The Shrine Of The Little Flower
Ministers of Hospitality/Ushers
Often the title used for this ministry is hospitality. The challenge of the men and women who serve in this capacity is to welcome and greet but also to encourage everyone's participation in the liturgy. A warm welcome at the church door and within the pews can do wonders for people who feel alone, hurt and isolated.
The use of
ushers as gatekeepers and temple guards is deeply rooted in Scripture and
tradition. Today, ushers are called to provide a very special service in
their exercise of a true liturgical ministry. They are ministers of the
Church and servants of the faith-community when it gathers to celebrate
the Eucharist. The role of ushers requires a commitment to Christ lining
in his Church, together with a deep sense of being instruments of the
community appointed to assist its growth in the Spirit of Jesus. Strangers
need to be put at ease; visitors need to be welcomed; the physically and
mentally handicapped need to experience the love of the community. Ushers
deep concern for the community include the tasks of collecting offerings,
seating people, assisting in emergencies, and distributing bulletins.
Any responsible adult member of the parish is welcome to become an usher.
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, to 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 donít ring the bells or open the church, their primary duties and responsibilities include greeting and welcoming parishioners as they enter the church, help them to find seats, take up the collection and to wish everyone a good day at the conclusion of the Eucharistic Celebration.
Here at the Shrine of the Little Flower, we believe that in our service to God, the mission of the Usher/ Greeter - Minister of Hospitality in the Eucharistic assembly is to effectively serve the worshipping community with joy, dependability, kindness, reverence and by being helpful. Furthermore, it is also our mission to prepare our sister and brother for the joyous participation in the Eucharistic Celebration."
The Usher/ Greeter - Minister of Hospitality is a person chosen to reflect the warmth and welcome of Christ himself. Always conscious of Christís words: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me". The Ministry of Hospitality is open to all - women and men. Couples and families are encouraged to join this ministry.
The faith of the Ushers enables them to see Christ's presence in individuals and in the gathered community of believers. Ushers can handle emergency situations with courage and aplomb. They carry a dignity about themselves even when performing necessary menial tasks.
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