Liturgical Ministries

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    The word liturgy comes from a Greek word meaning "the Work of the People." Liturgy is done by the entire worshipping community - sometimes acting together, sometimes with different members acting in particular roles. In the liturgy, each of us is called to full, active, and conscious participation.  We are called to worship as a member of the Church assembled.  From this Assembly others, by virtue of certain gifts, are called to act as servants, or ministers, to the assembly. The musicians, the lectors, the ministers of the Eucharist, minister of the Word for children, hospitality ministers, the priest, the servers, ushers, and the Mass coordinators all freely share their gifts with the parish to help make our worship together as beautiful and as accessible as possible.

    Mass Coordinator

    If any public event or celebration is to have meaning, careful "behind-the-scenes" preparation is necessary. Our parish liturgy is no exception! It is a very important and public event, the heart of our parish life. Our liturgy proclaims who we are, and provides the foundation for our growing and working together as a family of faith.

    Imagine that you are hosting a dinner party in your home. Consider all the preparations and special care taken to assure that your guests have a memorable experience. There is much work to be done days, maybe even weeks, before your guests arrive. A menu must be decided upon, food must be purchased, and the meal itself must be prepared. On the day of the party, well before your guests arrive, care is taken to tidy your home, to set the table and to make sure that everything is "just right." Once your guests have arrived, you give them your undivided attention and extend your very best effort to make them feel welcome. Your goal is to ensure a joyful celebration for all.

    The dinner party at which we Catholics are the most "at home" and comfortable is the celebration of the Lord's Supper. It is at Sunday Mass that we find our true identity and are most able to be our real selves. When we gather to celebrate the Lord's Supper, we give praise and thanksgiving to God and are nourished at the table of the Lord. Yet in order for the liturgy to have its full effect and for the faithful to be enriched by it, Sunday Mass must be celebrated well. The ministry of the Mass Coordinator is essential to good liturgical celebration. This ministry is a work of integration and coordination, of giving attention to all God's holy people gathered for liturgy and to the things they need for their prayer. In a sense, this "behind-the-scenes" minister is a sort of "linchpin" for liturgy, gathering and holding together various elements for the benefit of the assembly's liturgical celebration. This minister assures all the faithful enjoy a reverent and joyful celebration.

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    The primary work of this ministry is to serve the presider (priest) and the assembly (those who gather to celebrate) by enhancing the readiness of our parish community to celebrate liturgy, most notably, Sunday Mass. This minister serves "behind the scenes" on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings before each Mass to assure that all the items needed for the day's liturgy are in place, that the appropriate ministers are present, know their roles and are ready to serve. This minister makes sure that everything required for the celebration of special rites or rituals during the Mass is in place before Mass begins. This minister is available to the presider to attend to any special details or last minute preparations.

    Regular tasks include the following:

    Before the liturgy:

    • assure that the gifts/credence tables are prepared;

    • assure that the appropriate liturgical books are in place and set to the first reading;

    • check that all liturgical ministers are present (including communion ministers, altar servers, lectors and gift bearers) and understand their roles;

    • find replacement ministers to serve if necessary;

    • consult with the presider regarding special preparations.

    After the celebration:

    • assure that all liturgical objects, vessels and books are put away or readied for the next liturgy;

    • assure that the assembly's monetary offerings are locked up or stored in a secure place;

    • tidy the worship space as needed in preparation for the next liturgy.

    Training will be provided to all new Mass Coordinators.

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    Ministers may be of any age and either gender provided they have sufficient maturity and the ability to perform and enjoy the required tasks. A capable minister is one who:

    • appreciates the liturgy, understands the value of good liturgy and is committed to it;

    • has a good understanding of the liturgical year and an awareness of the general requirements of the various types of liturgical celebrations;

    • is familiar with the sacristy and knows where the various objects and books are located;

    • desires to serve the community of faith and is willing and able to invest the time required to serve in this capacity;

    • can communicate and work well with others;

    • is able to lead and direct others;

    • is energetic, self-directed and able to solve problems;

    • is reliable, trustworthy, dedicated and able to follow through with commitments.

