Work of the People
The rituals that shape and change human life and the life of the world happen when people of faith come together. We bring to the rituals what we have: needs and gifts. In the great rituals of the Christian tradition, especially the eucharist, the various elements - the hospitality to be offered, the scriptures to be read, the psalms to be sung, the communion to be shared - call for many gifts from many people acting together.
When we speak of liturgical ministry we express our awareness of how various members of the community, the assembly, take on various roles. Indeed even the word “liturgy” itself, has its roots in greek that mean something akin to “work of the people.” In our need for good liturgy, for ritual done well together, we offer our skills in this or that art so that the liturgy may be beautiful and strong. This is all that we have. This use of ourselves is ministry and each minister - usher, cantor, lector, singer, instrumentalist, eucharistic minister, altar server - emerges from the community to serve.
Henri Nouwen offers the insight that to minister is not to “do things for” people but, rather, to “be with them.” To minister, at its deepest level, means “to be present” to others. To step forth from the St. Joseph parish community and minister in one of these roles, please see the information on the list to the right.