“The laity can also feel called, or in fact be called, to cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life. This can be done through the exercise of different kinds of ministries according to the grace and charisms which the Lord has been pleased to bestow on them.”
~Pope Paul VI
Members of the altar guild are servants of the liturgy and worship space This ministry involves preparing the worship space with the furnishings, appointments, vessels, elements, linens, and paraments used in the liturgy. As these items are prepared and cared for, it is important that the altar guild understand their meaning and use in worship. Ongoing study is essential.
Altar Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, 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.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine.
The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. He may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings.
Liturgical Hospitality Ministers
Minister of Hospitality is used broadly to include those men and women who serve their parishes in the liturgical ministries of Usher or Greeter. This ministry is crucial because it is so visible in the Church. Certainly the attitude, conduct and even the appearance of the minister of hospitality directly affects, either positively or negatively, the experience of the faithful at Mass.
A minister of music, also referred to as a “pastoral musician” or “liturgical musician”, is one who encourages and leads the assembly in their sung prayer. In order to foster and encourage full, conscious, and active participation of the assembly in the liturgical celebration, strong leadership in liturgical song is necessary. Choir directors and choir members, cantors, accompanists, and instrumentalists must be provided with formation and training appropriate to their particular function.