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Liturgical Ministries

Guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

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Qualified persons for this ministry must receive an indult from the Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord through the Secretariat for Worship and Liturgical Formation. The indult is for a particular parish or cluster and valid for a period of three years. The indult becomes null if the person changes parishes/clusters and must be renewed through the new parish community.

  • A candidate for the indult and commissioning as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion must be fully initiated into the Church.
  • Normally, the minimum age for the commissioning is upper high school age and mature enough for the responsibilities.
  • Each candidate must participate in ongoing formation and training through the parish, cluster of parishes, vicariate, or the Diocesan Worship Office.

In order to be commissioned, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must first receive training in liturgical theology and receive a formal certificate signed by the Bishop's designate, the Director of the Secretariat for Worship and Liturgical Formation.

The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion has the responsibility of striving always to grow closer to Jesus and develop a great love and respect for the Eucharist through a life of prayer, spiritual reading and participation in the Mass.

The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion over a period of time will:

  • Develop a deepening knowledge of the theology and structure of the Mass
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the Eucharist as the sacrament of unity and service
  • Understand the importance of symbol and ritual in Catholic worship
  • Understand and participate in practices of Eucharistic devotions
  • Learn the specifics of the liturgical space and language
  • Become proficient at carrying out the responsibilities with confidence, reverence and dignity

Temporary Certification for New Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Parishioners who would like to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion must receive a temporary certificate through the Office for Worship and Liturgical Formation in order to begin serving as a minister in their parish. This certificate is to be filled out and signed by the pastor or pastoral administrator. Please find the form for temporary certification below.

The new EM is to receive "how-to" training from the pastor, pastoral administrator or the person delegated to instruct the new ministers. Following the training, all new ministers must attend a diocesan training before November 30 of that year.

For further explanation please contact the Worship Office.

Re-certification for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who would like to extend their indult from the Bishop to continue serving as an EMHC must attend a session through their parish or diocese for continuing formation. Additionally, please download and complete the form to be signed by your pastor.

Guidelines for Lectors

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It is expected that persons involved as lectors in their parishes are baptized, mature (at least upper high school level), active members of the parish. The goal for any reader is to proclaim God's word in a clear, understandable way so the faithful will develop a warm and lively love for Scripture from listening to the proclamation of the sacred texts. In order to do this, the reader must prepare spiritually as well as technically. Prayerful study of the Scriptures will allow the reader to understand the readings in context and to perceive the central point of the revealed message. Readers with a love and understanding of the Word of God convey this to the assembly through the manner in which they read. Through prayerful preparation readers allow themselves to be receptive to the Spirit who speaks through them in their ministry.

Requirements:

  • A willingness to serve others
  • A willingness to grow in understanding and love of scripture
  • A willingness to understand the meaning and structure of the Liturgy of the Word and its relation to the Liturgy of the Eucharist
  • A willingness to develop the technical skills necessary for public proclamation
  • A willingness to be spiritually and physically prepared to minister to others, by prayerful preparation to convey the Word to the assembly and by a familiarity with the environment in which the Word will be proclaimed.

Responsibilities:

  • Prepare beforehand by reading the scripture, discuss its meaning with others and practice aloud
  • Honor the time and schedule commitments of the ministry
  • Take advantage of continuing educational opportunities in the parish and the diocese as they arise
  • Wear non-distracting, appropriate attire

The Secretariat for Worship and Liturgical Formation has produced the booklet, "Ministry of Lectors." This resource will soon be available for purchase. This booklet is also available to be reproduced by parishes without further permission from the Worship Office at the link below. Please contact the worship office if you have any questions.

Guidelines for Ushers and Greeters

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Ministers of hospitality, including ushers and greeters, serve the assembly and assist in prayer. They do this above all by recognizing, welcoming and caring for each member of the assembly as if that person were Christ. They tend to the needs of the people of God and make them feel comfortable as they gather for worship each Sunday.

Much is expected of ushers and greeters. They have chosen to serve God's people with generosity and greet them with great kindness and joy.

One of the expectations is that these ministers will participate in some form of training and formation because their responsabilities are varied and many according to the guidelines set forth by their parish and/or cluster of parishes.

The Secretariat for Worship and Liturgical Formation has produced the booklet, "Ministry of Hospitality Ushers and Greeters." This resource will soon be available for purchase. This booklet is also available to be reproduced by parishes without further permission from the Worship Office at the link below. Please contact the worship office if you have any questions.

Guidelines for Altar Servers

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The Ministry of Altar Server is important in the Church. It is the Altar Server's responsibility to assist the Celebrant during liturgy. An altar server who performs his/her responsibilities with knowledge and prayerfulness helps to facilitate the prayerfulness of the assembly.

The Secretariat for Worship and Liturgical Formation has produced the booklet, "Ministry of Altar Server," and this resource will soon be available for purchase. This booklet is also available to be reproduced by parishes without further permission from the Worship Office at the link below. Please contact the worship office if you have any questions.

Guidelines for Cantors

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It is considered the ministry of the cantor to:

  • share in the proclamation of the Word of God, particularly as a psalmist
  • teach the assembly its songs, refrains and acclamations

"There should be a cantor or choirmaster to direct and encourage the people in singing. If there is no choir, the cantor leads the various songs and the people take their own part." GIRM (684)

"The chanter (cantor) of the psalms is to sing the psalm or other biblical song between the readings (from the same place that the other Scripture is proclaimed). The cantor should be trained in the art of singing psalms and be able to speak clearly and distinctly." GIRM (67)

Additional Resources

Liturgical Studies and Liturgical Music

Resource Books for Liturgical Ministries

Available from Liturgy Training Publications:
Guide for Ushers and Greeters
Guide for Lectors
Guide for the Assembly
Guide to Keeping Sunday Holy
Guide for Sunday Mass
Guide to the Revised Lectionary
Guide for Sacristans

Available in print from the Worship Office-Diocese of Gaylord:
Handbook for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Handbook for Lectors
Handbook for Ministers of Hospitality - Ushers and Greeters
Handbook for Parish Music Ministers
ABC's for Altar Servers