Liturgy is the sort of activity with which the greatest number of parishioners identify in a visible way with the parish. That stands to reason. In the Church’s liturgy we are about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from which we, as Church and as individual Christians, draw our identity and mission. In the Church’s liturgy we worship God (something which makes us grow in human dignity) and we are being sanctified (something we all stand in need of). Our liturgies have a weekly rhythm and also a yearly rhythm.
At St. Mark’s we celebrate the Sunday Eucharist three times: Saturday 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. To make that possible much cooperation is called for, because more than a presiding priest is needed to have the Eucharist celebrated properly:
- Sacristans put everything in place for the upcoming Sunday Masses, keep things we need for Mass clean, and help decorate the church for the bigger feasts of Easter and Christmas;
- Ministers of hospitality, also known as ushers, provide a warm welcome to parishioners, old and new, and make sure that everyone is comfortable to participate actively in the Mass. For many people, they are the first point of contact with our parish community
- Altar servers of all ages – girls, boys, men and women – assist the presiding priest
- Music and song in integral to every celebration of the Eucharist. Leaders of song and music thoughtfully select hymns which fit in a particular Sunday Eucharist or liturgical season, meet to practice those songs, and then lead the parish community in song at Mass.
- Readers, also known as Ministers of the Word, proclaim the Word of God to the assembled community and lead the prayers of the faithful.
- Leaders of the Liturgy of the Word with Children help children to the celebrate the first part of the Mass (Liturgy of the Word) in a more child-friendly manner at the 9:00 and 11:00 Mass.
- Ministers of Communion help serve the bread and the cup to those assembled. In doing this, they are instrumental in having the persons they serve become the Body of Christ and God’s Covenant people by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ
Following the rhythm of the liturgical year has the advantage of getting a feel for the make-up of the Church’s year with its High Seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter) and what is called Ordinary Time. At the centre of it all stands the services of the Three Great Days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday. These seasons are noticeable in the decor of the church, in the music, and in the special liturgical services appropriate to each season. These are all important elements in shaping a distinctively Christian spirituality.
The Liturgy Committee meets regularly to help the parish priest prepare for these liturgies and liturgical seasons. They help plan special liturgies such as the penitential services in Advent and Lent. Participation in the Liturgy Committee gives us the chance to become more aware of what we do together when we gather for our Sunday Eucharist, and helps us to grow in understanding of the liturgical year.
The parish community is regularly called upon to provide funerals. These require the participation of a number of parishioners, including those who lead the singing in the funeral choir, as well as altar servers who help the presiding priest.
Click here to return to the Ministries Main Page