Liturgical Ministries

The Liturgical Ministries are the roles members of the community fulfill during the Liturgy, especially at the celebration of the Eucharist. The primary ministries are: Lay Readers, Cantor, Altar Server, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and usher/greeter.

Please visit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website, Office of Divine Worship page, for a more in depth understanding of the Liturgical Ministries and for a schedule of available training classes.



GIRMLiturgyoftheWord (pdf)

The Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass (1998) and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2011) provide the Church’s liturgical theological foundations for the announcement of the Word of God in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and, at the same time, provide the directives for those assigned the role of proclaiming the Word of God.

These guidelines are garnered from these two documents for a consistent practice for deputed lectors (readers) in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While these guidelines specifically address the role of the lector in the celebration of Mass, they are equally applicable to the proclamation of the Word of God in all celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word.

INSTITUTED LECTORS are men, who have demonstrated a particular relationship with the Word of God and with a formal liturgical rite to institute them as lectors, are charged by the Bishop to proclaim the Word of God, except for the Gospel, in the liturgical assembly, assist with the formation of others deputed to do the same, direct the participation of the faithful in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, and teach the Word of God in preparation for the celebration of the Sacraments (Ministeria quaedam, 1972). Instituted lectors, typically, carry out their role at Mass when the Bishop celebrates and alongside (readers) deputed lectors.

PROCLAIMERS OF THE WORD (Lay Readers)  are men and women selected by the pastor to read for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy because they are of sufficient age and competency to carry out this liturgical role in the service of the Word of God and those who will hear it.             An assessment of competency requires that the reader is typically a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church without sacramental impediment, lives a Christian life in accord with the Word of God, and possesses the human maturity expected of those called to serve in the Christian community. A basic knowledge of the Bible, Lectionary for Mass, and the Liturgy of the Word, as well as, the necessary oral proclamation skills are additional essential requirements. A basic knowledge of Sacred Scripture includes: the plan of salvation, the organization of the books of the Bible, as well as, the variety of genres and literary forms of its books. Some of the oral proclamation skills include: eye contact, enunciation, diction, inflection, pacing, projection and pronunciation.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are assembly members appointed  by the priest to help in the distribution of the Eucharist when there are not enough clerics present to give communion in a timely fashion. Because they present Christ himself, the Body and Blood of the Lord, to the communicants, they reflect the dignity of the moment by their decorum and solemnity. They look in the face of each one in order to convey the love that the Lord Jesus himself offers to each person. Requirements: by invitation only from the Pastor; must attend Diocese sponsored class; await formal appointment from Diocese via letter from Archbishop to Pastor; attend formal induction Mass before being scheduled to serve. Requirements EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION

Altar Servers assist the Priest in carrying  out their role of leading the community in prayer. They carry candles with the processional cross . On occasion they are required to hold the Book of Blessings, Lectionary, of General Roman Missal, for the Presider as needed. They assist in preparing the altar for the Eucharist by bringing forth the chalice, wine, water, etc. to the altar. They assist in receiving the offertory gifts and placing them on the Altar and credance table. They ring the bells as a call to the congregation bringin awareness to the Concecration. Servers are examples in their posture and gestures to the congregation. They represent a true reverence for the Paschal Mystery bringing the focus to the Eucharist.  They assist with the distribution of the “Sprinkling” at designated Masses. Requirements: 1) Must be registered parishioners of St. John’s.  2)  Are 9 yrs. old (4th grade) and up. 3) Received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Penance and First Holy Communion.  4) In good standing with the church, meaning they attend Mass regularly on Sunday & Holy Days of Obligation, attend Confession a minimum of twice a year, and receive the Eucharist regularly.   5) They must attend our training class prior to service.  6) Be willing to show up & serve as scheduled.   If you are interested in serving our parish in this capacity, please contact Donna Sciacca, DRE at the parish office to register for our next training session. Training classes are offered 2x annually.  It is highly recommended that your child, following his/her training,  views the attached video

Music Ministry:

Cantors & Musicians are the  leaders of song for the worshiping assembly.                                                  Cantors need to be familiar and comfortable with the songs they lead. Like Lay Readers, they must pray and meditate on the Responsorial Psalm because this too is the Word of God proclaimed from the ambo. Cantors do not replace the singing of the assembly, but rather empower and enhance it.

Ushers and Greeters are responsible for hospitality. This ministry includes: making sure the worship space is clean, comfortable and inviting; greeting parishioners as they enter and as they leave the church; collecting the offering and organizing the presentation of the gifts. Ushers are also responsible for dealing with emergencies or other disruptions of the celebration. At all times they show special respect for individuals and represent the very hospitality of Christ. Requirements: Must be a minimum of 16 yrs. old; attend Mass regularly.

The Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima: For more information clink on the link to “Fatima House” on our home page or contact Joan Black at 215-795-2947.