Who Do People See As They Come to Our Church?

Carmel Bulletin, 27 October 2018

In the Gospel reading at Mass today, Bartimaeus is healed of his blindness.  He has the faith and courage to ask Jesus to do what would be impossible for mere mortals like us.  It seems likely that the first thing that Bartimaeus sees is the face of Jesus – a face of love, mercy and compassion.

Each of us is called to be that same face of Jesus to everyone we encounter in our lives.  And as we call ourselves Catholics, it seems only fair that we should start “in our own backyard”, or more precisely, at our own church doors.  A simple smile, a word of welcome, being there to answer a question or help with an issue can be crucial to ensuring that when people come here for Mass, they see in us the same Jesus that Bartimaeus saw.

Do you want to help people feel like they belong when they come to Mass?  We’re looking for people who can spend some time before Mass serving as welcomers, greeting people as they arrive and helping them to join in our gathering and celebration.

If you are interested in joining a team of people who provide hospitality to those who come to Sunday Mass, we invite you to attend an introductory workshop on

Wednesday 7 November at 7:00 pm in the Parish Centre

Register for the workshop now

If you have any questions, contact us.

Help Us Build a Welcoming Community

In the Gospel reading at Mass today, Jesus sets the challenge for the disciples: living in the likeness of Christ requires us to place ourselves at the service of others.

When we gather for Mass, that service to others begins from the moment people walk in the door.  Our vision as a parish is that families feel connected, supported and valued as they live and grow in their faith.  Making people feel welcome when they come to Mass is crucial to beginning that relationship.

We’re looking for people who want to make a difference to making feel welcome when they come to Mass by joining our hospitality ministry.  In particular, we’re looking for people who can spend some time before Mass serving as welcomers, greeting people as they arrive and helping them to join into our gathering and celebration.

If you are interested in being part of our welcoming ministry at Sunday Mass, we invite you to attend an introductory workshop:

Wednesday 7 November at 7:00 pm in the Parish Centre

Register for the workshop now

10/2/13 – Liturgy Committee Meeting Report

Liturgy CommitteeThe Liturgy Committee met on Wednesday evening.

The committee began by finalising details regarding preparations for the season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday.  Feedback was also given regarding the recently completed formation workshops for Ministers of Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  We look forward to more parishioners taking part in this worthwhile ministry in the future, and to be able to provide continued support and formation to all ministers.  Parishioners who regularly attend 9:00 am Sunday Mass will notice some small changes to the celebration of Children’s Liturgy of the Word over the coming weeks, particularly in developing a common practice for dismissing the children, and acknowledging their return for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  These will be trialled and evaluated in coming months.

Also addressed at the meeting were the preparations for Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.  Existing practices were evaluated and reviewed, with many being continued this year.  Some new initiatives from last year, such as the celebration of Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday, proved to be effective, and will also be maintained.

Reports were received on the first meeting of sacristans held last Saturday, and on the Guild of St Stephen Altar Servers Conference, which two of our junior servers attended.  The committee began some initial consideration of matters it wished to explore in further detail during the year.

Parishioners are always welcome to raise matters with the Liturgy Committee at any time by emailing litcomwenty@gmail.com, or by speaking to Fr Paul or any member of the committee.  If you are corresponding in writing, please ensure your correspondence is signed and return contact details are provided, so that we can respond appropriately.

23/9/12 – Fifty Years Since Vatican II – Ministry

During this Year of Grace, we have been invited to revisit the constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, which began fifty years ago this year.  The first of these constitutions was on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.

The constitution continued on naturally from the topic of participation to speak more specifically about liturgical ministry.  It began by stating that any ordained or lay person fulfilling a ministerial role should undertake only the one role during a celebration, and undertake all the duties of that role.  The importance of liturgical ministers as leaders of prayer was emphasised; that ministers should carry out their duties in an appropriate manner, and be properly formed and trained for their role.

Sacrosanctum Concilium, however, also noted the liturgical role of the assembly or congregation – that in fact all people have a part to play in the celebration.  The constitution’s call for full, conscious and active participation was misunderstood by some people, who interpreted this as an insistence that everybody had to have a “ministry” to take part in.  The role of the assembly, as articulated in the constitution, however, gives a clearer picture of what was intended:

To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.  (Sacrosanctum Concilium, article 30)

29/4/12 – Liturgical Responsibilities of the Acolyte

Bishop Anthony receiving the gifts, with acolyte assisting
Bishop Anthony receiving the gifts, with acolyte assisting

Last week, we looked at the liturgical ministries of altar server and acolyte.  Altar service is a ministry that is open to all, whilst adult men can choose to serve as instituted acolytes.

Acolytes have some exclusive responsibilities.  On the other hand, other duties can be carried out by altar servers if acolytes are not present, or if the number of acolytes at the Mass is so few that it is not possible for them to carry out all their duties effectively; especially given that they may need to attend to several matters at once.

For example, the acolyte may take responsibility for carrying the cross in processions.  It is their role to be the first point of assistance to the priest and deacon during Mass, particularly by ensuring that the liturgical books such as the Missal are presented to the priest or deacon for them to follow.  He also assists the priest with the incense at the preparation of the gifts, should it be used.

It is typically the role of the acolyte to prepare the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist if a deacon is not present.  Furthermore, if a deacon is not present, the acolyte can assist the priest with the purification of the sacred vessels after communion.  This is one duty of the acolyte that cannot be delegated to other lay ministers.

Often during Mass, you will see the altar servers assist with several of the duties I have outlined above.  Again, this is to be expected as at Wentworthville we have only one active acolyte.  It becomes necessary, then, for altar servers to take on these additional duties to assist the priest and the assembly and ensure the Mass is celebrated in a fitting manner.

Reference: General Instruction of the Roman Missal, articles 187-193