BE A PART OF THE ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH MINISTRY
BE A PART OF THE ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH MINISTRY
Altar Servers have a place of prominence and distinction in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. They assist the priest as he leads God’s people in this great act of worship of God, our Father. Altar Servers should strive to grasp the inner meaning of the Eucharist and the ceremonies which the Church devised to enhance this sacred meal.
The role of altar servers is to bring the assembly to a fuller understanding of the liturgy and so to a greater love for God. They do this through the actions they perform and by the way in which they perform them. Their behavior can be a sign of their faith and their love for God and for God’s people.
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, and assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary.
On August 12, 2001, Pope John Paul II addressed a gathering of young altar servers in Rome and in part said, “The altar server occupies a privileged place in the liturgical celebration. The altar server presents himself to a community and experiences firsthand that Jesus Christ is present and active in every liturgical act. Jesus is present when the community comes together to pray and render praise to God. Jesus is present in the Word of sacred Scripture. Jesus is present above all in the Eucharist under the signs and bread and wine. He acts through the priest who, in the person of Christ, celebrates the holy Mass and administers the sacraments. Therefore, in the liturgy, you are much more than simple ‘helpers of the parish priest.’ Above all, you are servers of Jesus Christ, of the eternal High Priest. Thus, you, altar servers, are called in particular to be young friends of Jesus. Be determined to go deeper and to cultivate this friendship with Him. You will discover that in Jesus you have found a true friend for life.
The Bereavement Group helps to comfort the bereaved family by serving a meal after the funeral, either at Father Friend Hall (if available), at the family’s home, or at McDougald’s Funeral Home (if McDougald’s is used). We are a group consisting of six teams that rotate as needs arise. We check up on the family several weeks after the funeral. Occasionally we will attend the Funeral Mass.
Ushers smile, greet, and welcome parishioners as part of the hospitality before Mass. The men and women who serve in this ministry are both hosts and housekeepers for the Lord’s Supper. They are responsible for the seating of parishioners, especially parishioners with special needs, taking up the collection, presentation of the gifts for Holy Communion, organizing the Communion procession, and distribution of bulletins at the conclusion of Mass. They ensure that the Lord’s house is in order before, during, and after the celebration of Mass. The Usher Ministry of Hospitality is open to all. Couples and families are encouraged to join this ministry.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is a layperson formally instituted to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion during the Mass. Outside of Mass, some extraordinary ministers may assist priests and deacons in the distribution of Holy Communion to the sick and homebound. Extraordinary ministers must be devout adult Catholics, who participate regularly in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. If the extraordinary minister is married, the marriage must be one recognized by the Church. Persons able to assist in this way may express their willingness to the pastor or his assistants. Once candidates are identified, a personal invitation should be extended from the pastor or his delegate to an appropriate number of qualified individuals.
The term sacristan goes back to ancient times, referring to one “who is in charge of the sacristy.” The Council of Trent desired that, according to the old canons, clerics should hold such offices; but in most churches, on account of the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining clerics, laymen perform many of the duties of the sacristan. Sacristans are entrusted with the ministry of preparing for the weekday, weekend, Holy Day Mass celebrations, special occasions such as weddings and funerals, and at the end of the solemnity ensuring that all sacred vessels and church artifacts are returned to their proper place. The variety of duties include but are not limited to unlocking and locking the church building, adjusting lighting, preparing the communion hosts, water and wine, readying the chalice, ciborium, patens, and monstrance as necessary. In addition, the sacristan is responsible for the filling of candles with liquid paraffin, filling the holy water fonts and lighting the candles in the absence of servers and performing other tasks as directed depending on the event or solemnity. This ministry is open to both men and women and detailed training is provided to those interested in this very spiritually rewarding church ministry.
Lectors are members of the church assembly who proclaim the Word in the first two scripture readings. Training and preparation are necessary for those persons wishing to be lectors. Proclaiming the Sacred Scripture is different from other kinds of public speaking. Not only do lectors need to be effective communicators, but they also need to absorb and express the spirit of the Liturgy as well. Lectors assist in creating a hospitable and prayerful environment, and in proclaiming the words of Holy Scripture, the assembly might come to a deeper love of God and a fuller Christian life.
CY4C is the middle and high school youth group. It is open to current 6-12 graders.
CY4C meets on Sundays, 5:30 – 7:00pm. We have dinner, a brief lesson and time for fun and fellowship. We participate in many Church and community activities such as: Care packages for the military, Christmas Caroling at Nursing Homes, Saturday Servants and the parish Easter Egg Hunt just to name a few. Come and join us for fun and fellowship.
To contact a counselor email us at CY4C@sjccs.net.