The Mass for Millennials

At the heart of Catholic life is the celebration of the Mass. This does not mean that Catholics' only purpose in the world is to attend Mass regularly. Catholics serve the poor. They join together with one another in informal prayer. They hang out at bars and talk about theology.

Yet, the number of young adults (or for short Millennials) regularly attending Mass continues to drop.

In 2007, 34% of Catholics between the 18-29 attended Mass once per week. Such numbers seem to bear out on Notre Dame's own campus, where there has been a decline in attendance at Mass over the last fifteen years. Dorms that used to have seventy people on a Sunday night, now have thirty. The decline in "institutional" religious practice is something that "institutional" religions will have to do something about.

The Center for Liturgy will be launching a new series entitled "The Mass for Millennials" as a resource for those young adults, who may want to consider more frequent Mass attendance as part of their lives. We've asked undergraduates and young adults throughout the United States to tell us why the Mass matters for them.

The series will be published Monday through Friday until Pentecost. We will break down each part of the Mass, showing how the Mass is important for the spiritual life not just of young adults but the entire Church.

We hope that you'll join for us for this new series.


Timothy P. O’Malley

Timothy P. O’Malley is the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, associate professional specialist in the department of theology at the University of Notre Dame, and founding editor of Church Life Journal.

Read more by Timothy P. O’Malley