Liturgical Ministers

Liturgical Ministries

"In every celebration of the Eucharist there should always be a sufficient number of ministers for the distribution of the Eucharist. When there are large numbers of the faithful present and there are insufficient ordinary and auxiliary members at hand, special or extraordinary ministers properly appointed beforehand should assist in the distribution of Communion." (HLS, #29)

In order for a person over the age of eighteen to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion one needs to first reflect on the nature of ministry within the Church. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is the public activity of a baptized follower of Christ that flows from the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful on behalf of the Community so as to witness, to serve, and to realize the kingdom of God. Your willingness to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, reflects not only a response to your Baptismal call to service, but a commitment to Christ as you share in the ministry of the Eucharist. You offer the Eucharist, recognize the Body of Christ in those to whom you offer Eucharist, and ultimately you act as the Body of Christ by fully participating in the life of the wider community.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence, and are required to be practicing Catholics.

"That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. Through that bread and wine the lord Christ willed to commend his body and blood, which he poured out for us unto the forgiveness of sins." 

—St. Augustine Sermon 227

“When the Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself is speaking to his people. The readings of God's word must therefore be listened to by all with reverence; they make up a principal element of the liturgy."

—GIRM 29

The ministry of a Lector is a wonderful work, and an extremely rewarding ministry Lectors have a critical role in the celebration of the Mass. Since the Lector proclaims not just any word, but the Word of God, it is essential that he or she develops the skills required to communicate God’s message competently.

The call to be a Lector is something that demands preparation. In becoming a Lector, you are accepting the responsibility to do your best, to practice, to make frequent self-evaluations and to continually look for ways to improve your ability to communicate the Word of God clearly to the congregation. As a Lector you are entrusted with some of the most powerful stories that have been handed down to us from generation to generation in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament; stories that God continues to speak through those called into the various ministries of the Church. To be a lector is to be given an opportunity for your own personal growth in Jesus Lectors proclaim the Word of God. They act as the voice of Christ at the Eucharist Assembly and other prayer services. 


“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, and persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.” 

—Romans 12

The Minister of Hospitality is equipped for this ministry by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts make that ministry effective and enable the minister to build up the Body of Christ. In their welcome and Christ-like attitude, ministers of hospitality ensure that the faithful see and experience the love of Christ. Hospitality Ministers act as the welcoming face of Christ to both the community and to strangers.

Those who desire to serve as Ministers of Hospitality should be active and faithful members of the Church. They should be of good character and reputation. Respect for others, discretion and appropriate decorum are the hallmarks of a minister of hospitality. Above all, ministers should be noted for their care to the assembly. Furthermore, the minister should be comfortable meeting and greeting others. They must always extend a sense of welcome to others and make them feel at home. Such qualities are a blessing, especially to the stranger in our midst which is why we have a separate ministry of hospitality to help create a sense of welcome. Hospitality ministers are the welcoming faces of the liturgy. In addition to greeting people as they arrive, and preparing the church environment for the liturgy, they are also involved throughout the Mass. Hospitality ministers assure that the liturgy itself will flow smoothly and prayerfully by preparing the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist, greeting the assembly and inviting the people in the assembly to greet one another.


Liturgical Council Fall 2014

Villanova liturgical life has a unique group of student leaders who play an integral part in every liturgy the community celebrates. These students are the Liturgical Council.

First and foremost, all members of the Liturgical Council are Mass Coordinators. As a Mass Coordinator, student leaders make sure all aspects of the liturgy run smoothly. This involves checking ministers in before Mass, making sure everyone knows his or her role in the ministry of the liturgy, and preparing the sacred spaces and objects for the liturgy. Mass Coordinators are usually the first ones to arrive at a Mass and the last ones to leave.

Another major aspect, and significant time commitment, of Liturgical Council is preparing large, university wide liturgies. Members of the Liturgical Council help create the unique atmosphere that is a Villanova Mass. These Masses included: Orientation Mass, Welcome Back Mass, St. Thomas of Villanova Mass, Church without Walls, and the Baccalaureate Mass, among others. Hours of hard work and preparation culminate in a beautiful experience of prayer and community.

The Liturgical Council also recruits and trains new liturgical ministers. They plan and prepare prayer experiences, community building events, and procedure training sessions for all Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Ministers of Hospitality.

The Council meets on a regular basis to review past liturgies, prepare future celebrations, and plan events for the liturgical ministry community. At these meetings, the Council members pray together and read the scriptures for the upcoming Sunday, so as to live out the message and meaning of the liturgy in their everyday lives.

Liturgical Ministers may apply to serve on the Liturgical Council after completing liturgical ministry training and one full semester of service as a minister. New members are welcomed in the spring semester of each academic year.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014-2015 academic year. 

Pastoral Musicians Application

Liturgical Ministry Application 
(for new Liturgical Ministers only)

Liturgical Ministry Reapplication 
(for returning Liturgical Ministers only)

Liturgical Council Application

Caritas Application

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