Liturgical Ministries

An Overview

Well over 1,500 parishioners and visitors are welcomed to the Lord’s Table during the course of each week at the Cathedral. These numbers are supported by over 200 liturgical ministers who contribute to our worship through their service and participation in the liturgy. Lectors, Eucharistic ministers, choir members, cantors, ministers of hospitality, altar servers and children’s liturgy of the word leaders support the worship life of the parish in over 700 liturgical services each year (this number includes weekend liturgies, weddings, funerals, and weekday Masses). Liturgical ministers give of their time and tale at the Cathedral by acting as stewards of the liturgy for the spiritual enrichment of all who attend.

How blessed we are by the many faces of those serving in these vital ministries! As Cardinal Bernadin wrote, the members of our community participating in the Eucharist “help make it clear that we are together at this table, that this communion is the very image of the church and of that kingdom for which we live and die.”

Consider the first time you felt truly connected with the Mass and your faith community at the Cathedral. There is a good chance that a liturgical minister played a role in that connection. We are truly thankful for the warmth and spirit of hospitality they bring to our liturgical celebrations, and we extend to them our deepest gratitude.

If you have never served in a liturgical ministry, this is your invitation! Just as ministers serve the community, the ministry serves the minister. For information on getting involved in a liturgical ministry at the Cathedral or more information regarding a particular ministry, we invite you to explore the individuals ministries listed below.

If you would be interested in serving in a liturgical ministry, contact Scott Eakins, Director of Liturgy at 414/276-9814, ext 303 or DD: 414/238-2703.

The Ministries

The Lector

“[The Lector] exercise[s] a genuine liturgical function. They ought, therefore, to discharge their office with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a ministry and rightly expected of them by God’s people. Consequently they must all be imbued with the spirit of the liturgy … and must be trained to perform their function in a correct and orderly manner” (CSL, 29).”

The Lector may carry in the Book of the Gospels in the entrance procession (in the absence of a deacon); a Lector proclaims the assigned readings(s) and, in the absence of a deacon, the General Intercessions. If the responsorial psalm is not sung, the reader may also be asked to lead it.

The Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (Eucharistic Minister)

The Eucharistic Minister assists in the distribution of the Body and Blood to the assembly. After communion, they consume, at their place of distribution, any consecrated wine that remains in their cups. They may also assist with the purification of the vessels. In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee all Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be fully initiated members of the Church; that is, they must have received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy communion.

The Ministers of Hospitality (Ushers)

Ministers of Hospitality, like other liturgical ministers, are first and foremost members of the worshiping Assembly. As such, they should join in the act of worship in the same manner as the Assembly. Even while performing specific tasks, (e.g., taking up the offering), they remain united to the Assembly, singing and praying in an active way. Never should their role separate them from the rest of the Assembly. They are to be present and attentive during the entire liturgy.

During Mass, they assist in the seating of latecomers, take up the offering, help direct the communion procession if needed and deal with any disturbances that may occur. They should know the location of the rest rooms, the nearest phone, the first aid kit and fire extinguishers. They may also be responsible for choosing the gift bearers.

Altar Servers

Altar Servers are lay men and women, girls and boys, who are designated to assist the priest and the deacon at Mass. Ordinarily, they are responsible for the cross, the candles, the incense and the censer. They hold the book for the priest at the chair, assist the priest during the preparation of the gifts, and they wash the hands of the priest. In general, they assist the priest and deacon when necessary. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal – GIRM #100)