The word “liturgy” is taken from a Greek term which means “public work”. In Church nomenclature it means our public worship. Thus the liturgy is the communal act of the People of God led in the celebration of worship by a bishop, priest or deacon. Most precisely, the liturgy is the Holy Mass which is celebrated every Sunday (and every day) in honor of our Lord Jesus who instituted this Holy Sacrifice on Holy Thursday.
In order to facilitate this worship the priest in his pastoral role may invite lay people from his flock to assist him in the preparation and practice of the liturgy. Liturgical service, service of the Altar or to the Word of God, is a privilege and not the right of the lay person who reflects deeply on the invitation and the role as servant of the holy liturgy.
If you are a parishioner who regularly attends Mass, and are interested in participating in a liturgical service please speak with Fr. Riley Williams or call the parish office.
**All parishioners acting in the liturgical service must first submit to a Criminal Offender record Information (CORI) check and attend a special CORI training.
At St. Francis Xavier Parish, boys and young men assist the priest by taking responsibility for preparation of the Mass and service to the priest and altar during Mass, Benediction, and other liturgical celebrations. Boys who have the permission of their parents and who have completed 3rd grade can apply to become altar servers. New altar servers must complete the instructive and fun annual Altar-Boy Boot Camp. Parents should contact Fr. Williams.
Master of Ceremonies
MCs are high-school boys who, as altar servers, supervise the younger altar boys at Holy Mass. They are responsible for facilitating the proper and valid flow of the Mass under the direction of the pastor or celebrating priest.
The lector is commonly known as the “reader”. During the Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) Mass, the lector reads the first and second readings taken usually from the Old and New Testaments of Sacred Scripture. In the absence of the deacon, the lector may also read the communal petitions during Mass known as the general intercessory prayers or the Prayer of the Faithful, to which the congregation responds, “Lord, hear our prayer”.
Lectors also read during the daily Mass schedule (Monday through Saturday 9 A.M.). Lectors may also participate at funeral Masses and special Lenten services such as Tenbrae, at the request of the pastor.
The sacristans at St. Francis Xavier are usually young people who, under the general direction of an adult lay person appointed by the pastor, undertake the care of the sacristy. The sacristy is the room abutting the sanctuary which stores the priestly vestments and sacred vessels for the Holy Eucharist and other liturgical articles. The sacred vessels and articles include chalices, ciboria, cruets, oils, procession candles, incense, altar linens, and altar server garments. The sacristan duties include laying out the liturgical vestments, placing the offertory communion bread and wine for Mass, and other such preparatory duties related to the celebration of Mass, Benediction, and other liturgical events. They also ensure proper treatment and storage of the holy vessels.
Anyone interested in participating in this ministry must be an active member of the parish and must interview with Fr. Williams.
Ushers assist at the Sunday liturgies by greeting and seating people, operating the parish wheel-chair lift, taking up the collections, assisting the congregation at Communion and handing out the parish bulletin. Ushers may also be needed at large parish events and special services. To volunteer, contact the Parish Office.
St. Francis Xavier Choir
The parish choir sings hymns at all Sunday Masses, funeral Masses, and on Holy Days of Obligation. The choir holds regular but seasonal practices. Voices of both young and older are welcome to sing in the parish choir. If you love to sing and would like to offer your voice to praise the Lord, please contact the parish office.