The Office for Worship has prepared the following Guidelines for Ushers and Greeters. These are to apply to those ministering during Sunday Mass, as well as other liturgical celebrations. The purpose of these notes is to provide some general observations and principals on these very important liturgical ministries of the Church. Practical application will differ from parish to parish. These guidelines, therefore, are not intended to impose absolute uniformity. Instead they are produced in a spirit of helping our parishes by offering some basic and essential principals.
MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY
Ushers and Greeters are called to be Ministers of Hospitality. They are entrusted with promoting a sense of welcoming and belonging to all the faithful assembled for worship. They are the first point of contact for the communal celebration of the Liturgy and because of this, should take special steps in being living representatives of the Parish Mission Statement. Ministers of Hospitality minister to the entire community in a very active way. By freeing each person of their own personal impediments to the Mass through a welcoming atmosphere, ministers of hospitality take an active role in enabling each person to come to a freer expression of God in the Liturgy.
1. The Ministry of Hospitality is truly a service to the Church and should be treated seriously and with great dignity. Therefore, Ministers of Hospitality should have an understanding of the Liturgy in order to be effective in providing the faithful with the proper environment.
2. In addition, the following attributes will assist the ministers of seeking Jesus’ face in the face of each and every person who comes into the church: patience, reverence, sensitivity compassion, understanding, gentleness, embracing a sense of the family gathered as the Body of Christ.
3. Your participation in the Ministry of Hospitality should be a direct reflection of your own prayer life which is nurtured by the Word of God and reception of Holy Eucharist thereby imbuing within you a spirit of dignity and respect.
In general, ushers carry the responsibility for the following:
1. Seating those assembled for Liturgy and especially taking special efforts to seat the faithful during the natural breaks in the Mass.
2. Attending to the needs of the disabled through such things as holding doors open, or locating non sloped areas places for wheelchairs and walkers.
3. Making sure that the gifts of bread and wine are in their proper places before Mass and asking members of the assembly to bring forth the gifts at the Offertory.
4. Checking the worship space to make certain that it free from clutter.
5. Assisting in the Rite of Preparation:
• Circulating the collection receptacles (there should be a sufficient numbers of ushers to facilitate the collection in a timely and orderly fashion)
• Adhering to the Guidelines from the Diocese of Orange Office of Finance specifically pertaining to the collection of monies during the Mass.
• Assisting in the Offertory Procession
6. Assisting the handicapped in receiving Holy Communion as well as facilitating the Communion procession. However it is not necessary to stand at each row while that row goes to Communion, which has the appearance of “keeping track” of who goes and who does not receive Holy Communion.
7. Offering the parish bulletin to the faithful as they exit the church GREETERS In general, greeters carry the responsibility for the following:
• Opening doors to make sure the entrance into the church is welcoming to all
• Giving full attention to the gathering assembly by offering a “Good Morning” (keep in mind that the sense of touch can be sometimes more powerful than words. A handshake or a hug can speak volumes.)
• Smile, which not only magnifies your true inner sincerity and sensitivity, but is an international sign of welcome to all the faithful.
2. Seek Christ in everyone.
3. Embrace your Parish Mission Statement.
1. The Ministers of Hospitality should never do anything that would draw attention to her/himself at anytime.
2. Clothing should be appropriate for the Liturgy, modest and in keeping with the dignity of the ministry.
3. Ministers of Hospitality should be seated in a place which allows for easy access to the various responsibilities, yet with the assembly.
4. If the Ministers of Hospitality must pass in front of the altar (this should be extremely seldom), he/she must bow to the altar. All movements within the Liturgy are done with dignity and grace and never hurried.
An Usher’s Prayer
Lord in Your love, You gather Your people this day, help me to serve them
in a Christ-like manner, even as Your son Jesus served those who gathered
about Him. Make me prayerful, patient, helpful and understanding, and
may I radiate the joy that faith brings as I serve their needs. Give me Your
strength to support my fellow ministers. May all who assemble to celebrate
our common faith in the Risen Savior be glad of heart for being here and
for having encountered Your son in one another, in our priest, at the altar
of the Word and the Body and Blood, and through the ministry of ushers
like me. I ask this in Jesus’ name.