Extraordinary Ministers of Communion
It is wondrous privilege not only to receive Christ truly present in our midst, but also to be the instrument through which Christ gives himself to the members of His Body. A deep, abiding faith in the Jesus who is our food, our life, our stay is to mark the life of all Catholics, and particularly Extraordinary Ministers. Through the Rector, the Bishop appoints a person to this Ministry for a term of 3 years. Any fully initiated Catholic, in good standing, who is a registered parishioner, is eligible to apply to serve in this ministry. Extraordinary Ministers are scheduled according to the needs or preferences of the individual EM as well as according to the needs of the parish. For more information regarding this ministry, please contact the Cathedral Office.
In the Eucharistic Liturgy, God is present in His Word just as truly as Jesus Himself is present in the Eucharist. Therefore, the proclamation of God’s Word is extremely important liturgical ministry. Through this ministry, God continues to give us life, form us, mold us, challenge us, convert us, grace us, and draw us to deeper life in Him. One who aspires to this ministry holds this belief deeply. This ministry is open to any fully initiated Catholic in good standing, who is a registered parishioner. Lectors are scheduled according to the needs or preferences of the individual Lector as well as according to the needs of the parish. For more information regarding this ministry, please contact the Cathedral Office.
This is an important ministry and ensures that those attending Mass or other liturgical celebrations are welcomed and that there is an orderly progression of the service. The entire parish family exercises a ministry of hospitality in that we are to mirror God’s welcoming nature in the way we welcome one another. Certain members of the community take special leadership and concern in seeing that there are no strangers here and that all who come through our doors find a welcome place in our midst. Men and women are both welcome to this ministry to greet all who arrive, to answer guests’ questions, or give directions, to take up the collection, to distribute weekly bulletins, and to perform any other service as the assembly may need. For more information regarding this ministry, please contact the Cathedral Office.
Altar Servers assist the presider at liturgy. They may be boys or girls no younger than 3
rd grade, teens or adults. All servers need to be able to receive Holy Communion and be willing to attend any training sessions. Servers should arrive 15 minutes before Mass. Servers should know and be willing to recite responses at Mass. Just as with adult liturgical ministers, school-age servers need to be responsible about showing up for their assigned Masses. In cases where they are unable to be present, they are expected to provide their own substitute. Altar Servers are scheduled according to the needs or preferences of the individual Server as well as according to the needs of the parish. For more information regarding this ministry, please contact the Cathedral Office.
In addition to ordained ministries, some roles in the Liturgy are exercised by lay people who place their time and talent at the service of the liturgical assembly as Acolytes (Altar Servers), Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Cantors, Choir Members, Instrumentalists, and Ushers. Others contribute their time and talent to planning and organizing the Liturgy; to keeping the church and the vestiments, vessels, and appointments cleaned and well ordered; or to providing decorations that reflect the spirit of the liturgical feast or season.
It is desirable that the individuals function in roles of sevice at Mass. For example, if a Deacon is present, the Priest Celebrant or a Concelebrant should not read the Gospel. The Lector should not take on the role of a Server or an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. A wide vareiety of services needs to be performed, and it is perferable that different individuals excercise those services so that the talents and gifts God has placed within the Christian community are fully used and that these roles of service are not monopolized by a few.
Those engaged in liturgical roles need to be well prepared for those roles and to know how to carry them out with reverence, dignity, and understanding. Receiving the proper preparation requires a further gift of time one the part of the person being prepared as well as on the part of those in the parish responsible for the training of liturgical ministers. Finally, the practical task of assigning individuals to particualr Masses and organizing the distribution of toles is another indispensable element in the fabric of well-ordered liturgical ministry in a parish.
All the baptized need to understand that part of their duty regarding the Liturgy is to accept some responsibility for the Liturgy, to place themselves and thier God-given talents at the services of the liturgical community whenever possible. Wheather one brings up the gifts at the Presentation; reads the Word of God; assist with the distribution of Communion and brings the Eucharist to those unable to be present at Mass; serves at the Altar; provides music that augments the joy, solemnity, and festivity of the celebration; or serves the assembled community as an usher, he or she is contributing to the worhsip of the community and fulfilling the responsiblity that comes with Baptism.
Not all members of the parish community will have the time, energy, strength, or ability to serve in these roles. However, individuals must be careful not to excuse themselves too easily. What is important is that all understand that the celebration of Liturgy is not just the responsibility of the pastor, although he is delegated by the Bishop to oversee the liturgical life of the parish. Pastors need the help of people who are serious about living out their baptismal right and respnsibility to worship.