Ministries at the Cathedral
At our Baptism we become a member of the family of God and are called to serve Him and one another in love. There are numerous ways in which the people at St Mary’s carry out this baptismal calling, both at church in the liturgy and outside in the community.
Jesus told His disciples that He came to serve, not to be served, so, as His followers, we strive to do the same, offering ourselves, our time, our talents and gifts in service to others through the responsibility of the various ministries we undertake. Many of these are clearly visible during Mass and other services, but some are unseen, behind the scenes, contributing much to the life of St. Mary’s.
Many people come to the Cathedral for a variety of reasons. Some for worship, some in need of peace and calm, comfort, reassurance, help of one kind or another. So there is much more to this ministry than giving out newsletters and service sheets as people come in. We know that a warm and sincere welcome, a listening ear, or a kind word make a great deal of difference to someone approaching us, whether at the door of the church or at the door of Cathedral House.
It is a great privilege to be called to this ministry, as, in the Scriptures, God speaks to us through the reader who proclaims His Word.
Training in this ministry is of the utmost importance, so that the reader prepares well in order to be heard clearly, and is proclaiming God’s Word meaningfully, with understanding and reverence.
It is important for children to be acknowledged in the assembly of the people at Mass and to be able to hear the message of the Gospel, so they are invited to a separate room to listen to God’s Word in a way that they can understand and return for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
This is an important ministry in finding different ways to help the young to deepen the faith they have learnt from their parents and to grow in their love of Jesus.
We are blessed with many people, both young and older, who wish to serve in the liturgy at all of our Masses at the Cathedral, on Sundays, weekdays, Solemnities and diocesan occasions.
Our altar servers are offered training and ongoing formation, so that they may serve with dignity and reverence, enhancing the celebration of the liturgy, enabling all to participate more fully in the sacred mysteries.
Much of this ministry is carried out behind the scenes, involving the washing and ironing of altar linen and vestments, preparing the sacred vessels for Mass, setting up the Sanctuary, cleaning out the candle stands, brass and tile polishing and organising everything needed for the liturgy in general.
All of these ministries form part of the mission of the Church where we are sent out from liturgical celebration into the daily life of the world to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ by our actions and words, “glorifying the Lord by our lives”.
Here at St Mary's we strive to make the building attractive and welcoming to both visitors and regular worshippers alike. By further enhancing this beautiful space our aim is to inspire, inform and uplift the spirit. Whether it be flower arranging or making festive banners, church decoration is a wonderfully practical way of praying and a most rewarding and enjoyable ministry.
This ministry is given to the priest and deacon who are known as the Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. However, since reception of Holy Communion was allowed to be received under both kinds, the Body & Blood of Christ, it became necessary to appoint lay people to carry out this ministry, due to a lack of sufficient clergy, hence the correct title of ‘extra’ordinary minister.
Again, it is a great privilege to be called to this ministry, for which formation is essential. There are some who take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound and to those in hospital, bringing much comfort and an invaluable connection with the Cathedral community.