Lectors are the lay ministers who proclaim the readings and certain other prayers from the ambo during Mass. This ministry requires good speaking skills, along with the ability to convey emotion and content without distracting the congregation’s focus. In addition, some preparation is required during the week, as the Lector should know the assigned reading(s) well enough not to stumble over unusual names, words, or syntax.
Hospitality Ministers serve the congregation as greeters, ushers, and general “problem-solvers” as required. Far from just seating the congregation and distributing bulletins, they provide information to new parishioners, provide hearing assistance receivers to those who require them, coordinate crowd control during crowded events and Masses, coordinate the offertory collection (when included), and help those who require assistance during Mass. If you can think on your feet, are good at relating to lots of different people, and are friendly by nature, you’d be perfect for this challenging ministry.
These ministers are primarily in charge of distributing and collecting the offertory baskets during the Preparation Hymn. On special occasions, this process may include the collection of offerings from overflow seating in Flanagan Hall and/or assisting the Hospitality Ministers with their duties as required.
An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is a lay person who has been commissioned to distribute Holy Communion in the case of a serious necessity and when there are not sufficient priests or deacons available.The extraordinary minister is called extraordinary in order to be distinguished from the ordinaryminister of Holy Communion, who is a bishop, priest, or deacon (Code of Canon Law, c. 910). This privilege includes the preparation of sacred vessels on the credence tables prior to Mass, distribution of Holy Communion during the Mass, and clean-up / storage of the vessels after Mass is concluded. EMHCs must be approved by the diocese and commissioned prior to beginning their ministry. In addition, yearly refresher trainings are required and re-commissioning must be obtained every three years.
Children’s Liturgists are the ministers who bring the light of Christ’s teachings to our youngest parishioners. Similar to Lectors, this ministry requires good presentation skills, along with the ability to relate complex concepts to children on their level of understanding. Also similar to Lectors, CLW requires preparation, as the readings must not only be reviewed but also understood well enough to convey the meaning and answer questions. If you love working with children and have a passion for Christ’s message, then CLW may be a ministry worth considering.
Altar Servers are the primary ministers who assist the clergy during the Mass and other important liturgies. While Altar Servers (or Servers, for short) are often seen holding books, retrieving objects, and handling sacred vessels / objects, their ministry is greater than this. Through their posture, their attitude, and their participation in the Mass, Altar Servers provide both an example of reverence as well as practical prompts for the participation for the congregation.
Music Ministers provide vocal and instrumental support to the actions of a given liturgy. Followed closely by Lectors and Children’s Liturgists, Music Ministers require the greatest amount of preparation prior to Mass, as music must be rehearsed and new music must be learned prior to use. Vocalists may be organized into choirs, small cantor groups, or single cantors, depending on each person’s schedule. Instrumentalists consist of Accompanists, one of whom normally coordinates a given group, and any additional instruments available for the liturgy. While fluency in reading music is not an absolute requirement, it is highly encouraged due to the wide repertoire associated with changing liturgical seasons and events.