In the celebration of Mass, the faithful are a holy people, a people God has made his own, a royal priesthood. They should become one body, whether by hearing the word of God, or joining in prayers and song, or above all by offering the sacrifice together and sharing together in the Lords' table..... The faithful should serve the people of God willingly when asked to perform some particular ministry in the celebration. * (#62 General Instruction to the Roman Missal)
The office of reader is instituted to proclaim the readings from Scripture, with the exception of the gospel. The reader must be truly qualified and carefully prepared in order that the faithful will develop a warm and lively love for Scripture from listening to the reading of the sacred texts. They may also announce the intentions for the General Intercession and the announcements. Readers are trained at least twice a year. They are generally scheduled according to their mass preference.
The Sacristan at Our Lady of Grace prayerfully prepares all that is needed for the Eucharistic Celebration by setting out the hosts, the wine, the ciboria and chalices. This person also acts as coordinator, making certain that there are enough ministers to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful. It is the responsibility of the sacristan to be aware of all that is expected to take place at that mass, particularly if a larger attendance is expected such as Christmas Masses or First Holy Communion liturgies.
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
Distributing Holy Communion to the faithful is crucial to the celebration of the mass. In our diocese, a Minister of Holy Communion should be at least 16 years of age and complete proper instruction to reverently and respectfully distribute the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful. These ministers are commissioned at mass and their names are sent to the Office of Worship in Lafayette. Training sessions are held twice a year; however, additional training is needed for those who take Holy Communion to the hospitals and/or shut-ins. This is the largest ministry at Our Lady of Grace, bringing together those with a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
The ministry of Altar Server is available to any boy or girl 4th grade or older. Altar Servers assist the priest during the mass by holding the Sacramentary for the prayers and assisting the priest at the altar before the consecration. Training sessions are held each spring and fall. Two sessions are required before becoming an altar server. Servers are generally scheduled according to their mass preference.
The usher, a minister of hospitality, joyfully carries out the duties of attending to the faithful. He or she may assist by locating vacant seats, by handing out worship aids or directing the faithful during the communion procession. It is also the responsibility of the usher to pass the collection baskets. Most frequently, it is the usher who will ask a family to present the gifts during the offertory. Ushers are scheduled according to mass preference.
Trained volunteers who manage the sound board at Sunday liturgies and weddings. Responsibilities include making certain a correct volume is maintained as well as tuning out occasional feedback.
A minister of hospitality like the usher, the main duty of the greeter is to warmly welcome the faithful upon their arrival to mass. They may also assist by handing out worship aids when needed. Greeters are scheduled according to mass preference
The crossbearer carries the large processional cross and leads the procession into church at the beginning of mass. As the ministers bow before the altar, the cross is positioned on the back wall of the sanctuary where it remains throughout the liturgy. At Our Lady of Grace, the communion procession is also lead by the cross bearer, leading the faithful to their reception of the Body of Christ. Crossbearers are not scheduled at this time.