Participate more fully.
All members of the assembly for Sunday Masses are called to be active participants in the liturgy. From that number there are also those called to special liturgical roles.
Our parish community has many roles that are needed to help each weekend run smoothly and be joy-filled celebrations of the Eucharist.
Extraordinary Ministers of the Altar
Men, women and children who assist in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Their movements, gestures and words are marked by reverence and presence to the members of the assembly. In this parish all ministers must attend the Liturgical Minister’s course conducted by the IFM (Institute for Mission) under the Diocese and undergo practical training in the parish as steps in discerning their call to this Ministry.
Acolyte – An installed member who assists the deacon and priest in liturgical celebrations. They oversee the adult and altar servers and coordinate the smooth flow of the liturgy
Adult Servers – Parishioners who assist the celebrant & acolyte
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
“Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Luke 10:14.
The Children’s Liturgy of the Word has as its primary purpose: to help children participate fully as members of the community gathered for worship. This means to help children celebrate the liturgy in a meaningful way by hearing the Word proclaimed; by responding with silence, song and prayer and by being lead to understand the proclaimed word. This is a time of prayer and celebration; it is not a time for formal catechism classes, such as the term “Sunday School” would suggest. It is a time more like listening and responding to God; a time to experience God more than to learn about him. Parents are welcome to accompany children to their Liturgy of the Word. The children leave the church after the opening prayer and return during the time of preparation of the gifts.
Readers of the Scriptures must demonstrate both the ability to proclaim the Scripture clearly and have an understanding of the Scriptures they read.
Besides the adult servers the practice of having junior servers, both girls and boys, continues in St John XXIII Parish. Junior servers are invited to this ministry around age 10 years and are required to participate in a course of formation before they undertake their ministry.
Lay persons are installed as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist both for assisting at Sunday Masses and for taking Communion to the sick. Anyone over the age of 16, who have received the sacrament of Confirmation, may serve as Eucharistic Ministers.
Liturgical Art and Environment
Maintaining an environment appropriate to liturgical seasons and special feast days — including use of flowers, banners, or other accoutrements of ambience – requires a team of parishioners who are committed to overseeing this aspect of liturgical celebrations.
The 1963 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy established that music performs a particular ministerial function in worship and forms a necessary or integral part of the liturgy (CSL, 112). Since 1963 various other documents and decrees on liturgical music have informed the pastoral planning of the parish celebration of the Eucharist. The Instruction Musicam Sacram 1967 says: “Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people (no. 113). Pastors of souls must be at pains to ensure that whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs. (no.114).”
In light of the above principles, congregational singing is an established practice at all weekend and some weekday masses at St John XXIII parish. Participation by all in the assembly is encouraged and fostered.
Greeters are a significant part of our weekly Sunday liturgy. They meet visitors at the doors of the church, offering this week’s bulletin with a ‘welcome.’ Most importantly, they are there to answer first questions and help people feel at home.
Ushers continue the work of the Greeters, assisting people in finding a seat. In addition, they coordinate the weekly collection and assist people in coming forward for Communion. At times ushers are needed to help people find seats when there is an overflowing crowd.
Refreshments are available after each Mass to allow for fellowship and community-building. Parishioners take turns providing cookies or other baked goods after Sunday Mass. There are also teams of people who make coffee and prepare the refreshments for after each Mass.
Just some reminders for ministers:
- if you are rostered, please be at Church at least 20 minutes before the start of mass.
- sign in on the register located at the working sacristy.
- if you are not rostered but would like to assist during the mass, please inform the acolyte of the day.