The Mass altar servers, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, children's homilists, musicians, ushers/hospitality ministers, and those involved with Mass set-up lend their talents to help provide a meaningful worship experience, and are trained and coordinated by the Worship Committee, our Director of Religious Education, and the pastor.
Scheduling for Servers, Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers is handled by Kathi Trares through the Parish Office. Any major changes are to be called or emailed into the Parish Office prior to the new schedules' release (generally 3-4 months at a time). Liturgical Ministers will be notified when to pick up their new schedules in the Narthex (those with e-mail addresses on file at the Parish Office will receive it via e-mail; pdf link is also available on this web page). It is each person's responsibility to find a replacement for those occasional times when you are unable to serve in your ministry. Your involvement and participation is appreciated.
This ministry provides members of the parish with a true opportunity to function as lay ministers by reverently assisting the celebrant and/or deacon during Sunday Mass and at special liturgies throughout the year.
Serving the priest during Mass is a very special privilege. Servers help everyone at Mass to pray better by the way they perform their duties and are setting an example for others to follow. Boys and girls 4th grade or older may become altar servers. Training, typically coordinated by the Worship Committee and and parish staff, is usually held once a year.
Adult Altar Servers
We have a team of adult men who serve for funeral Masses. Interested individuals, should contact the Parish Office at 330-274-2253 or email@example.com.
Lectors, Children's Liturgists & Eucharistic Ministers
The proclaiming of the Word of God and the distribution of Eucharist are important ways parishioners may minister. Discerned by the pastor, parishioners are asked to serve and informational training sessions are held annually or as needed.
Serving As a Lector
When you answer your Baptismal call to be a minister of the word or Lector (one who proclaims Bible readings to assembled faith community), you enter a deeper relationship with the word of God as revealed in sacred scripture. You take upon yourself the duty and privilege of bringing the printed word to life - making it flesh, so to speak. This ministry, as a reader gives voice to God's healing and strengthening word as it goes forth, achieving the purpose for which God sent it. In every sense, you become a prophet - one who speaks for God. If you share the passion to want to know more about God's word and want to share your time and talent of "speaking" God's word, please consider becoming a Lector!
What are the rewards of becoming a Lector?
As a Lector/Commentator you will…
engage in active participation of your faith,
strengthen and reinforce your faith by learning more about the Word of God,
experience fellowship among your brothers and sisters of our Ministry and the greater faith community,
establish a closer relationship and understanding of God, yourself, and the community,
and obtain personal growth within our faith.
Those having received the sacrament of Confirmation are eligible to serve. You are also required to be a registered parishioner and a Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church (practices their faith regularly, by attending Sunday Mass, Holy Days of Obligations, church and community service, participant of a church ministry). Our ministry offers a workbook of readings for the current liturgical year and advance schedules.
Serving As A CLOW Liturgist
Held weekly during Sunday's 11:15 a.m. Mass (September-April), the Children's Liturgy of the Word Program is designed for children in Pre-School (4 years) through 2nd grade. If you would like the opportunity to reflect more deeply on the Sunday readings, share your faith with young children, and meet your Sunday obligation ALL at the same time, then you might consider becoming a Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) Catechist. If you are interested in becoming a CLOW catechist, please contact the PSR Office (330-274-2268).
Serving As A Eucharistic Minister (Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist)
Your willingness to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, reflects not only response to your Baptismal call to serve the people of God, but a commitment to Christ as you share in the preaching, teaching, and leading aspects of the church. A suitable candidate should have a devotion to the Eucharist and possess the time, health, and willingness to serve in this capacity. The individual must be a practicing Catholic, having been Baptized and Confirmed in the Catholic Church, and have an on going relationship with the parish as a registered, active participant. Your willingness to commit to a monthly schedule, to prepare properly for your service, and to arrive on time dressed appropriately for your assigned Mass, further reflects that commitment.
"The Eucharist constitutes the very life of the Church,
for the Lord said, I am the bread of life.
No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry,
no one who believes in me shall ever thirst."
from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1157:
"Song and music fulfill their function as signs in a manner all the more significant when they are "more closely connected . . . with the liturgical action," according to three principal criteria: beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly at the designated moments, and the solemn character of the celebration. In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful:
How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears, distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face -- tears that did me good. (St. Augustine, Convessions 9:6, 14)
Please click here to learn more about this ministry.
Ushers & Hospitality Ministers
These ministers are sometimes referred to as Greeters. Being a welcoming community is very important to us. Ushers are the first face of the parish. They greet those coming into our church, offer assistance to those in need, distribute parish bulletins, take up the collection, distribute other materials as needed, and assist in other special duties as needed. If you would like to be an usher/hospitality minister, please contact Parish Office.
Eucharistic Bread Bakers - INACTIVE
We will discontinue the use of bread for consecration that has been made by parishioners, effective the end of this month (September). We will use the hosts made available through our religious article suppliers.
The homemade bread is somewhat cumbersome as particles and residue are often a problem. It is not possible to reserve those consecrated hosts if there are any remaining after distribution. Also, it has been expressed by some persons that they have trouble swallowing this type of host. - Fr. Ed Stafford
There are dozens of small details that go into the preparation of each weekend Mass including arranging the altar linens, selecting the Eucharistic service pieces, checking the bread and wine, and other numerous duties. This requires knowledge of the liturgical calendar and close coordination with the Worship Committee.
It is easy to overlook many of the basic, unheralded activities that are needed to keep a parish running smoothly. The church linens including altar and communion cloths, need regular and expert laundering.
Lay Leaders of Prayer
Leaders of Prayer are lay persons commissioned to lead the faithful in the following acts of worship, which in the past were most often led by ordained clergy. Services that they may provide include:
Liturgy of the Hours (Morning and Evening Prayer)
Liturgy of the Word
Rites from the Order of Christian Funerals, such as the Wake Service and Rite of Committal
Public devotions, such as the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and novenas
Sunday celebrations and Holy Days of Obligation when, in an emergency, a priest cannot be present
Minor rites within the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults
Leaders of Prayer are to be selected by their pastors, in consultation with parish staff and/or appropriate members of pastoral council, and should be persons who exhibit the following traits:
A living appreciation for Scripture and a deep reverence for the Eucharist.
An active prayer life and an exemplary moral life.
A spirit of cooperative involvement and leadership with the laity and clergy of the parish community.
Both a strong desire and an ability to foster liturgical participation.
Skills in public speaking.
A commitment to ministry and the time to minister.
Formation for Leaders of Prayer is provided by the Diocese, and persons who have successfully completed formation are commissioned by the Bishop for service in their parishes. The commission last for three years and is renewable. (In the past, St. Joseph's is fortunate to have had Al Roberts, Joanne Sawyer, and Arlene Hilfer who are commissioned to serve as Leaders of Prayer).