Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Formation Workshop for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Carmel Bulletin, 2 November 2014

Over the past week, thirty-four of our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion participated in the annual formation workshop.

Parishioners coming forward to receive communion

© Alphonsus Fok, 3.2.1 Photography

We reflected upon the participation on everybody in the liturgical celebration.  The Mass is the celebration of Christ and his Church – the Church present at this time and place, united in prayer and faith with the Church universal and those gone before us marked with the sign of faith.

The focus of this workshop was to consider some of the qualities that our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion possess.  Blessed (Pope) Paul VI, in his 1973 instruction, Immensae Caritatis, described those suitable for this ministry being people “whose good qualities… recommended them”.  We shared a number of qualities that are displayed by our ministers, and focused on four in particular:

  • Humility
  • Hospitality
  • Gratitude
  • Reverence

Parish Vision noticeboard in narthex - with reflections from formation workshopWe will discuss these qualities in greater detail in the coming weeks.  We also considered how these qualities, displayed and modelled by our ministers (and hopefully by all our parishioners), allow us to contribute in a small way to the realisation of our parish vision that all families feel connected, supported and valued as they live and grow in their faith.  That is why you will find some of our discussion recorded and displayed on our parish vision board in the narthex today.

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18/11/12 – Church Renewal Committee Report and Name Tags

Church Renewal Process

Church Renewal Committee Report

The Church Renewal Committee met this week with architect Jesse Mowbray.  Jesse outlined to the committee the terms of the Client and Architect Agreement and responded to questions.  The committee passed the motion that Fr Paul sign the agreement, which formally commissioned Jesse to develop three possible design concepts for the internal renewal of the church.  After completing exploratory work on the building, and spending time within the parish community during the rest of this year, Jesse will spend the first half of next year developing proposals of how the church can best be arranged to realise the vision articulated by parishioners through the consultation process.

Name TagName Tags

Following the recent formation workshops, Ministers of the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have been issued with name tags.  As time goes on, name tags will be provided to other ministers and parishioners who request them.

Your name tag, of course, is only useful if you wear it!  Fr Paul would like to see everybody who has a name tag wearing it so we can all get to know each other a little more, and at least be able to call people by name more often.  It’s a simple way of strengthening our relationships with each other and building up our parish community.  So please remember to bring your name tag with you to Mass.


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4/11/12 – Ministry Formation Workshops

Over the last week and a half, Ministers of the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have participated in their annual formation workshops.

It was pleasing to see so many ministers participate (our last workshop was the biggest with 26 people in attendance).  Some great insights were shared, and hopefully we were able to clear up for ministers a number of “grey areas” that have existed in the past regarding procedures.

Fr Paul would like all ministers to ensure that they have made themselves familiar with the instructions provided for their ministry.  Consistency is important to ensure that the Mass is celebrated well, and so that all ministers can work together confidently.

Ministers will be commissioned to serve for the next year at Sunday Masses this weekend.  Ministers who have participated in the workshops will also be able to collect their certificate and new name badge from the parish centre.  Please note that there are letters for all Ministers of the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to collect.

Thank you to all the ministers who took part.  We appreciate the commitment you make to serving our community.


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5/12/10 – Reminders from the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Workshops

During October, our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion participated in their annual formation workshops.  This week, we are taking a moment to remind you of a few important matters we raised at the workshops.

The Breaking of the Bread and other preparations at the altar for communion are undertaken by the priest, assisted as required by acolytes and servers.  The Extraordinary Ministers move forward to the altar to receive communion once the priest receives communion.

The Extraordinary Ministers distribute communion, holding up the host or chalice before each communicant and saying “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ” respectively.  Other words such as “Receive…” or “This is…” are not permitted, as these change the meaning of what is being said.

Once communion is finished, the Extraordinary Ministers return the Eucharistic vessels to the credence table and return to their seats immediately.  Extraordinary Ministers are not to consume any remaining consecrated wine or purify (rinse out) chalices.  This will be done after Mass in the sacristy.

The assistance of all Extraordinary Ministers is required after Mass to ensure that patens, chalices and cruets are washed and put away in the correct locations, and that linen is placed in the laundry basket.  This only requires about five minutes of your time.

