Formation and On-going formation for Liturgical Ministries

Formation and On-going formation for Liturgical Ministries

To be effective in their respective roles, initial and continuous formation of liturgical ministers is very vital. While each minister needs to have adequate knowledge and understanding of their respective ministries within the liturgy, a general understanding of the liturgy as a whole is necessary.

To begin with, liturgical ministers need to have a deeper understanding of the Mass, as “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is             directed;” and “the fount from which all the Church’s power flow’s (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy [CSL] no. 10.)  They should be made to understand and appreciate the Mass as “the primary way the Church gives praise and thanks to God; to recognize the ways Christ is present in the Mass; and to realize that, in receiving Holy Communion, we become what we receive, namely, ‘a holy communion’ sent forth to transform the world.”  (USCCB, Catechetical Sunday, 2011).

Liturgical ministers also need to understand the basic structure of the Mass. For many people, the Mass seems to be a series of unrelated actions and rituals that eventually culminate in the reception of Holy Communion.  However, while the Mass consists in some sense of two parts, namely the  Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, these two are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship.  (CSL no. 56) Each minister in their respective ministries may play a unique role in the liturgy, but the various ministries in the liturgy are related. The different ministries in the liturgy are like different parts of one body, a dysfunction of one ministry negatively impacts the entire liturgy. Hence, all liturgical ministers need to have an understanding of the liturgy, an appreciation of their particular ministry and its relationship to the other ministries in the Mass.

Developing a deeper understanding of the Mass, however, will not happen in one training session; it can only happen over time. Hence, the need for ongoing formation of our lay liturgical ministers.

 Fr. Joseph Ayinpuusa ~ Parochial Vicar