The message of the Gospel and the kingdom of heaven is for everyone. God’s love is for all people, whatever their culture, age, economic status, sexual orientation, physical, mental or social wellbeing. Each time we gather around the Eucharistic Table, we celebrate that all people are equal in God’s eyes.
With this awareness of God’s all-encompassing love, we understand that every member of the assembly is a minister of hospitality. Those specifically designated to serve in this ministry, regularly remind us of our call to this God-like spirit. They not only welcome the stranger, but they also awaken within us our oneness in Christ. They don’t just serve individual needs; they serve the health and wholeness of the entire community.
We are all ministers of God’s Word by the way we live our lives. Lectors are specifically designated to PROCLAIM that Word. Ministers of Hospitality by their actions PROCLAIM God’s Word of welcome and all-embracing love.
“A liturgical function is also exercised by: …… c) those who take up the collections in the Church. d) those who, in some regions, welcome the faithful at the church doors, seat them appropriately, and marshal them in processions.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) No. 105)
The Ministry of Hospitality is an expansion of the traditional role of the usher, which was a standard function in every parish before the Second Vatican Council.
Ministers of Hospitality can be divided into two types of ministry, Ushers and Greeters, each with distinct roles to fulfill at Mass. These two ministries can be performed by the same person.
Requirements for a Minister of Hospitality
- ability to make eye contact
- ability to smile at and talk to strangers
- knowledge of the liturgy
- knowledge of and active in parish life
- a prayerful and calming presence
- ability to see the face of Christ in every person
- dress appropriately for the liturgy
- ability to know and understand this ministry as a way of life
Preparing for your Ministry
We cannot give what we do not have! Each minister needs to spend time in prayer and reflection before coming to the Church to serve. Our hearts and minds need to be filled with the presence of God so that we can offer that loving spirit to others.
The Office for Worship maintains a regular schedule of training in this ministry, but also is available upon request for training.
For further information on either of these programs, please contact the Office for Worship: 213-637-7262.