    • is able to arrive at church approximately 20-30 minutes before Mass, and remain about 15 minutes after Mass.

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    Typically a minister serves during one or two liturgies per month, depending on the liturgical season and the nature of the liturgies celebrated.

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    You may call the parish office during the day (544-7426) or Karen Siciliano evenings and weekends (787-9561).

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    Altar Server

    People from the parish, and this also includes adults who would be willing to serve, who are age 11 and beyond assist in the liturgical celebrations of the parish at weekend Masses and on special feasts.  If you are interested in this ministry, please contact one of the persons on the Liturgy Committee or Eileen Kuchar thru the parish office (544-7426), parish web site or email.

    Lector

    Lectors bring life to the written Word of God. Those who proclaim God's word in the liturgy are known as Ministers of the Word or Lectors. Answering the call to become a lector enters one into a deeper relationship with God as He is revealed in sacred scripture. Lectors commit to ongoing faith formation and training activities that prepare them for the calling to the ministry. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact the parish office (544-7426).

    Resource: Proper Microphone Usage and Placement

    Minister of the Word for Children

    At the 10:30 A.M. Sunday Liturgy, after the Opening Prayer, children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old, with their catechists, are invited by the celebrant to process with the Book of Sunday Readings to the small chapel behind the altar.  There they are welcomed and regathered to prepare themselves to listen attentively to the First Reading and the Gospel.  The Sunday Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation are sung.  The children are invited to participate in a dialogue reflection on how God's Word is relevant and active in their lives.  A Profession of Faith is often included.  The celebration concludes with the Prayers of the Faithful presented by the children.  Age appropriate bulletins are given to each child as they leave to rejoin the assembly for the Preparation of Gifts.

    Eucharistic Minister

    The call as a Eucharistic Minister is to recognize the Lord in the Eucharist as well as in each human person to whom they minister. As the Lord washed the feet of the disciples, he challenged them to likewise serve others. Eucharistic Ministers serve the people of God at St. Joseph Church.

    Contact Rita Havrilka (Church Office 544-7426) if you are interested in serving as Eucharistic Minister or have any concerns about this ministry.

    Required training for new ministers is necessary.

    Attached is a drawing of the location of each Minister of the Eucharist. The list indicates where each position is from facing the Assembly. There are 5 cups and 5 bread, which includes the Presider as part of the 5 bread. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact the office. Thank you for your ministry.

    Resource: Eucharistic Minister locations

    Hospitality

    Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans15:7)

    Greeters

    The Greeters Ministry has a very special role at the liturgy. We as Greeters give a warm Welcome to everyone, and make them feel welcomed as we prepare to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. We are called by God to ministry by offering hospitality in the name of Christ.

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    The greeters ministry vision is to create a welcoming atmosphere within our church as members of the Body of Christ.

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    Hospitality is an important element in fostering a deeper sense of community within the assembly. The greeters ministry is rooted and centered in Christ and helps draw the assembly together as we participate and celebrate Mass.

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    • Greeters should arrive 20-25 minutes before the start of Mass.

    • Greeters need to be familiar with the location of restrooms, along with the wheelchair, assisted hearing devices, and other vital services the parish provides.

    • Greeters should remember that greeting is an important ministry - not just a job or a task to be done. As Greeters, we help show the assembly the welcome and hospitality of God's love.

    • The Holy Spirit gives each Greeter the special talents and skills that make their ministry fruitful in building up the Body of Christ.

    • Greeters should be present and attentive during Mass. They should be united with the assembly as they participate in the Mass.

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    Ushers

    Ushers assist at the weekend liturgies by helping with seating, handling the collection, arranging for volunteers to carry the gifts to the altar, directing communicants to the sanctuary, rendering assistance in the case of illness, and distributing the parish bulletins. Ushers also help to prepare the Church building for the next liturgy. Ushers need to be familiar with all the services the parish provides.  For more information please contact Paul Mueller (522-6787).