Liturgy and Worship Report to Pastoral Council

MUSICIANS AND CHOIRS – Mrs. Peggy Brahm

November 2010

 

THE GOOD :  The congregation is very complimentary of the music provided, and have commented many times about the additional benefit that music adds to the spiritual experience.

 

Even with the limited number of musicians/singers that we have, music is provided at each mass all year. Many parishes do not have music during the summer months.

 

We are providing music at our Spanish liturgy, which has added to our attendance at this mass.

 

During this last year we have had a large number of weddings and funerals.  The families that were involved are very appreciative of how we coordinate these liturgies.

 

THE BAD: The talent pool varies, and it seems as if it by the grace of God that we have some very talented musicians.  However, it doesn’t seem sustainable to recruit you’re talent pool by “grace” …

 

While it is understood that the music ministry isn’t about “professional performers,” there should be minim criteria to participate, including dedication to rehearsing and practicing the material.

 

It is unfortunate, but we have not been able to replace the director of the Kids of the Kingdom.  In speaking with Vanessa and Ernie, we are going to get a group together for Christmas and Easter with the hopes that with a smaller commitment that we will get more children to participate

 

THE POSSIBILITIES: For a small donation, or offering for the music ministry, we could invest in improving the sound system.  A lot of work goes in to the performances, and it could be heard more “evenly” throughout the church with a better acoustic set up.

 

The music ministry could look in to “training” musicians to play liturgical music, and building a talent pool.

 

UPCOMING THIS YEAR:  The biggest thing that will be happening in the area of Liturgy and Music is the changes that are being implemented in the Roman Missal.  The changes will take effect the first Sunday of Advent in 2011.  we will be taking this year to educate the parish in preparation for the changes. 

 

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LECTORS - Mr. Michael Thomas

 

THE GOOD:  There is now a full set of lectors, with a list that is continuously updated.  E-mails have been corrected and contact information is fairly up to date. 

 

THE BAD:  Many lectors don’t fulfill their responsibility in finding/calling replacements when they can not make their mass.  As a result, one person does both readings, or the same person continues to serve at the mass.  The Lector service is a three year term, however, it seems that once you are a Lector, term limits are not enforced or encouraged. 

 

THE POSSIBILITIES: While it is a good idea, upon placement, to remind the individual that they have the responsibility of finding a replacement when he/she can not make the mass, church leadership could also reinforce the message that we need a variety of people involved, and the intent is to have many readers and not the same readers for both readings—and the commitment is not to exceed three years.  Following your three years of service, he/she is welcome and encouraged to consider other services they could provide to the Church.

 

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EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS:  Mrs. Paula Muth

 

THE GOOD: Currently there are 81 Eucharistic Ministers that are scheduled to fill 92 Eucharistic Minister positions based on a four week month. Many of these “ EMs ” serve more than once a month, either by volunteering prior to Mass, or they are requested from the pews.

 

THE BAD:  There has been a particularly large decline in active Eucharistic Ministers this year for several reasons. Some have moved away from this area, several have had health issues and needed to step down. A couple of others just wanted to step down/retire since they had been doing this for so long.  

The 11:15 Mass on Sunday morning has lost the most EMs and is becoming a challenge to staff adequately for the number of parishioners present. As the Christmas season approaches, it is becoming more of a concern.

Ms. Muth has personally asked several parishioners if they had the devotion and interest in this ministry and for one reason of another, they decline. Training sessions led by Fr. Walter Tappe, and coordinated by the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., are announced in the Catholic Standard. She tracks the Archdiocese website and if a training session is scheduled in or near our area, she requests the information be printed in our weekly bulletin announcements.   

 
Maureen Yuill trains and schedules some of the Eucharistic Ministers who volunteer to bring the Eucharist to the homebound, nursing homes or hospitals. She has stated she needs more EMs to meet the growing need of shut-ins. Technically, all who take communion home to someone, is supposed to be going through her first and it isn’t clear that this is happening

THE POSSIBILITIES:  Ms. Muth did not have any other ideas as to how to get more parishioners involved in this ministry.  While she feels very personally dedicated to the service, during 2010 she regrets to report that there have only been have been only three people commissioned.   Perhaps there can be more programs to generate interest, as well as increasing the training locations so that they are more frequent and closer to the areas.  Since many of the training sessions are offered out of town, this may dissuade folks from participating. 

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ALTER SERVERS:  Ms. Gisela Victoria

 

THE GOOD:  At present, we currently have 52 servers (11 rookies, 18 altar servers, 15 acolytes, and 8 senior acolytes).  The training manual was updated, and the rookies were trained, as well as other servers.

 

THE BAD: It is difficult without testing to determine where improvement is needed, and testing should be scheduled and or considered as a means to target areas that are in need of improvement.  Also, while an effort was made to schedule a senior acolyte to be present with each team, and help with the training this has not yet occurred as part of the developmental program

 

Communication about the change in ringing of the bells has not been received evenly by everyone in the congregation. At present, it seems some think the alter servers are making mistakes when it comes to ringing the first bell.  This was evident when an x-server almost hung a sign up in the room telling them to stop. Despite explanations, the change and confusion seems to be bothering some.

 

THE POSSIBILITIES:  Training can always be improved, and testing would enhance accountability and allow more targeted training.  Because Servers are visible to the entire congregation, their attention to detail and ability to perform their services is critical.  Also, recognition of their service and support is key to enhancing the program and therefore it is recommended that an appreciation Mass be scheduled in recognition of their service.  Also, ensuring that an acolyte or senior acolyte serve along with the Rookie servers; therefore part of their service is to help with training.

 

Finally, Father Daly may want to consider explaining to the parish about the procedural change when it comes to the ringing of the bells to clarify and end the confusion.