(General Instruction of the Roman Missal)
The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and the People of God, is the center of the whole Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually. Thus, we are all encourage to serve gladly whenever we are asked to perform some particular ministry or function in the celebration.
Here listed the particular ministries:
1. Altar Servers (or Acolyte), its main responsibility is to prepare the altar and the sacred vessels. At the Introductory Rites, the altar server carries the cross, walking between two other altar servers with lighted candles. Upon reaching the altar, the altar server places the cross upright near the altar so that it may serve as the altar cross; otherwise, he puts it in a worthy place. Through the entire celebration, the altar server is to approach the priest or the deacon, whenever necessary, in order to present the book to them and to assist them in any other way required. At the Liturgy of the Eucharist, if no deacon is present, after the Prayer of the Faithful is concluded and while the priest remains at the chair, the altar server places the corporal, the purificator, the chalice, the pall, and the Missal on the altar. Then, if necessary, the altar sever assists the priest in receiving the gifts of the people and, if appropriate, brings the bread and wine to the altar and hands them to the priest. If incense is used, the altar server presents the thurible to the priest and assists him while he incenses the gifts, the cross, and the altar. Then the altar server incenses the priest and the people. After the celebration of Mass, the altar server and other ministers return in procession to the sacristy, together with the deacon and the priest in the same way and order in which they entered. Lastly, the altar server helps in cleaning up the altar.
Altar Server Ministry at Holy Spirit Parish aims to enrich our children with true knowledge, deep appreciation and active participation with our Catholic Faith, i.e. to start young in living a faithful life through serving at the Altar of God.
At Holy Spirit Parish, Altar Servers start as early as in 5th Grade. This honor and privilege are being offered to both boys and girls who have been baptized, received their First Holy Communion, and attend Mass regularly. We give them hands-on training and allow them to shadow for the first few times until they build confidence and want to begin serving.
There are four levels of servers: Beginner Altar Servers, Altar Servers, Senior Altar Servers, and Young Servant Leaders. Every Altar Server advances to the next level by demonstrating their learning knowledge, serving competency, and leading skill.
We appreciate all the effort that our Altar Servers put into the ministry and hope that they continue their charitable service as they grow mature in faith to other ministries.
2. The Lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. The Lector may also announce the intentions for the Prayer of the Faithful and, in the absence of a psalmist, proclaim the Psalm between the readings. At the Introductory Rites, in coming to the altar, when no deacon is present, the lector, wearing approved attire, may carry the Book of the Gospels, which is to be slightly elevated. In that case, the lector walks in front of the priest. Upon reaching the altar, carrying the Book of the Gospels, the lector approaches the altar and places the Book of the Gospels upon it. Then the lector takes his own place in the sanctuary with the other ministers. At the Liturgy of the Word, the lector reads from the ambo the readings that precede the Gospel. If there is no psalmist, the lector may also proclaim the responsorial Psalm after the first reading. When no deacon is present, the lector, after the introduction by the priest, may announce from the ambo the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. In addition, if there is no singing at the Entrance or at Communion and the antiphons in the Missal are not recited by the faithful, the lector may read them at the appropriate time. Lector should be truly suited to perform this function and should receive careful preparation, so that the faithful by listening to the readings from the sacred texts may develop in their hearts a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture.
Members of the Ministry of Lector at Holy Spirit Parish are deputized liturgical ministers who serve our community by proclaiming the readings from the Scripture during our liturgies. A thoughtful and prayerful presentation of by our lectors helps open the hearts and minds of our community to God’s Word. We also hope our lectors are able to awaken the faithful by demonstrating their own faith as they proclaim and live the faith themselves.
This humbling and awesome opportunity to proclaim God’s Word is being offered to any fully initiated practicing Catholic in our parish, i.e. had received the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.
We are blessed to have so many wonderful members of our parish community as lectors who study and prepare to share their ministry with our community.
We will be honored to welcome you if you are interested in bringing God to His people through His Word. We have trainings scheduled throughout the next year.
For more information please contact, Sam Florio (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chair of Lector Ministry.
3. The Psalmist, the role is to sing the Psalm or other biblical canticle that comes between the readings. To fulfill this function correctly, it is necessary that the psalmist have the ability for singing and a facility in correct pronunciation and diction.
The Schola Cantorum or choir, among the faithful, the choir exercises its own liturgical function, ensuring that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different types of chants, are properly carried out and fostering the active participation of the faithful through the singing. What is said about the choir also applies, in accordance with the relevant norms, to other musicians, especially the organist. It is fitting that there be a cantor or a choir director to lead and sustain the people’s singing. When in fact there is no choir, it is up to the cantor to lead the different chants, with the people taking part.
Music ministry at Holy Spirit Parish provides for the musical enhancement of our prayer experience during Mass and special occasions. We have various choirs at Holy Spirit — children’s choirs, a youth band, and Adult Choir. We are always looking for musicians to share their talent with our community.
