Assembly: The ministry of the assembly is the People of God gathered together for prayer and worship. It is our chief delight and joyful duty to participate in the prayers, responses, songs and hymns which join us as a community in praise of God. It is the ministry of the assembly which all other liturgical ministries support. Thus, in addition to being members of the assembly, many individuals offer their gifts to enhance the liturgy and to serve the People of God during our celebrations.
If you are interested in any of these ministries, contact the Director of Liturgy & Music at the Parish Office.
Liturgical Ministries offered at St. Alphonsus
Anointing Ministers: Individuals who assist the priest at the Communal Anointing of the Sick Mass in the Spring. These ministers assist with the laying on of hands and praying over those who are receiving the sacrament. It is only a once-a- year commitment. This ministry is particularly good for anyone in the medical profession or anyone who feels a call to pray with others.
Baptismal Ministers: Individuals who assist the priest or deacon at baptisms during the Mass or at the communal baptism. This is a very easy ministry to participate in. A commitment of only a few minutes once every couple of months is all that is required. This ministry is particularly good for anyone who loves babies.
Church Decorators (Environment & Art): During the major church seasons_Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter_many parishioners help to enhance the environment in which we pray. A group of individuals make decorating the church their primary ministry. However, everyone is welcome to help, including families and children. No special talent is needed, just a willingness to help.
Eucharistic Ministers: The Eucharistic celebration is the central moment of Christian belief. Whenever Jesus' followers gather today, the actions of the bread broken and shared, and the cup passed, are the center of Christian remembrance of Jesus, the moment against which all other events are measured, and within which all life's happenings gain meaning. At Emmaus the two disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking and sharing of the bread. We are called to do the same. Eucharistic ministers must attend one ministry training. There is no schedule so ministers serve at whichever liturgy they attend. Stewards: Certain duties at the time of communion are performed by the Wine Steward. Stewards are assigned to specific Masses.
Funeral Ministers: Individuals who assist at the funeral Mass. Each funeral has 4 ministers that help set-up, help with things the family does not wish to do such as proclaiming the readings or distributing communion, and help with clean-up. There are presently 10-15 people who share in this ministry. This ministry is particularly good for anyone who is retired since it often requires daytime availability.
Greeters: One of the characteristics of Catholic Christians is the welcoming and acceptance of everyone in the name of Christ. On Sunday at our communal celebration of the Mass, we all welcome the strangers among us. A particularly satisfying ministry that can be done by anyone single people, married couples, families, friends is that of Greeter. All that is required is a pleasant "Good Morning" or "Welcome" and a smile. We should have greeters at every entrance for every Mass on every Sunday. No training is necessary.
Lectors: The privilege and responsibility of the Lector is to proclaim God's Word in the assembly. The ability to read well aloud and a love of Scripture are the two main requisites in this ministry. Lectors are assigned and usually read at Mass once every 4-5 weeks. Practice in church with the other rectors for that weekend is encouraged. This practice takes place on Thursday evenings at 6:15pm and lasts about a half hour.
Liturgical Planners: Parishioners who prepare the liturgies for Sundays, feasts, and seasons. They spend time reflecting with each other on the Scripture readings and finding in those readings a way to focus on the life, death and resurrection of Christ. A commitment to attend two-to-four planning sessions during the time prior to a season is required; days and times are flexible.
Music Ministry: A vital aspect of every liturgy is the assistance given to the assembly by various musicians and choirs. St. Alphonsus has several opportunities for people with musical ability to share their gifts in order to enhance the music of the assembly. If you are interested in any of the music ministries, contact the Director of Music Ministry at the Parish Office.
Cantors: Primary responsibilities are to guide the congregation in song and to proclaim the psalm. Rehearsals are scheduled week to week.
4:30 PM Choir (4:30 pm Saturdays): All voices. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Sing September to June.
9:00 AM: At the 9:00 AM Liturgy, our hand bell choir plays once a month, the children's choir sings once a month and our cantor choir sings once a month from September to June.
11:00 AM Choir (11:00 am Sundays): All voices. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Sing September to June.
Bell Choir: Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Play for various liturgies, September to June.
Resurrection Choir: All voices. Sing as available for funerals. Rehearsals are once a month.
Children's Choir: Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.
Accompanist (piano and/or organ): Willing to assist during times of vacation, retreat, etc. for regular accompanist, as well as to play for various other prayer services when needed.
Instrumentalist: Willing to assist at various liturgies as the need may arise or to work consistently with the Good News Choir (see above).
Prayer Leaders: One of the most humbling experiences is to be allowed to lead others in prayer. The Code of Canon Law (230.3) increases the use of lay ministers in parishes. "Where the needs of the Church require ... lay people ... can supply certain functions, that is, exercise the ministry of the Word, preside over liturgical prayers, confer baptism and distribute Holy Communion, in accord with the provisions of the law." Prayer Leaders are needed for various prayers during the seasons of Advent and Lent, to occasionally presider over communion services, and to help the community pray at various other occasions. Training is provided on an individual basis.
Prayer Network: Ministers on a prayer network offer their gift of prayer to the community. If someone has a need for which they would ask for prayer, the coordinator of each prayer network receives the request and begins a telephone network to others who are willing to add the new intention to their prayers. This is a ministry which requires a great deal of confidentiality.
Sacristans: The ministry of sacristan involves set-up before Mass and clean- up after Mass, as well as keeping things in order for Sundays, holy days, and other special liturgies. Training is provided on an individual basis.
Servers: Worship is the public expression of faith on the part of the gathered community. Servers, as ministers, perform the dual roles of example to the community and assistant to the celebrant and community during prayer. Young people in grades five and up, public or private school, are invited to join this ministry. One training session is required. Sign-up is in September for one year.
Ushers: One of the first liturgical ministers people see is the usher. The ministry of usher is one of hospitality more than of collection-taking and door- tending. This ministry is open to both men and women of the parish who want to pray, sing, participate, and assist the community in a variety of ways. Their gracious manner as they distribute participation materials, attend to the special needs of parishioners, help parents with infants, and assist the elderly, helps set the tone of hospitality that ultimately pervades the entire gathered community.