang with real enthusiasm in celebration of their deepening relationship with God. Each of the children also came to the Mass dressed in their First Holy Communion finery and were very proud to show off their beautiful outfits.

June 2022 - Art Week – Laudato Si 

This year, our Art Week took on them theme of ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’. This theme was chosen to link in with our academic year whole school focus, Laudato Si. Children across the school were tasked with creating works of art using natural or recycled materials to create something extraordinary from the ordinary. Children also worked with a local artist, Victoria Culf, to support her ‘zero waste’ project that has been funded by Watford Borough Council as part of Imagine Watford Festival 2022 to create a giant marble run meandering through a ruined cathedral constructed from recycled card that spans the length of Watford High Street. The artwork produced was displayed in the school hall and members of our local community were invited in to view the Art Week Exhibition.

May 2022 -Mass for the Ascension

Father Gerard from Holy Rood Church came to school to help use celebrate Mass with our KS2 pupils and staff for the Feast of the Ascension. During his sermon, Fr Gerard reminded us that following His ascension into Heaven, Jesus has tasked all of His disciples (including us!) to carry on his Mission to spread his word and his love to all.

May 2022 - The Month of Mary 

Mary holds a special place in the life of the Catholic Church because she displayed exceptional qualities and is therefore an ideal role model to follow. Mary’s ‘yes’ made it possible for Jesus to enter the world and bring to it a great light. Mary lived a life of faith and trusted in God, despite great suffering. During the month of May, we, as Catholics, remember Mary and take extra time to pray to her. To help us do this, Mr. Molloy led a special assembly to help us all learn more about Mary. He also set us a 'May Mission'. This was to learn either a 'Mary Prayer' or a hymn about Mary. 

If you would like to learn more about Mary and how we remember Mary during the month of May, please click here.  

It was really nice to learn about Mary and other special women in today’s assembly. At the end we prayer the ‘Hail Mary’ together as a whole school.

Sinead – Year 6

 April 2022 - Easter Celebrations

To help celebrate Easter, a whole host of activities took place. Fr. Gerard joined us for a celebration of Mass with the children and staff in KS2. Fr Gerard reminded us all that the joy and celebration of Easter, should continue to be present until Pentecost and that we should remember to say ‘Happy Easter’ throughout this time. It was a lovely Mass with beautiful readings and hymns to mark this special time in the liturgical year. Later, our Reception children led us in a beautiful liturgy filled with hymns, prayers and a blessing of their Easter Gardens by Deacon Liam. It was a very special service where the children spoke so confidently in front of a huge crowd of family members-which is not an easy thing to do when you are 4 or 5 years old! Then, we shared a special Easter liturgy with our KS1 children and staff to remind us all of this special time as well. At this liturgy, the Easter Gardens made by Reception were a focal point for the children and helped them to remember why this is such an important time for us as a Catholic community. In the sunshine, all of the KS1 and KS2 children enjoyed our annual Easter Bonnet parade showing off the creations they had made at home. Our Nursery children continued our Easter celebrations with a special performance of hymns and sharing the Easter story message with their families who came to see them in the ‘big hall’. The children did a wonderful job, supported beautifully by the Nursery team and this was then followed by a family Easter Egg Hunt for our Nursery children.

March 2022 - Stations of the Cross

With the support of Mrs. McCarthy, our chaplaincy team led the whole school in the Stations of the Cross. They planned out the liturgy, organised the readings and even included drama to help the children in our school understand the events leading up the death of Jesus. As part of this, the whole school created new ‘Station of The Cross’ canvases on display in our school Chapel.

March 2022 - Ash Wednesday  

This year on Ash Wednesday, all pupils participated in special Ash Wednesday liturgies across the morning and received ashes on their foreheads as part of this. Deacon Liam has also been in school in recent weeks working with our Chaplaincy Team to ensure they are ready to support children who come to the Chapel for prayer during Lent. With the help of some Joan of Arc students, these sessions have been incredibly helpful.