For more information please contact, John Kellett (john.kellett@DSJ.org), the Director of Music Ministry
4. The Sacristan, who carefully arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other things necessary in the celebration of Mass. Here at Holy Spirit Parish, the Sacristan is also the Master of Ceremonies, a competent minister, i.e. to oversee the proper planning of sacred actions and their being carried out by the sacred ministers and the lay faithful with decorum, order, and devotion.
Combing the two, i.e. Sacristan and Master of Ceremonies, we call them the Mass Coordinators. The one who is responsible for assisting the presider and all other liturgical ministers with all aspects of the Liturgy. The Mass Coordinator assures the proper set-up of all supplies including all worship aide binders, Liturgical books and sacred vessels. The Mass Coordinator is also responsible for checking and confirm all other ministers have checked in and ready to minister. This includes Altar Servers, Lectors, Ushers and the Extra-Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. If in case the minister cannot serve and a substitute is needed, it is the Mass Coordinator’s responsibility to find someone, who is qualified, and fill the vacancy.
As a Mass Coordinator, it is a beautiful witness of our faith to see so many volunteers at the Masses each week. By becoming engaged in the Liturgy at our parish, we live our faith, promote relationship with Jesus, and build community each and every day.
For more information please contact, Julie Perrucci (email@example.com), the Chair of Mass Coordinator Ministry.
5. The Commentator provides the faithful, when appropriate, with brief explanations and commentaries with the purpose of introducing them to the celebration and preparing them to understand it better. The commentator’s remarks must be meticulously prepared and clear though brief. In performing this function the commentator stands in an appropriate place facing the faithful, but not at the ambo.
6. The Ushers (and Greeters), meet the faithful at the church entrance, lead them to appropriate places, and direct processions, take up the collection in the church.
The Ministry of the Church Ushers, here at Holy Spirit Parish, is the hands and feet of the Liturgy. Its primary role is the help with the flow of the Mass from beginning to the end. As ushers, they help maintain order and establish proper decorum in our place of worship. Ushers attend to the needs of the congregation in order for the faithful to experience the joy of worship.
A brief description of some of the responsibilities of an usher includes welcoming and greeting parishioners and assisting in seating, if needed. Ushers are responsible for preparing incense, inviting others to be the gifts (bread and wine) bearer, bringing forward the collection baskets for offerings. We also support other ministries such as the Extraordinary Ministers of Eucharist with directing the flow of parishioners during the distribution of Holy Communion. We help with the distribution of the weekly bulletins and other reading material that helps keep our community informed. Lastly, Ushers help maintain the sanctity of the church by arranging the gifts table as well as the ambassador’s tables, etc. But most of all, we try to bring a smile to all people and try to be a welcoming presence to all parishioners.
For more information please contact, Leo Semkiw (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chair of Ushers Ministry.
7. Extraordinary Ministers of Eucharist (EMOE), or commonly known as the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, assist our priest to distribute Holy Communion in a reverent and orderly manner. Being an EMOE is adding one more layer to deepen your relationship with God and enhance your Mass experience.
Assisting in distributing the Body and Blood of Christ allows you to share with members in our congregation to have an intimate union with Christ. Christ himself, who we receive in Holy Communion, said to His disciples at the last supper, “Take and eat; this is my body. Then He took a cup, gave thanks and said: ‘Drink from it, for this is my blood of the covenant. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (Mt 26:26-28a; 1 Cor 11:25b). Giving God’s greatest gift, His only Begotten-Son, Christ Jesus, is truly an uplifting experience.
Like the Church Ushers, EMOEs are also greeters at the door to help create a warming and welcoming environment.
For more information please contact, Latisha Cho (email@example.com), the Chair of Extraordinary Ministers of Eucharist.
8. Art & Environment Ministry creates an atmosphere, a visually prayerful environment, within the liturgical space and keeping up with the changing of liturgical seasons that will invite and inspire the faithful to full and active participation in worship.
For more information please contact, Sue Schill (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chair of Art & Environment Ministry.
9. Altar Linen ministry cares for the sacred linens. Ministers reverently launder and iron that are used on the altar at Mass.
10. Liturgy Prayer Team composes the praiseful invocations for the Penitential Act, Form C and the soulful intercessions or the prayer of the faithful.
Saint Paul has written “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body in Christ. But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. So that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy [1 Corinthians 12:12, 18, 25 -26].”
Indeed, each of these ministries has its importance in the life and for the joyful celebration of the Liturgy. Though there are many, when all act together, it forms one beautiful liturgy, each complimenting each other. And so as a baptized Catholic, we highly encourage you to share your time, talent, and treasure with our own community of Holy Spirit Parish. Come and join us!
For more information on how to serve and volunteer, please email me Father Edgar at edgar.elamparo@DSJ.org.
To God be the glory!