The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy (hymns, responses, etc.), by looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. During the Mass their duty station is the sanctuary and a server may not leave the sanctuary except as directed by a priest, deacon or bodily necessity. Altar servers must have received first confession and Holy Communion.
The Lector combines faith with skill when reading the Scriptures. The Lector is a minister, rather than just a reader. The ministry of Lector, like that of the priest, is responsible for affecting the presence of God among the Christians gathered in worship. Just as the priest affects the special presence of God in the celebration of the Eucharist, the Lector affects the presence of God in the scriptural Word.
This concept of ministry is extremely important for Lectors. Without it, one may see oneself as a performer before a captive audience. In a way, the Lector plays a special role in the religious “drama” called Eucharist. Lectors have “scripts” and “cues,” and are called upon to employ public speaking skills. However, we as Lectors—as ministers of the Word—are servants to the people of God, not performers.
Eucharistic Ministers are called to serve God’s holy people by sharing the Body and Blood of Christ with the community of brothers and sisters united by a common faith. They assist the priest in distributing the body and Blood of Christ during the Communion Rite at Mass. Eucharistic Ministers are trained lay ministers with a deep understanding of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine.
Eucharistic Ministers are called not only to minister the Body and Blood of Christ, but also to take on Christ’s likeness. The ministers accomplish this by strengthening their faith from within and sharing it with the faithful at communion.
Ushers are part of the Hospitality Ministry of St. Priscilla parish. Our ushers faithfully perform their duties for our parishioners and guests during the weekend Masses and on Holy Days of Obligation.
In addition to the more familiar tasks of passing out the collection baskets during Mass and distributing church bulletins after Mass, our ushers carry out a number of important tasks to serve the parishioners of St. Priscilla Parish. These include –
- Greeting the parishioners and visitors as they enter the church for Mass
- Finding seating for congregants when the church is crowded
- Helping the disabled and if requested, arranging to have Holy Communion brought to their pews.
- Ensuring that congregants are available for the Offertory Presentation of the Gifts.
- Answering any questions that our parishioners or guests may have or directing them to the appropriate person if the usher does not know the answer.
Being a member of the Ushering Ministry is personally very rewarding – and the St. Priscilla Usher Ministry is open to both men and women of our parish. If you are a caring, reliable, conscientious and dedicated person the Usher Ministry will be very pleased to welcome you. Call today – they would love to hear from you!
If you are interested in becoming an Altar Server, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, or an Usher, please contact a priest or call the Rectory.