Here are some of the people you might see in our church during Mass.
GREETER welcomes parishioners and visitors to the parish.
USHER helps to assemble the congregation and assists in collecting the offering.
ALTAR SERVER assists the priest during Mass. It is often a young person.
READER is a person trained to proclaim the Scripture readings from the Old and New Testaments. He or she may also present the intentions for prayer.
PRESIDER/CELEBRANT is a priest who acts in the Mass in the person of Jesus, pronouncing the sacred prayers, presiding over the celebration of the sacred mysteries, preaching God's Word and consecrating and offering the Body and Blood of Christ.
ASSEMBLY is the community of the baptized and all those gathered to celebrate the Mass.
CANTOR AND CHOIR are responsible for leading the congregation in song. The cantor is the liturgy's chief singer and the choir assists in leading the music of the Mass.
DEACON proclaims the Gospel, preaches and assists the priest in his sacred duties at Mass. He frequently distributes the Communion cup at Mass.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER OF HOLY COMMUNION is a person trained to assist the priest in distributing holy Communion.
Here are some gestures you may see while in our church, and the reason for them.
SIGN OF THE CROSS is commonly traced from forehead to breast, from left shoulder to right. This gesture, in the form of the cross, is done while praying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."
TRIPLE SIGN OF THE CROSS before the Gospel is traced with thumb on forehead, lips and heart. Typically, people pray inaudibly that their minds and hearts be open to hear the Gospel and their lips open to proclaim it.
GENUFLECTING is the gesture of bending on your right knee to the ground as a sign of reverence or adoration.
SIGN OF PEACE is a handshake or other suitable gesture in witness to the belief that true peace is a gift of Christ's death and resurrection.
BLESSING YOURSELF WITH HOLY WATER and making the sign of the cross occurs when entering and leaving church as a reminder of our baptism.
LAITY are all the faithful who, by virtue of their baptism, confirmation and participation in the holy Eucharist, are called to be witnesses of Christ in the world.
LAY MINISTERS Here are a few examples of lay ministers who may be serving at our church:
• Director of Religious Education is responsible for the religious education of all age levels in a parish. Coordinator of Youth Ministry is responsible for the religious education of the youth in a parish. Works with the Director of Religious Education and parish staff to reach out to youth and involve them in the religious life of the parish.
• Director of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is responsible for overseeing the process of welcoming new adult members into the Catholic Church.
MEN AND WOMEN IN CONSECRATED LIFE often live in community and take vows such as poverty, chastity and obedience. They may be priests, monks, nuns, consecrated virgins or religious brothers or sisters.
DEACONS are men ordained to assist in carrying out the Church's ministry. They are able to proclaim the Gospel, preach, baptize, and conduct funerals and weddings outside of Mass.
PRIESTS are men ordained to mediate between God and his people. They preside at Mass, celebrate sacraments and minister to the people in their congregation. They may have the title of pastor or parochial vicar (assistant pastor).
BISHOPS, successors to the Apostles, have received the fullness of Christ's priesthood. Bishops are the visible head of their diocese. "Diocese" is from the Greek word for administration, and is the district under the supervision of a bishop.
THE POPE is the Bishop of Rome, the successor to St. Peter and the Vicar (representative) of Christ on earth_ Christ is the head of the Church; the pope is Christ's visible representative.