Our Liturgical Ministries
“Servers, lectors, commentators, and members of the choir also exercise a genuine liturgical function. They ought, therefore, to discharge their office with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a ministry and rightly expected of them by God’s people. Consequently, they must all be deeply imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, each in his own measure, and they must be trained to perform their functions in a correct and orderly manner” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 29).
The sacristan is a lay person who “diligently arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other things that are necessary for the celebration of Mass” (GIRM, no. 105a).
Working from the sacristy, he or she should be well-trained in the complexities of the liturgical actions, as well as those of special Masses or those of greater solemnity, so as to make appropriate provisions.
Lay readers who are “truly suited… and carefully prepared” proclaim the word of God to the gathered assembly (GIRM, no. 101).
Readers are encouraged to continually meditate on Sacred Scripture, so that their faithful proclamation of the readings at Mass will in turn inspire the faithful to turn to God through his word.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
In circumstances where a “truly large number of communicants” is anticipated, and where there are not enough priests or deacons on hand to assist adequately in the distribution of Holy Communion, the priest may call upon instituted acolytes or even other members of the faithful to be deputed for this service (GIRM, no. 162).
Under normal circumstances, these extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are selected, trained, and commissioned in accordance with policies of individual dioceses and parishes. Eucharistic ministers are confirmed members of our parish who are commissioned for a three year period to assist with the distribution of communion. Ministers also bring communion and the prayers of our faith community to the sick and home bound.
“Among the faithful, the schola cantorum or choir exercises its own liturgical function, its place being to take care that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different genres of chant, are properly carried out and to foster the active participation of the faithful by means of the singing” (GIRM, no. 103).
Music ministers lead and accompany the congregation in sung prayer at our parish liturgies as cantors (psalmist), accompanists, members of ensemble groups and instrumentalists. New youth and adult music ministers are always welcome.
This ministry is open to families or individuals who wish to present the gifts of bread and wine at our parish liturgies.
These ministers devote their efforts to creating a worship space that speaks of the liturgical season being celebrated; one of sacredness and hospitality.
Altar servers assist the priest and deacon; they “carry the cross, the candles, the thurible, the bread, the wine, and the water,” and some may even be deputed as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (GIRM, no. 100).
This ministry is available to children who have entered fourth grade. Young people desiring to assist at our liturgies in this special way must attend training sessions as well as periodic updates.
Ushers and Greeters
“A liturgical function is also exercised by… [t]hose who take up the collections in the church; [t]hose who, in some regions, welcome the faithful at the church doors, seat them appropriately, and marshal them in processions” (GIRM, no. 105c-d).
As the priest and other ministers prepare for Mass in the sacristy, lay persons have a valuable role to play in welcoming their brothers and sisters to the church and ensuring that all have a place to sit. These apostolates are related to hospitality, an important aspect of the New Evangelization.
During a funeral liturgy, parishioners are available to assist as Music Ministers, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Servers, and Ministers of Hospitality. Families wishing to arrange a funeral dinner, or parishioners willing to assist in this ministry please contact the parish office.
For information about serving as a liturgical minister at Holy Spirit Parish, please contact the Director of Worship at the parish office.