Our Worship groups (comprising Readers, Childrens Liturgy, and Eucharistic Ministers) provide support for all areas directly relating to our Religious Services within the parish, and are a means to enable any or all parishioners to have a direct involvement in these Services.
"The Liturgy of the Word"
The readings from Sacred Scripture and the chants between the readings (Psalm and Gospel acclamation) form the main part of the Liturgy of the Word. The homily, Profession of Faith, and Prayer of the Faithful expand and complete this part of the Mass. The homily is an integral part of the liturgy to assist the assembly to hear the voice of the Lord in his word. Finally, having been nourished by this word, the assembly affirms its acceptance of it by the profession of faith and makes petition in the Prayer of the Faithful (general intercessions), praying for the needs of the entire Church and for the salvation of the whole world.
The guidelines of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales state that there should be a diversity of ministry to effect a worthy celebration of God’s word. The diversity of ministries exercised within a service demonstrates the dimensions of the parish community - the priest presides over the whole of the Liturgy of the Word and preaches the homily, but traditionally a reader should proclaim the readings, and a deacon or priest should make the Gospel reading.
In proclaiming the word of God, lay readers exercise their responsibility in mediating the presence of Christ. God speaks to the congregation through them and the lay reader has the responsibility for not simply reading the word, but assisting the assembly to hear the word.
We have a team of parishioners who undertake the responsibilities of Lay Readers, with Flora Bell being the co-ordinator of this ministry within the Parish.
The Ministry of the Word "Readers Rota" can be found here.
"The Children's Liturgy of the Word"
Our 'Children's Liturgy", or "Little Church", started around 20 years ago and until recently took place at the 10:30 Sunday Mass on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
Unfortunately attendance at “Little Church” declined considerably in recent times with the effect of having bi-monthly (rather than weekly) meetings exacerbated by the implementation of Archdiocesan Safeguarding guidelines restricting adult attendance, resulting in very few children attending.
Consequently "Little Church" is currently suspended whilst we consider alternatives to provide our children with a regular, meaningful (to them) involvement in our Sunday services.
The Instruction on Christian Worship (November 1970) reminds priests that they should take care to ensure that sick and aged people are given the opportunity to frequently receive Holy Communion, even daily, especially in Paschal time.
Apart from the fact that, more than any others, these people need the help of the Holy Eucharist, they also need to know that they are not neglected by the Christian community. They need to feel that they are being sustained in their trials by the love of their brethren.
The Parish has a number of faithful men or women, duly commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers, to administer the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at mass and to take the Blessed Sacrament to those who are unable to attend Mass.
These assistants do not replace the priest in his care of the sick and the aged, but enable Holy Communion to be given more frequently than would otherwise be possible. They also assure a closer link between the priest and the people by keeping him up to date with the spiritual needs of those whom they visit.
Currently, here at St. Mary’s, we have a small cohort of Eucharistic Ministers who assist in administering Holy Communion at Mass and who visit the housebound. More lay ministers would be warmly welcomed to join this group to ensure that the sick and housebound among our Parish community receive the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis, our Parish ‘sick list’ including the residents of Euxton Park Nursing Home.
If you think you would like to serve as a Eucharistic Minister, please contact Gerry Fishwick in the first instance - Gerry co-ordinates the Eucharistic Ministers rota.
The current rota for Eucharistic Ministers can be found here.