The Usher Ministry is dedicated to providing
- a welcoming environment for all those who come to worship in our church and
- support services which avoid confusion and disorganization during the celebration of Mass
Normally one or two ushers will attend each Mass. During high attendance celebrations (e.g., Easter and Christmas) there may be more.
Ushers should plan to arrive for mass approximately 20 minutes prior to the scheduled Mass start time. Once at church, they should perform the following services as possible and necessary.
Check with a Pastoral Team member for any special Mass instructions (e.g., different or additional processions, special handouts or collections) requiring an usher’s assistance.
- Check with a Pastoral Team member to identify who will bear the offertory gifts.
- If there will be a baptism or first communion, familiarize yourself with your role in those ceremonies (ask a pastoral team member, if necessary).
- Identify the cross-bearer. If the cross-bearer is absent, ask someone to bear the cross and cue them at the beginning and end of Mass. If able, an usher can perform this service in lieu of an assigned cross-bearer.
- Don an “Usher” ribbon and name tag. The ribbons and nametags will be stored in the Liturgy Workroom.
- Stand in the Gathering Area near the stained-glass doors near the entrance to the Worship Space to welcome parishioners and visitors while handing each person a worship aid. (Alternatively, ask a parishioner to distribute the worship aids. Children in particular are often happy to do this.) Return to this area as the procession into the Worship space begins. Close the center doors behind the priest. When Mass begins, close the two side doors to the worship Space. Remain in the Gathering Area outside the side doors until the parking area appears empty of people coming to Mass. Ushers should stay near the Worship Space doors to assist people needing help exiting or re-entering the Worship Space during Mass.
- After closing the side doors to the Worship Space, organize food donations into a basket to be carried at the offertory. Remove food donations from the basket, if necessary, to ensure the basket can be carried by a child. Place the food donation basket and the financial offering basket on the floor under the table where a Pastoral Team member has placed the bread and wine for the Mass.
- At the offertory cue the gift bearers previously identified to process with the gifts. If necessary, follow the selected gift bearers with any items they cannot carry themselves.
- Near the end of Mass at the final blessing, cue the cross-bearer (if necessary) to prepare to bear the cross out of the Worship Space during the exit procession.
- Open all doors to the Worship Space for the procession out to the Gathering Area as the recessional song begins.
- Ensure the Cross has been returned to the stand by the Risen Christ after people have left the Worship Space. This will usually be done by the cross-bearer.
- Carry the money offerings basket to the office and place the money into a bank pouch marked for the Mass just completed. Give the pouch to a Pastoral Team member. Place the empty financial offerings basket back on the table just inside the Worship Space.
- Check that the Worship Space and Gathering Area are neat for the next Mass. Walk through the Worship space and collect any worship aids or bulletins left behind.
- Return your “Usher” ribbon (and name tag) to the Liturgy Workroom.
- To the extent needed and accepted, assist those needing help to a seat (e.g., elderly, sick, special needs). Where helpful make people aware of the location of the “armchairs” at the end of some rows.
- During high attendance celebrations (e.g., Easter and Christmas) help people find available seats. At these times, this service may become a priority.