Thank you once again to all the ministers who participated in our workshops.  Your commitment to our parish community and its liturgical celebrations is greatly appreciated.


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18/7/10 – Unity, Hierarchy, Order and Ministry

At present, we are exploring the liturgical principles which underpin our work in the Church Renewal Process.  Having considered active participation, we now consider the third principle, namely:

Unity, hierarchy, order and ministry

This principle is a reminder to us that every person has a role; a part to play in the life of the parish community, especially in its liturgical celebrations.

The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (see article 28) insisted that in the liturgy, each of us should do all, but only those things that our role requires us to do.  In other words, there should not be one or a few people doing everything.  Furthermore, as we’ve emphasised recent weeks, the celebration of the Mass is not task of the priest, but is an action of Christ and his Church (AKA: us!)

This means that our parish needs to have a full range of ordained and lay ministers who are properly formed and prepared to carry out their duties.  To celebrate the Mass, we require a large number of people – sacristans, art and environment ministers, altar servers, acolytes, music ministers and projector/computer operators, ministers of the word, collectors and ushers, people to present the gifts, extraordinary ministers of communion and the like.  These are a very significant way in which lay people can participate in the life of our community.

It also means that when someone is engaging in one of these ministries during Mass, they should not be doing any other ministry.  In our parish, for example, a number of Ministers of the Word are also Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  It is fine for these people to carry out these ministries on different occasions.  Yet, when they are required to read or commentate at Mass, they cannot minister communion during that same celebration.

The various liturgical ministries of our parish are necessary for the effective celebration of the Mass.  They reflect our belief that we, the entire assembly gathered to worship, celebrate the Mass in unity with Christ and with each other.  We all have particular ways in which we participate in the celebration of Mass, and we need to encourage others to find ways in which they can serve the community through liturgical ministry.


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4/10/09 – Formation Workshops for Liturgical Ministers

We are now into the month of October. The last month has been a wonderful time of celebration, as our young parishioners completed their sacramental initiation into the Catholic Church.

We now take some time during the month of November to focus on some of the liturgical ministries in our parish.

Altar Servers. The time to register to participate in this ministry is now. To register, visit our parish website, www.olmcwenty.org.au/altarservers or call Fr. Paul on 9631 8302. This ministry is open to any male or female parishioner who has been fully initiated into the Catholic Church (i.e., has received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and communion).

Ministers of the Word and Ministers of Communion. Each October, these ministers take time to engage in continuing formation for their ministry. Attendance at the annual formation workshop is one of the expectations of those who participate in these ministries and is required of every minister. People interested in becoming a Minister of Communion may also attend the workshop in preparation. The dates for the workshops are below.

We look forward to being able to support our parishioners in their service to our community as liturgical ministers.


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27/4/08 – A Clearer Definition

Hopefully by now you’re aware of the two small changes that will affect the liturgical assembly in the celebration of Mass.  The bow of reverence when coming to receive Communion comes into effect from Pentecost Sunday.  The standing immediately after the priest’s invitation to prayer after preparing the gifts comes into effect as well.

The revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal, like its predecessor, also gives directions for specific liturgical ministers.  These include the Priest, the Deacon, the instituted Acolyte, the instituted Lector, as well as other lay Ministers of the Word, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Music Ministers.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are one group whose role is the focus of greater attention in this revised General Instruction.  In some parishes, such as ours, it will mean that some practices the Communion Ministers currently engage in will have to change.  We are briefing these ministers after Masses this weekend about the specifics of their role.

Some Communion Ministers may ask why what they do needs to change.  In fact, the General Instruction has not made any changes to the role of the Communion Minister.  The former edition, published in the 1970’s, made very little mention of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and therefore did little to define their role and explain what they can and should do.  In preparing this revised edition, the Church has sought to more clearly define the role and actions of the Communion Minister, given their marked increase of need in places such as ours since the 1970’s.

The revised General Instruction consequently defines more clearly the role of all during the Communion Rite; the Priest, the Deacon, the Acolyte, the Altar Servers, and the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion whose valuable service is required whenever there are not enough of the other ministers available to minister Communion to us, the liturgical assembly.