The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offers many opportunities both in the Liturgy and behind the scenes for parishioners to volunteer:
In the absence of an instituted acolyte (minor clerical order), there may be deputed lay ministers to serve at the altar and assist the Priest and Deacon (USCCB General Instruction of the Roman Missal 100).
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion:
When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the Bishop, Priest, or Deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by another clergy. if such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, "the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose" (GIRM 162, USCCB). All ministers of Holy Communion must show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist through their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the Blessed Sacrament. They may also administer Holy Communion to the Sick and Home bound if required and approved by the Pastor.
Choir (and Musicians) :
Among the faithful, the Schola Cantorum or choir exercises its own liturgical function, its place being to take care that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different genres of chant, are carried out and to foster the active participation of the faithful by means of singing or playing an instrument (GIRM 103). Our parish currently has four choirs for weekend Masses: "Glory and Praise" for Saturday Vigil and Sunday 9:30, "Traditional Hymns" for Sunday 7:30, "Children" for Sunday 11:30, and "Contemporary Christian" for Sunday evening.
The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. He may also announce the intentions (petitions) for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings (GIRM 99).
Psalmist (Cantor) :
It is the psalmist's place to sing the Psalm or other biblical canticle to be found between the readings (GIRM 102).
The sacristan diligently arranges the liturgical books, the vestments, and other items to prepare the Church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, helps the Liturgy Director with the aesthetic environment of the Church, and oversees the other Lay Ministers participating in the liturgy (GIRM 105a). The sacristan is also a commissioned Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and is typically an adult aged 18+ (however, mature teenagers may also be welcomed on a case by case basis).
Ushers take up the collections, welcome the faithful at the entrances, seat them appropriately, and marshal them in processions (GIRM 105 c, d).
Altar Linen Minister:
This ministry is a group of dedicated helpers that care for the sacred linens used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other liturgies. Ministers launder and oversee the handling of these linens with proper form and procedure, including their purification using the Sacrarium, located in the main Sacristy.
If you feel in any way called to learn more about any of these ministries, please contact our Director of Liturgy or the Parish Office Answers, training, and support are always available. May the Holy Spirit inspire many more to labor in the Lord's own vineyard!