Liturgy

As those who know and/or in the process of knowing God, we are invited into communion with Him. This is at the heart of Christian revelation. As adopted children of God, we can rejoice in the very life of God.  We celebrate the new life won for us by Christ in His death and resurrection. We do this in the spiritual action of the Church which is called Liturgy. Liturgy refers to the public work or service of the people. It is, as the Catechism says, the participation of the people of God in the work of God.

 

Christ is present in the Liturgy. As Vatican II says “Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His ministers, ‘the same one offering, through the ministry of the priests, who formerly offered Himself on the cross,’ but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes, it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scripture are read in Church. He is present, finally, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt. 18:20) (Sacrosanctum Concilium 7).

 

Accordingly, the Liturgy is the activity that brings majority of parishioners together. In Liturgy parishioners are offered an opportunity to encounter Christ in a way that actually transforms them, making them one with the Lord. It is the public activity in which the Church, the community of God’s people, re-presents the Paschal Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. In it we worship God the Father as the body of Christ – members and head - and we are sanctified. Christ joins the Christian community in its public worship of the Church, which is generally distinguished from private devotion or private prayer.  While the private and personal prayers are important, Liturgy is the preeminent way in which we join ourselves to Christ in the worship of God. When the Church gathers in Liturgy it is Christ who ultimately offers the prayer. As the ultimate act of worship is the paschal mystery, so the highest form of liturgical prayer is the Eucharistic sacrifice which is the re-enactment of that mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. By this therefore, the Church manifests itself as the visible sign of communion in Christ between God and humankind (SC 1071).

 

As a parish, we Christians participate weekly and yearly in Liturgy. We intensify our Liturgical activities during different seasons of the year (Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter). We also have the Ordinary Time of the year. The seasons are portrayed in the decor and ‘colour’ of the Church, in the music and in the special liturgical services appropriate to each season. During the annual Liturgical Cycle, the people of God in a special way celebrate the entire life of Jesus beginning with His birth which is ushered in by the preparatory season of Advent and ending with the declaration of Christ as the Universal King at the Last Sunday of the Year.

 

 

LITURGY OF THE WORD FOR CHILDREN is a program in which the Sunday scripture readings are proclaimed and explained on a level appropriate to children from ages 6 to 12 during most Sunday Masses from September through June.

Any child in this age group may participate - no registration is necessary. Visitors can participate too.

After a brief welcome and Opening Prayer, they listen to the First Reading proclaimed from the Children’s Lectionary. They are then led through the Psalm and Gospel Acclamation. Next, the Gospel is proclaimed by one of the adult leaders. We share age-appropriate reflection on the Word: rough stories, discussions, or pictures - whatever the leader finds most appropriate to conveying the meaning of the scriptures.

 

The children are then invited to share their own thoughts and ideas. Following this, the children profess a simple Act of Faith, pray their Prayers of Intercession, and finally return to their families at the time of the Presentation of the Gifts.

 

SACRISTANS open the Church on Sundays, prepare items required for the mass, and clean up afterwards. They also ensure everything is in place for the priest, Ministers of the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.

 

MINISTERS OF HOSPITALITY (USHERS) welcome parishioners and visitors, as well as ensure people have what they need to participate in the mass. They collect donations and offer these during the Offertory.  After mass, they distribute the weekly bulletin and a kind salutation on the way out.

 

ALTAR SERVERS assist the presiding priest during the mass by carrying the cross during the procession, assisting with the offertory and preparation of the gifts. The Alter Server offers any help that the priest may need during the mass. Servers must have received the sacrament of First Communion.

 

MUSIC MINISTRY is an important part of the liturgical celebration.  The music leaders select hymns to fit each Sunday’s liturgy, they lead the parish in song at mass, and sometimes teach the congregation new hymns.

 

MINISTERS OF THE WORD (READERS) proclaim the Word of God and lead the prayers of the faithful.

 

CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD is offered during the Sunday masses and the leaders share the day’s readings in terms that children may better understand.

 

EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST help serve the bread and/or cup to those assembled.  They are also responsible for purification and cleaning of the vessels after mass.

 

Volunteers for each of the ministries are greatly welcome! Please contact the parish office and the secretary will put you in touch with the person responsible for the ministry that interests you.