ST. JUDE PARISH
17 MOUNT OLIVE ROAD, BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY
All liturgical ministers are members of the body of Christ, the “holy people and royal priesthood” who participate in Christ’s ministry of redemption and salvation. In the Mass, the lay faithful exercise this ministry in various ways, but the fullest and most fundamental expression of it has always been “conscious, active and fruitful participation in the mystery of the Eucharist” (General instruction of the Roman Missal ‘GIRM’, Third Typical Edition, 2002), a participation “to which the Christian people have a right and duty by reason of their Baptism” (GIRM, #18).
Some of the faithful are called to serve God’s people in a more particular way through one of the many liturgical ministries that have flourished in the Church since the Second Vatican Council. This diversity of roles, functions and ministries enriches our celebrations and assists us in our prayer. Serving in one of these ministries is both an honor and a responsibility, and those who commit to it deserve nurturing and support.
The Minister of Hospitality is the first person one normally encounters when entering church for Sunday Mass. With a warm welcome and Christ-like attitude, the minister can ensure that both parishioners and visitors alike see and experience Jesus’ love. By welcoming others and making them feel at home, Hospitality Ministers set the stage for the Eucharistic celebration that is to follow.
Friendliness, respect, discretion and appropriate decorum are hallmarks of a Minister of Hospitality. Most importantly, ministers should be noted for their concern and genuine care for others. Such qualities are gifts of the Holy Spirit and a blessing, especially to visitors and guests.
Hospitality Ministers assure that the liturgy flows smoothly and prayerfully, and make certain there are no disruptions during Mass. They assist individuals and families by helping them find seating based upon their needs. During Mass they find couples or families to bring up the gifts of bread and wine, and are responsible for the collection. They ensure that those who cannot approach the altar for Holy Communion receive communion. After Mass, Ministers of Hospitality distribute the bulletin, assist anyone who has specials needs in leaving the church, and extend best wishes for the week to come.
To be an altar server is a special honor and a great privilege in the Catholic Church. Altar servers today can trace their roots or genealogy to the Order of Acolyte, a ministry that once was reserved only for those who were going to be ordained priests. One can look upon being an altar server as a special and unique ministry through which a young person can help to spread the word and the love of Christ through his or her actions and words. It is not difficult to be an altar server, but there are certain things that a candidate must learn.
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest (and deacon if present) in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done by performing prescribed movements at the appropriate time at the altar.
Altar servers are expected to set an example to the congregation through active participation in the liturgy: singing hymns, offering responses and being alert to the needs of the celebrant.
The Music Ministry of St. Jude Church is comprised of dedicated singers and musicians who lead the congregation in song, giving praise to God through music. Cantors, singers and instrumentalists also minister to the Faithful by providing music which allows and encourages spiritual reflection. Anyone who can sing or play an instrument is cordially invited to come and share your time and talents! All that is required is a love of music and the ability to make a commitment to the group’s practice schedule.
There are several opportunities for all ages available:
The Traditional Choir is comprised of parishioners of all musical abilities. Any member of the parish who has the desire to raise his or her voice in song is welcome to join. There is no need to read music or audition. The choir provides prayerful music for the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, as well as other celebrations throughout the year. The choir season runs from September through May, and the choir provides music for liturgies such as Christmas, Easter, and Holy Week. Rehearsals are held on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Contact Deacon Tony if you are interested in joining.
The Contemporary Choir sings year round at the Noon Mass on Sundays. The group also includes an ensemble of guitars and various other instruments. Their repertoire includes contemporary hymns and some traditional hymns done with a contemporary flair. Rehearsals are every Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 11:15 a.m. Make one or both! You are always welcome! Please contact Sherry Ottoson if you are interested in joining us.
The Teen Choir is open to young adults of high school age. The group consists of vocalists and a variety of instrumentalists. They sing on the first Saturday of the month from October through June at the 5:30 p.m. Liturgy and rehearse the Monday prior to that at 7:00 p.m. Please contact Darlene Wade if you are interested in joining.
The Children’s Choir is open to all children grades 1-8 who can read a song lyric sheet. Rehearsals are twice a month on Thursday evenings from 5:45-6:30 p.m. and run September through May. The group sings on the first Sunday of each month from October through June. Please contact Sherry Ottoson if your child is interested in joining.
Proclaiming the word of God has always been a fundamental part of Christian liturgy. The earliest Christians, firmly rooted in the traditions of the Jewish temple, incorporated the stories of God’s mighty and saving deeds into their own worship rituals. They knew, as we do today, that God’s word is powerful and active, “achieving the end for which (God) sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). God’s word continues to reach the ears of the weary through the voice of the lector for “When the Scriptures are read in Church, God himself is speaking to his people…” (GIRM #29).
Since “by tradition, the function of proclaiming the readings is ministerial, not presidential,” (GIRM #59), it properly belongs to ministers other than the presiding priest. This includes Deacons who are ordained clergy and ordinary ministers of the Gospel, as well as instituted lectors and other lay people who are “…truly suited to perform this function and receive careful preparation…” (GIRM #101).
Requirements of effective lectors include competence in public speaking, training and practice in technical skills and on-going formation. Above all, they must be “…doers of the word, not hearers only…” (James 1:22), with a mature and lively faith that is evident from the way they live. The ministry is not for everyone, and determining who would make an effective lector calls for careful discernment. But blessed are they who accept the challenges of this ministry, whose “well-trained tongues” still speak to the weary on God’s behalf. It is essential that we always remember that all ministries belong to the Church and are for the Church. Lector is not a ministry of the individual, but a sharing of individual gifts with the community. Humility is an essential quality of every Church minister.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers are called upon to share the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ with parishioners at Mass, in local hospitals and nursing homes, and to those who are bound to their homes.
Ministry is never self-seeking but giving, and it is the kind of giving in which one loves the recipient of the gift. Continued prayer and discernment is an important aspect of ministry. Ministers are encouraged to reflect on the Scriptures and spend time in private prayer.
The willingness to serve as a Eucharistic Minister reflects not only a response to one’s Baptismal call to serve, but a commitment to Christ as the individual shares in the preaching, teaching and leading aspects of the Church. As the minister offers the Eucharist, he or she recognizes the Body of Christ in those to whom the Eucharist is offered. The minister ultimately acts as the Body of Christ by fully participating in the life of the parish and the wider community.