March 2022 - Year 5 Lenten SPEC Retreat

As part of their Lenten reflection and prayer, the children from Year 5 travelled to the SPEC retreat in Pinner where they stayed for three days and two nights with their peers and teachers. Led by the Diocesan staff at SPEC, the children engaged in a variety of spiritual activities to learn more about their faith, as well as celebrating Mass and special times of prayer throughout their stay during this liturgical season of Lent. They also spent a lot of fun time together as a class family with free play, talent shows and a movie night to build a bank of memories which we hope will last for a long time.

At SPEC, we became closer to God during this time of Lent. We prayed every morning and every night.

Year 5 Pupil

 March 2022 - Lenten Reconciliation

Fr. Gerard and Fr. Alex joined us form Holy Rood Church to lead year 5 and 6 in a Lenten penitential service followed by reconciliation. This was a very special service where the children were spoken to by Fr. Gerard about the opportunity at confession to ‘wipe the slate clean’ from sin in preparation for Easter.

To see the sheet we use to support the children in receiving the sacrament of reconciliation, please click on the image below.

February 2022  - Class Masses

Over the course of this month, our pupils in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 gathered as year groups to enjoy a beautiful celebration of Mass together. These masses were celebrated with priest from across our trust including Fr Richard from St Saviour’s in Abbots Langley and Fr Gerrard from Holy Rood Church. The children led in sharing the readings, prayers and hymns.

Fr. Gerard said “love one another as Jesus loves you”. He was talking about our gospel reading. This means we should live out Jesus’ wishes in our daily lives.

Sofia – Year 4

December 2021 - Key Stage 2 Carol Service 

Our KS2 children visited St Helen’s Church during Advent to record our KS2 Carol Service video for parents. The Service is always a highlight of the Advent season in school and, having missed out on this last year, we were pleased that we will be able to share with KS2 families the joy of the Christmas season in song, drama and readings.

It felt very peaceful while singing because it made me ready and jolly for Christmas.

Year 5 pupil

December 2021 - Nativities

Over the course of December, we were blessed to see not only one Nativity performance but 3! These were carefully and creatively led by our Nursery children, Reception children and Year 2 children. It was fantastic to be also be joined by family members of this year group to help us mark Advent in this most special way!

December 2021 - Year 1 Crib Blessing 

As part of our preparations for the birth of Jesus during Advent, Year 1 led a beautiful Crib Blessing liturgy that their families were also invited to attend. It was wonderful, as always, to see the hall festooned with all of the beautiful handmade cribs that children have been working on at home with families in recent weeks. We were joined by Deacon Liam who led us in a special service during which the children sang, acted, read and prayed with confidence and reverence, making this a very special moment in our Advent journey.

November 2021 - All Saints - ASCAT Mass 

In the week in which the church celebrates the feast of All Saints, representative pupils from across the four schools within our Academy Trust, gathered together at St Saviour’s Church in Abbot’s Langley to celebrate Mass together. 6N attended to represent Holy Rood and enjoyed a joyful celebration of Mass, led by Fr Richard Mway Zeng (parish priest at St Saviour’s). Deacon Liam preached the sermon and spoke to the children about following the example of the Healer family from the television programme ‘Bluey’ by being totally committed to making real the Catholic mission of our Trust schools. It was a wonderful Mass and a great opportunity to gather with our partner schools in celebration of our common mission.

We celebrated a mass with all our ASCAT school Year 6’s. It was nice to see all the faces (and interesting colours of uniforms and badges). It was good to ‘meet’ at mass.

Samuel – Year 6

September 2021 - Start of Year Mass - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Tuesday 14th September marked a very special day in the life of our school in our return from the restrictions of the Covid pandemic, as we celebrated Mass together, with all of the pupils in KS2….in real life…..in person….with singing! Celebrating our school feast day, the feast of ‘The Exaltation of the Holy Cross’, Fr Gerard joined us to mark this occasion with a beautiful Mass to start the academic year and to give thanks for our fantastic Catholic school! My thanks to Fr Gerard and to all of the clergy of our parishes for their ongoing dedicated support of our school. We look forward to our continued collaboration with them in the year ahead!

We celebrate this mass because it remind us of our school badge. We have a cross on our school badge. Holy Rood means Holy Cross.

Christian – Year 3

Past Liturgical Celebrations

To view some of our favourite past Liturgical Celebrations, click here.