Liturgical ministry is an excellent opportunity to fulfill your baptismal call of service to one another. Our liturgies should utilize the talents and gifts that God has given this community to the fullest extent. Whether participation is through “behind the scenes” preparation and planning or through a public role of service within the Mass, parishioner contributions help our liturgies to be truly life-giving celebrations. Please prayerfully consider joining one of these ministries.
Ministry of Altar Server
Assistance at the altar by servers represents a long liturgical tradition. These servers enhance the quality of the celebration for the whole gathered assembly by taking part in processions and by ensuring that all items required for the celebration are available at the appropriate moments (Introduction to the Order of Mass, #22).
It is important that servers have an enthusiasm for public prayer. The server is not someone who performs a function of two and then settles back to observe the rest. Servers listen, sing and pray with the entire assembly. Alter servers can be male or female, adult or child. (Children should be 4th grade or older.)
Ministry of Reader
“The Word of God as proclaimed in the sacred Scripture lies at the heart of our Christian life and is integral to all our liturgical celebrations (Book of Blessings, 1827).”
The proclamation of the Word of God is truly a service to the Church. Lectors bring the living Word of God to the liturgical assembly. The ministry of the Word should, therefore, be treated seriously and with great dignity. (GIRM 55)
The Word of God is not merely read during the liturgy. It is proclaimed, yet not with theatrical show. Effective proclamation involves the delivery of the message with clarity, conviction and appropriate pace. It demands the ability to evoke faith in others by demonstrating one's own faith. Proclamation is a special ministry which presupposes faith. It also rouses faith in those who hear the Word proclaimed.
Ministry of Usher / Greeter
Hospitality has been part of our Judeo-Christian tradition from the beginning. Fr. John McKenzie in his Dictionary of the Bible points out that desert hospitality was a necessity for survival, and since this necessity fell upon all alike, any guest was entitled to hospitality from any host. Should host and guest be at enmity, the acceptance of hospitality involved reconciliation. The guest, once accepted by the host, was sacred and must be protected from any danger, even at the cost of the life of family members.
A part of hospitality is the desire to reach out: "Let me help." Tied to that desire is your gracious acquiescence: "Do, by all means."
Liturgical hospitality at Old St. Mary’s/Chinese Mission means meeting and greeting parishioners and visitors, helping them to be comfortable in their surroundings. As an Usher, you will also assist in the distribution of worship aids before Mass, taking up the collection, assisting people as they go to communion, and distributing the bulleting after Mass.
Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of Communion
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion" (EMHC) is the formal title of laypeople who distribute the Eucharist during Mass.
Extraordinary Ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion are properly formed, instructed and commissioned lay persons. EMHCs may be male or female. They should reflect the cultural diversity of their parish community. These ministers are appointed for a given parish community to aid in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick and homebound.
Who can be an Extraordinary Minister of Communion?
In order for a person to be appointed as an EMHC, the following conditions must be met:
Be a Catholic who sincerely tries to live the Gospel message in their communal and individual lives. They should participate in the Sunday Eucharist regularly and practice their faith. In addition, they should be willing and able to carry out the ministry on behalf of the community.
Must be confirmed and be of sufficient age and maturity to perform the duties of an EMHC at Mass or to the sick and homebound in various locations (i.e. private homes, nursing homes, hospitals)
Be chosen and appointed by the pastor or the Director of Worship
Ministry of Sacristan
The ministry of the sacristan is a bit like the work of the weaver. In order for all the members of a community of faith to take their full, conscious and active part in liturgical celebrations, there needs to be someone who prepares and oversees the things of the liturgy. There needs to be someone who gathers up the diverse things of the liturgy, readies them and renders them useful to the community gathered in the living prayer of the liturgy. This someone is the sacristan. A sacristan whose ministry extends beyond the confines of the sacristy-as it must-will be faced with a variety of situations and circumstances that call for a wide array of skills. Not only does the sacristan need to be handy and adept at preparing the physical things of the liturgy, he or she needs to be comfortable communicating and working with people. (From A Guide for Sacristans, LTP Publications pp2-3)
If you are interested in joining any of these ministries, please contact Fr. Tom at 415-288-3800 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.