Called to Serve the Eucharist
Liturgical Ministers are called by God to be instruments of Christ's Real Presence.
You may be discerning whether or not you are being called to lay liturgical ministry. As you read and pray about the theology that is the foundation of lay liturgical ministry, listen carefully to your spirit’s response. A sense of anticipation, enthusiasm, curiosity and eagerness can indicate that God is calling you.
A Theology of Lay Liturgical Ministry
We who attend Mass, the Assembly, are asked to fully participate in the Liturgy, consciously and actively. Active participation means listening carefully, responding meaningfully, singing robustly, and allowing our spirits to be nourished through the Eucharist. It also means that we are Christ to one another in the Mass; we become Christ to one another when we treat each other with love, respect, and caring. Liturgical Ministers have a special opportunity to be Christ to those assembled by their acts of service within the Mass. By welcoming as ushers, by proclaiming the Word as lectors, and by imitating Christ in sharing communion as Eucharistic Ministers, liturgical ministers are Christ present sacramentally.
While everyone who is baptized has Christ’s imprint and so is worthy of being a liturgical minister, liturgical ministers are called by God. When God wants us, He calls us for His work no matter where we are. You do not need to feel anything other than a call to serve God in the liturgy. For a more expansive and formal explanation, please read A Theology of Lay Ministry.
As you next read and pray about the requirements, again listen carefully to your spirit’s response. A sense of understanding (one of the Spirit’s gifts), a willingness to abide by these requirements, and a continued sense of enthusiasm are signs of God’s call to you to serve.
General Qualifications for all Liturgical Ministers
Liturgical Ministers must:
- be registered and active members in the parish. Active parishioners are those that contribute time, talent and/or financial support to the work of the parish on a regular basis.
- be fully initiated Catholics in good standing, meaning that they have received the Sacraments of Baptism and—in the case of all except altar servers—Confirmation and that they participate faithfully in the celebration of the Eucharist.
- if married, be in a valid marriage. Please see Valid Catholic Marriage if you have questions.
- serve for a three year period, renewable for one additional three year period.
Are you pleased or excited about the prospect of learning more about prayer, your faith, and ministry? This is a sign that God is calling you.
Required Formation for Liturgical Ministers
The word “formation” is used to describe this growth and development because it includes three elements: intellectual, spiritual and practical. We strive to offer elements of all three types over the course of a year. Liturgical ministers are required to attend the following initial formation:
- A gathering entitled Ministry Matters.
- A practical training with the Ministry Head for your chosen ministry
- New liturgical ministers are asked to read their handbooks, review pertinent section of the parish website, and begin to pray for themselves and the effectiveness of their ministries.
In addition to this initial formation, liturgical ministers will be required to attend to ongoing formation. Ongoing formation has two dimensions: a self-directed learning dimension and a group learning dimension. The components include completing the self-guided learning offered to you by your ministry heads or by the pastor, and attending special gatherings for those who serve in liturgical ministry.
If you have decided that you have been called to become a Lay Liturgical Minister at St. Bridget, the next step is to sign up for Ministry Matters.
We encourage you to read, think and pray. If you would like the Liturgy Committee to pray with or for you, please send an email to the Liturgy Committee and we promise our prayer for you.