The Liturgical Ministry’s mission is to acknowledge God’s presence in our preparation and celebration of liturgical life. The diversity of roles, functions, and ministries enrich our celebrations and assists in our prayer. Serving in one of these ministries is both an honor and a responsibility to continue to on-going formation that develops skills, deepens understanding of Eucharist and encourages spiritual growth.
Altar Linen Caretakers
Altar Linen Caretakers wash and iron all linens used during liturgies and baptisms. All linens must be picked up on Sunday and returned during the week. Instructions are provided for the proper care of the linens. Caretakers work on their own time. Scheduling depends on the number of caretakers.
Altar Servers prepare the altar for the celebration of liturgy and assist the Presider during the liturgy. Anyone 4th grade and older is eligible. Typically, the time commitment will be one Mass monthly. Servers are usually assigned to the Mass they ordinarily attend, but this may vary depending on the number of altar servers.
Art and Environment
Because the assembly gathers in the presence of God to celebrate God’s love, the liturgy climate is one of awe, mystery, wonder, reverence, thanksgiving and praise. It truly needs to be “something beautiful for God”. Whether the gathering will be for word and Eucharist, for initiation and reconciliation, or for prayer, praise and song, attention to detail is important. The liturgical space should encourage and foster a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. We should be able to encounter His presence sacramentally through symbols, art, words, gestures, music, and the celebrating assembly. The Art and Environment ministry works closely with the Director and Assistant Director of Liturgy to ensure the space fosters such a relationship.
The bishops, priests, and deacons are the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist, The Extraordinary´ Ministers of the Eucharist (Eucharistic Ministers) are members of the lay community. The parishioners in this ministry serve the parish by distributing Eucharist to the faithful. Members in this ministry need to be comfortable with distributing the Body and Blood of Christ and have a reverence for and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. A person serving as an EM must attend diocesan training. All participating ministers will have to be recommended by the Pastor. Every five years a re-certification day of reflection is required.
Parishioners in this ministry greet members and visitors at the door of the church, making them feel welcome. They will also assist the handicapped as needed and answer any questions asked by those attending the service. Greeters are asked to be at the church at least 20 minutes before Mass begins. They represent St. Mary’s Catholic Community and are the first impression people receive so they are asked to dress appropriately and make ALL feel welcome. After Mass, they distribute the bulletin and any other information that might be needed.
Lectors proclaim the Scriptures at all liturgical celebrations in a manner that enables the assembly to understand and appreciate the beauty and rich content of the “Word of God”. They read the First reading, the Second Reading, and the General Intercessions.
Sacristans assure the presence and the coordination of all lay ministries when they are involved in the Liturgy of the church. Parishioners must be a Eucharistic Minister and be approved by the Pastor to serve as sacristan. Duties include preparing the credence table for Mass, coordinate the altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, ushers, and greeters and be able to respond quickly when unscheduled and unexpected events occur before and during Liturgy. The sacristan will assist the Presider when needed, and be willing to substitute at masses.
The technology ministry operates the computers which control; the sound equipment, the video screens, and the video cameras. The video screens project the words for music and prayers; the video cameras show live close up views of the church, baptisms, and special ceremonies.
Ushers effectively serve the worshipping assembly and provide a welcoming presence and sense of hospitality. They are custodians of order serving at the weekend liturgies as well as major feast days. They welcome and assist with seating parishioners, and assist with the collection(s), .