Do you look forward to coming to Mass and worshiping with your parish community? Do you pray, or wish you had a better prayer life? If your answer to either of these questions is “YES,” then we hope you are interested in joining the Prayer and Liturgy Ministry.
You may be thinking, “What do I know about liturgy or prayer?” No formal knowledge is needed. God invites each of us to be in relationship with Him, to a life of prayer. All it takes is openness to God and a willingness to spend time with other parishioners in prayer, reflection, study and planning.
Come help us to build upon St. Thomas Parish’s long history of faith-filled liturgies and active participation. Contact Deacon Kevin Richardson in the parish office if you would like more information about any of these ministry opportunities.
The Ministry of Altar Servers is a group of boys and girls (third grade and up) and adults who assist in the parish liturgical celebrations. The server is the priest and deacon’s right hand helper. They assist the celebrant at the chair and at the altar by lighting the candles, carrying the processional candles, carrying the incense, holding the books, and a variety of other tasks during the liturgy. A server also helps the people pray by his or her example. All servers must attend a training session prior to serving at Mass. Call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404, or Deacon Kevin at 877-4146.
Lectors make the Living Word of God present by their proclamation during the Liturgy of the Word. They are trained to help the congregation to better understand the scripture and to successfully communicate the message to the people. Since the Mass is the public prayer of the Church, it is the privilege of the Lector to pronounce this dialogue between God and his people to our gathered assembly. A training session is provided at St. Thomas at various times of the year for those who feel called to this ministry. Call Deacon Kevin at 877-4146.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Eucharistic Ministers assist with the distribution of the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of Christ at all Masses. There is no more intimate moment in our lives that when we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. In return, with love and gratitude, we offer Him everything that we are: our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our souls. This Communion is what propels us to greater union with Him and urges us to the heights of holiness. As an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, you are in the privileged role to be a part of that encounter between Christ and the individual. Women and men aged 16 years and older who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation are invited to prayerfully consider this ministry. Call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404, or Deacon Kevin at 877-4146.
Communion to the Homebound
In bringing Communion to the sick and home bound, the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion represents Christ and manifests faith, compassion, mercy, and charity on behalf of the whole community toward those who cannot be present at Sunday Mass. For the sick, the reception of communion is not only a privilege but also a sign of support and concern shown by the Christian community for its members who are ill. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry of love, compassion, and faith, call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.
The community offers bread and wine in the memorial sacrifice of the Mass. Bread and wine are presented as gifts to God, as symbols of the work of human hands. This allows members of the church who are not able to participate in other forms of liturgical ministries a chance to play a role in the liturgy. As a gift bearer you are representing the entire parish as we return to God a small part of the many blessings that He has given to us. The unleavened Bread and Wine that you carry will be consecrated to become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. If your family is interested in participating in the Mass as gift bearers, please select a Mass time and sign up. Call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.
This behind-the-scenes ministry is responsible for preparing the vessels, altar linens, bread, and wine used for the Eucharist at each Mass. Sacristans are needed before and after all the Masses. They assist in the preparation of the sanctuary for the liturgical celebration weekdays and on weekends. Call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404, or Deacon Kevin at 877-4146.
Since St. Thomas Church strives to be a welcoming parish, the Ministry of Greeters is very important. Greeters extend a spirit of hospitality to all who enter the front doors of St. Thomas for weekend masses and holy days. They exhibit a positive, friendly and spiritual manner as they open the door for each approaching person, as well as provide assistance, information, and direction to church facilities and services. These are truly welcoming people and if you would like to join their ministry, please call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.
Ushers foster a sense of welcome and belonging to those who assemble for prayer. The ushers assist in seating and provide assistance when and where it is needed. They take up the collection and direct the communion procession. The usher is unobtrusive in their tasks performed during the liturgy and yet still be participating. Their dedication, presence, reverence, and awareness are a valuable part of the celebration of worship and we thank them very much for their participation and cooperation. Call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404, or Deacon Kevin at 877-4146.
The Choir leads the music each Sunday at the 10 am Mass and Holy Day Masses throughout the year. Rehearsals are held weekly with additional rehearsals scheduled before the Easter and Christmas seasons. Please check the calendar for dates and times, especially during Advent and Lent. Persons interested in music who help the community to participate in liturgy through song. You will need a desire to worship God through singing, willing to attend rehearsals and able to attend Sunday liturgies when the choir sings, as well as special liturgies throughout the year. New members are always welcome to this ministry. If you’re interested, speak to Jennifer Kater, the Director of Music Ministry after Masses.
Cantors are singers who help the assembly participate in liturgical singing. They proclaim the Responsorial Psalm. You will need a pleasant-sounding voice, a desire to pray the liturgy through song, and willingness to gather periodically for prayer, dialogue, and practice. It helps to have some previous choir experience. Cantors must attend the choir rehearsal at 9 a.m. before Sunday Mass. If you’re interested, speak to Jennifer Kater, the Director of Music Ministry after Masses.
The care with which we treat sacred things (such as the chalice, paten, and the special altar linens) expresses our openness to the graces God gives to his Church in every celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, by the diligent care of altar linens, the Church expresses her joy at the inestimable gifts she receives from Christ’s altar. Volunteers are needed to help with the ministry of washing the linens used during the Mass (purificators, corporals, and towels). If you are interested in learning more about this ministry, contact Mary Hammann.
Liturgical Art and Environment Committee
The mission of the Art and Environment Committee is to enhance the context of prayer and reflection in the parish community through creation and preparation of the liturgical environment. This committee plans, designs, and maintains all decorative elements inside the church. The mission of the committee is the designing and implementing of liturgical themes for the Sanctuary, gathering area, and Chapel areas for the liturgical “seasons” of the year: Advent, Ordinary Time, Christmas, Lent, the Triduum, Easter, and Pentecost. No experience necessary. Individuals who are creative and like to work with flowers, plants, and other media are welcomed. Volunteers should have a willingness to learn about the liturgical seasons and feast days and collaborate with committee members to create an environment that welcomes and inspires worshipers. If you’re interested, speak to Dan Ashenfelter or Deacon Kevin.