Time to Step Up for a New Year’s Resolution
“How many Masses did you have?” is a common post-Christmas question priests ask one another. I was surprised when one of my priest friends mentioned he just had one Mass for Christmas Eve. It was not because of small crowds, and it was not because he did not want to celebrate an additional Mass. It was because that parish could not find enough liturgical ministers to staff a second liturgy. Besides a priest, a Mass depends on sacristans, greeters/ushers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, musicians, servers (we also need sound and video technicians).
We were able to have the regular schedule of four Christmas Masses. However, some of our ministers did double duty. We were short ministers, and we missed some opportunities like not having enough greeters at all the Masses to welcome people and to pass out bulletins as people left, giving our visitors an opportunity to learn more about our community.
This is not just a Christmas problem; we are very short liturgical ministers year-round. It would be nice to enter into our new parish family with a strong cadre of liturgical minsters. If we cannot adequately staff four weekend Masses with liturgical ministers who do not have to serve every week, maybe we shouldn’t have so many Masses.
Another great need we face is Eucharistic Ministers to the sick and homebound. If we are not able to bring Holy Communion to the sick and the dying who cannot get to church, how can we call ourselves Church? The main reason we reserve the Holy Eucharist in the tabernacle is to bring it to the sick and dying. Often, when I first meet someone who needs Communion brought to them at home, I look at who their Catholic neighbors are. I send out an appeal for help. I hope you would consider serving if you get that call.
To become a liturgical minister, to explore being a Eucharistic Minister to the sick, or to request Communion be brought to someone homebound, contact Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make it a New Year’s resolution.