Liturgical Ministry Roles
The Sacristan ensures that everything is in place before a liturgy commences. It is an essential service to the worshipping assembly. The Sacristan takes responsibility for opening up the church, turning on lights and microphones, putting out the Missal and Lectionary (marked at the right place) and setting out chalices, plates, cruets, bread and wine, before Mass can be celebrated. They check-in the readers and eucharistic ministers rostered for the liturgy and appoint people to take up the Offertory. During the mass, they may be required to assist with communion. Following mass, they are required to pack away, tidy and lock up.
At St Ignatius Church, there is a sacristan for each weekend mass while at Holy Spirit Church, there is a roster of volunteers who serve for a month at a time (usually for two months of the year).
Altar servers are engaged in an activity that involves the whole person: body, mind and spirit. They join the assembly in participating through processing, listening, praying, responding in silence and song, sitting and standing, giving thanks and praise, giving and receiving. The role allows a more intimate encounter with these aspects through the particular activity and ministry in the liturgy. When servers are happy in their role and show pride in their appearance, their serving is life-giving to those in their presence. There is a certain joy in being able to minister to Christ’s faithful in this way and give praise to God.
Children who have completed their First Communion are welcome to become an altar server. Training is provided at each church.
The task of the reader is to proclaim God’s Word to help create for the members of the assembly an experience of God’s presence, of Jesus’ presence, in His Word. The goal is to get the Word into both the heads and the hearts of those gathered. If readers and listeners collaborate to create a lifegiving proclamation, they will experience the presence of Jesus in and through His Word, as did the people of Christ’s time, who were amazed by the authority and clarity of how Jesus spoke. Working together, the reader and the assembly form a link with the first disciples of Jesus and the assemblies of the apostolic church.
Three readers are rostered for each weekend mass.
Eucharistic Ministers primary duty is to help distribute the Body and Blood to the congregation. Eucharistic Ministers are called not only to minister the Body and Blood of Christ, but to have and maintain a strong faith, a sense of awe, and an inclusiveness of others as the foundation for their ministry. The ministers accomplish this by strengthening their faith from within and sharing it with the faithful at communion time. Eucharistic Ministers must be comfortable in establishing a relationship with each communicant in what is most likely the most intimate moment in the liturgy.
Eucharistic ministers are rostered for each weekend mass.
Music and Singing
At St Ignatius Parish, we recognise the invaluable role music plays in the celebration of weekend Mass. There is an ancient proverb: ‘Whoever sings well prays twice over’. Our music director is responsible for the planning and coordination of the music for each mass. A team of professional and volunteer musicians and singers lead each mass congregation. This ensures that the parish community sings the Mass rather than sings at Mass. There’s a world of difference between the two!
A choir sings regularly at the Saturday 6pm and Sunday 5pm mass at St Ignatius Church and the 8.30am mass at Holy Spirit Church. Musicians and singers arrive 45 minutes before mass for vocal warm-ups, music rehearsal and sound checks.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word is a program designed to engage young children by hearing the scriptures proclaimed in simplified language and then applied to contemporary life. It is an experience of prayer, of dialogue with God. The approved book of readings is the Lectionary for Masses with Children. Its adapted language places unfamiliar words and expressions in a context which helps them understand their meaning.
A liturgy of the word is never simply a verbal experience. The use of colour, light, gesture, movement and singing heightens the children’s experience of the transcendent. A beautifully bound book which is handled with respect, a special place for enthroning the word, gathering the children around to hear the scriptures proclaimed well, these all speak to the children of the sacredness of God’s word and influence how they accept and live by it.
Children’s liturgy is held at Holy Spirit Church, Auchenflower, every second Sunday during school term in conjunction with the 8.30am mass at Holy Spirit Church.
Children of any age are welcome to attend. It is appreciated if parental supervision is provided for those under school age.
The liturgy is conducted by volunteers who are rostered each term.
Additional Volunteer Roles for Weekend Masses
Data Projector System and Livestream
Both St Ignatius Church and Holy Spirit Church have a data projector system used to display the text for the weekend masses including the Hymns. A roster of volunteers operates the system. In addition, a livestream system is used at the 5pm mass at St Ignatius Church. Training is provided for volunteers.
Socialising following mass is a great way to meet or catch up with fellow parishioners and visitors. Refreshments, appropriate to the time of day and the occasion are served following weekend masses. Assistance is required with setting up and service of the food and drinks.
Volunteering around the Parish
Participation in parish life apart from the commitment to weekend liturgy provides fulfillment through personal connection and support for the faith community. People can volunteer for a variety of roles including:
- Building and gardening maintenance
- Money counting
- Flower and altar management
- Office support
- Youth ministry