Liturgical Ministries Information 

Liturgical ministry is an excellent opportunity to fulfill your baptismal call of service to one another. Our liturgies utilize the talents and gifts that God has given this community to the fullest extent. Whether participation is through “behind the scenes” preparation and planning or through a public role of service within the Mass, parishioner contributions help our liturgies to be truly life-giving celebrations. Please prayerfully consider joining one of these ministries.

ALTAR LINENS:  “The manner in which we treat sacred things fosters and 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.” Excerpt from The Catholic Liturgical Library —Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy — Care and Cleansing of Altar Linens, March 19, 2001.

This ministry is responsible for sometimes making, but primarily laundering the altar linens used during liturgy. Linens are usually picked up after Mass and delivered by the following Saturday. When there are Baptisms, there will be towels to be washed. These can be returned by the following weekend.

ALTAR SERVER/CROSS BEARERS:  The main task of the server is to model liturgical prayer with grace and reverence and enter whole-heartedly into the public worship of the community. Altar servers are expected to be familiar with the ebb and flow of liturgy, to anticipate each movement, cue and need. Open to boys and girls having received their First Communion. The various tasks are: carry the cross, hold the book of prayers for the priest celebrant, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. Cross bearers must be able to carry the cross and place into and remove from the stand. Altar server training sessions are offered throughout the year with the expectation of regular attendance.

LITURGICAL ENVIRONMENT:  Members help with the design and creation of decorations, floral arrangements, banners and artistic pieces to enhance and focus community worship and help with maintenance of live plants within the building.
Point of contact:  Barbara Harrington   Phone: 757-421-7416  E-mail:

EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION:  Confirmed practicing Catholics assist the priests (who are the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion) in the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass. They may also bring the Holy Communion to those who are homebound, in nursing homes or hospitals, or in prison (see Pastoral Care). Ministry formation and training sessions are offered throughout the year with the expectation of regular attendance. This ministry is recommended if you have a love and reverence for the Eucharist.

FUNERAL MINISTRY: Provide assistance at Funeral Liturgies, to include: Mass Coordinator, Head Minister, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors, as requested. Training provided.

HOSPITALITY: Hospitality ministers are often known as greeters and ushers and have responsibilities before, during and after Mass.  They welcome everyone as they come to Mass, host the Welcome Desk in the Commons (before and after Mass), recruit members of the congregation to carry the gifts in the Offertory Procession and help people find a seat when it’s crowded.  In the course of the liturgy, they pass the collection baskets, assist with orderly movement during Holy Communion, man the entry doors for reverent traffic flow, and are ready to serve those with special needs.  After Mass, they hand out bulletins and tidy up the worship space looking for “lost and found” items.  The hospitality ministry is a great opportunity for families to serve together since some tasks require an adult and others are suitable for children.  Ministry formation and training sessions are offered throughout the year.

LECTORS:  The spirit of the parish community will be nourished through the meaningful proclamation of the Word of God. Lectors, who are confirmed practicing Catholics, proclaim the scriptures during the Liturgy of the Word. (Provisions are made for Youth Masses, e.g., 5PM Sunday. Lectors may not be confirmed.) This ministry is recommended if you have a clear speaking voice and a love for the Word of God.

MASS COORDINATORS:  Confirmed practicing Catholics are responsible for preparing the liturgical books, vessels, linens, hosts, and wine, overseeing minister sign-in, as well as cleaning the vessels after Mass. They are also responsible for the procession of the gifts and offertory collection. An ability to multi-task is important for this ministry.

MUSIC MINISTRY:  The Christian faithful who gather together as one to await the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus Saint Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves.” There is also the ancient proverb: “One who sings well prays twice.” Open to children and adults of all ages who enjoy singing or playing an instrument. Please join us in helping the parish communicate with God through music.
Point of contact:  James Gardner Phone: 421-7416 E-mail:

PASTORAL CARE MINISTRY (COMMUNION TO THE SICK and HOMEBOUND):  Pastoral care derives its name and nature from the meaning of shepherd and suggests the work of the shepherd with the flock. That is why Canon Law speaks of Pastoral Care as a necessary service for parish life. The Pastoral Care Ministry at St. Stephen, Martyr, brings the church community to those who, in the short term, have become sick, have had a mishap, or have suffered a loss. They also assist in long-term situations where parishioners are no longer able to attend, worship, and pray with our Church community on a regular basis.

WEDDING MINISTRY:  Provide assistance at Wedding Liturgies to include: Mass Coordinator, Head Minister, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors, as requested. Training provided.
Point of contact:  Office Phone: 421-7416 E-mail:

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