Ushers

History

The ministry of ushers is the oldest lay ministry in the Catholic Church. The ushers of today have descended from a long line of people of God who have gone before them. During the time of Christ, the doorkeepers of the temple numbered in the hundreds and were the forerunners of today’s ushers. The more immediate predecessor of today’s usher can be found in the clerical order of porter, instituted in the third century A.D. During those times, it was the duty of the porters or ushers to guard the door of the church against any intruders who might disturb the service. The porter duties were so important that they came to be included in the rite of ordination, where they were specified as “to ring the bells, open the church and sacristy, and open the book for the preacher.” In 1972 Pope Paul VI abolished the order of porter and this important task was given over to the laity. While today’s ushers don’t ring the bells or open the book, their primary duties and responsibilities include greeting and welcoming parishioners as they enter the church, helping them to find seats, and taking up the collection.

Ushers are liturgical ministers

A person’s willingness to serve God in the capacity as an usher reflects their commitment to Christ. They must be mindful that they are there to assist those who are preparing to worship God by creating a quiet and reverent atmosphere within the church. Men and women are welcome to apply to be ushers. Ushers assure the comfort of the assembly in the worship space and perform various functions during the liturgy. One of the most important duties that the usher has is that of hospitality. The usher is the first person that worshipers meet when they arrive at church. The usher has the opportunity and the responsibility to represent the rest of the assembly in offering hospitality. People’s impression of a parish is significantly shaped by the presence or absence of a welcoming atmosphere where they come to worship. Offering a smile and a word of welcome can have a profound impact on people as they arrive. Ushers provide assistance in emergencies. They ensure that the Church is in order before, during and after the celebration of Mass

Usher’s Duties at St. Mary’s

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before mass
  • Put out bulletins prior to Mass beginning
  • Ensure that pews and Church are in order
  • Greet and welcome at the main entrance
  • Arrange gift bearers
  • Seat people as needed
  • Assist in placing “Reserved” signs on benches for special groups
  • Take up collections
  • Help the Communion flow
  • Assist those who become ill or need aid
  • Open and close the entrance doors to the Church
  • Prepare the pews and Church for the next Mass
  • Performing other duties as requested by the Celebrant

General Information

  • Usher’s attire should be business casual as a minimum
  • High School students are welcome to be ushers
  • Ushers are not responsible for the poor boxes

Contact the apostolate leader Randolph MacPherson at MacPherson@halloransage.com or by using this form.

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