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Sensory-Friendly

Parishes Providing Sensory-Friendly or Low-sensory  Mass

South Bend Area

Christ the King


Why is a Sensory-Friendly Mass necessary?

A vast majority of Catholic families with special needs members do not attend Mass for various reasons. They may feel stigmatized or fear being disruptive. They may have had a negative experience while attending in the past. They may feel that it is just too difficult. Regardless of the reason, having a Mass that is specifically welcoming to these families is an essential step in bringing them back into the Church. A Sensory-Friendly Mass does not require a tremendous amount of change on the part of the parish. Lower lights, acoustical music, and visual aids are simple ways to make a liturgy more sensory-friendly.

What are some ways to make Mass more sensory-friendly?

A Sensory-Friendly Mass requires three main criteria: a welcoming, stigma-free environment; an informed community; and a few special accommodations to help reduce instances of over-stimulation:

MUSIC

• Softer
• No sudden increases in volume
• Slower tempo
• Fewer verses
• More consistent with Mass settings

SHORT HOMILIES

• Practical
• Tangible
• Literal

ACCESSIBLE VISUAL AIDS

• Sample resources available to view below

NO INCENSE

DIMMED LIGHTS

CALMING/QUIET AREA FOR WHEN BEHAVIOR BECOMES TOO DISRUPTIVE 

ACCESS TO LOW-GLUTEN HOSTS 9ANS SMALLER HOST PORTIONS) OR TO A SEPARATE CHALICE TO RECEIVE THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.  A SEPARATE CHALICE IS NECESSARY TO AVOID CROSS-CONTAMINATION 

AN INVITATION FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES TO BRING NECESSARY RESOURCES WHEN ATTENDING:

• Wiggle Seats
• Fidgets
• Comforting Toys
• Noise Canceling Headphones
• Sun Glasses

A PREPARED COMMUNITY READY TO RECEIVE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WITHOUT JUDGEMENT 

RESOURCES

Awareness

 Letter to Pastors

Bulletin & Pulpit Announcements

Week 1- Autism Awareness Bulletin Insert

Week 2- Developmental Disabilities Awareness Bulletin Insert

Week 3- Mental Health Awareness Bulletin Insert

Adaptation

Brochure for Welcoming Those with Special Needs

Church Guide for Parents- A Social Story

Going to Mass Pictorial Missal

Loyola Press- “My Picture Missal Flip Book”

http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/respect-life-2/inclusion-ministry/sensory-friendly-resources/#AWARENESS 

A special thanks to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for permission to share their information and resources regarding Sensory-Friendly Masses on our website.


Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. 2019. Back to Top
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