Carmel Bulletin, 30 August 2015
Often when we consider the skills and gifts that a parishioner brings to liturgical ministry, we think of very practical things. Music ministers obviously need to be able to sing or play an instrument. Ministers of the Word need to be able to project their voice and speak clearly. Altar servers need to be observant, aware of what is happening around them, and able to act and respond calmly and quietly.
Such skills that we see our ministers demonstrate each week are what we might describe as “technical” skills. They are what are required in order to fulfil the functional elements of their role. These, however, are only one part of a minister’s skill set.
We also need to consider what we might describe as “spiritual” skills. These may not be as clearly measurable, but are equally important in exercising one’s ministry fully. Recently, our Liturgy Committee began considering how our parish ministers express hospitality; how they make people feel welcome and encourage prayer and participation within their role. Other traits as well, such as reverence, prayerfulness, humility and gratitude can all be found in ministers whose contribution to our community is motivated not by self-interest, but by their faith, their love of God, and their desire to be of service to others.
This week our community lost someone who dedicated himself to liturgical ministry (to say nothing of the many other ways he served our parish) for decades. Those of us who served with Brian Flynn learnt much from him. He showed us all that good liturgical ministers need to be both technically skilled and spiritually grounded. Our parish has been enriched by his remarkable contribution. May he rest in peace.