Liturgical Ministries

The composition of the Eucharistic assembly ideally represents and reflects the nature of the Church herself, which is hierarchically ordered. The very arrangement of the celebration in its various ministries shows that all the baptized have a place in the Church – women and men, young and old, people of every race and tongue. Through the active participation of the faithful and the variety of liturgical ministers in the Church, the Body of Christ is built up.

# 6 General Instruction of the Roman Missal

 

Explore Opportunities to become involved

Altar Guild

Altar Linen Care

This work involves caring for the small linens used by the priest and the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EM) during Mass. It also includes towels used at baptism and the smaller table covers. The laundering and ironing is done at home on a rotating weekly basis.

Baptismal Garments

Baptismal garments are sewn by members of the parish. There are two types of garments made.

  1. A small white bib which includes a hand-embroidered cross and is presented to each infant at his/her Baptism.
  2. A larger garment worn by those members of the RCIA who are preparing to enter the church. They receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil and after they are baptized, dress in the white garment of one newly received into the Church.

Art/Church Environment

The tasteful and appropriate arrangement and decoration of the church, sanctuary, narthex, and chapel according to the church’s liturgical guidelines is an important help to provide an uplifting and prayerful celebration of the liturgy. 


This work includes the placement and maintenance of flowers and plants in the church, narthex, and chapel.  The care for the plants is on a rotation basis approximately every 3-4 weeks.  The other decorations are done seasonally with the primary times of help needed prior to, and at the conclusion of, the Christmas and Easter seasons.

Altar Servers

The Ministry of Altar Server is to assist the priest and, in particular, to prepare the altar and the vessels for the most important act of worship, the Celebration of Holy Mass. The role of server is integral to the normal celebration of the Mass.

All young men and women, grade 4 through high school, are invited to join this ministry as an altar server. Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. They should have already received Holy Communion for the first time and normally receive the Eucharist whenever they participate in the liturgy.  

Servers are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.  Servers are ordinarily assigned two times a month.  There are opportunities to serve at Weddings, Funerals, Midnight Mass, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter and other special Feast Days and services.

Cantors

The Ministry of Cantor is the leader of the assembly’s song, especially when there is no choir present.  The Cantor also proclaims the Psalm. The Cantor also intones the Gospel Acclamation and verse.

The cantors should have proficient musical skills and commitment to their craft.  In addition to having a pleasant, attractive voice, the Cantor must be a person of deep faith, with a love and understanding of the liturgy and of the Word of God as expressed in the psalms and canticles of the Lectionary

Following a successful audition, cantors are prepared through initial training and ongoing work on vocal quality and spiritual development.  

Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLW)

Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLW)  provides an opportunity for the children in grades Kindergarten through fourth to hear God’s Word proclaimed in language that they can more clearly understand.  At the 9:30 a.m. Mass, the children are called forward after the Opening Prayer and are sent forth by the priest.  They process to the chapel where the Word is proclaimed and broken open in terms they are able to understand.  Adult leaders and teen aides rotate in this ministry.  Training is provided in the fall. 

Our Volunteer PolicyVolunteers who have “substantial contact with children,” at a parish and/or school within the Diocese of Arlington, must correctly complete and clear the required background check forms and complete a required, annual VIRTUS Training (as determine by the Diocesan Office for Child Protection and Safety).  Click here for more information.

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

The Ministry of the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist is to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to bring Holy Communion to the sick and homebound of the parish.

Men and women 18 years or older and having received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) are eligible for this ministry.  They are to be Catholics in good standing who sincerely try to live the Gospel message in accordance with the teachings of the Church. They are to participate regularly in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist and the practice of their Catholic faith.

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are prepared for this ministry through participation in formation on the Diocesan level as well as on-going formation in the parish. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharistic are ordinarily assigned once every three weeks.  

Greeters

The Ministry of Greeters is a ministry of hospitality and welcome to everyone, parishioners and guests alike, into God’s house.  These ministers, young families, young adults, and seniors, representative of the diverse make-up of our parish, will be at the doors of the Narthex, our Gathering Space, to greet the people as they enter and leave, to answer any questions, to assist in any way. They will also be responsible for greeting families who come for Baptisms.

Greeters are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.  

Lectors

The Ministry of Lector is a ministry of proclamation.  Through this proclamation, the lector exercises their responsibility in the liturgy.  God speaks to the faithful through them. They provide a prayerful and well-prepared proclamation of the Word.  Resources are provided to aid the lector in their weekly preparation.  

Lectors ordinarily have received the Sacrament of Confirmation, have a strong voice to proclaim the Word, and are in good standing with the Church.  

Lectors are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.  Lectors are ordinarily assigned once every three weeks.  

Master of Ceremonies

The Ministry of Master of Ceremonies is to support the ritual and provide for the correct and orderly flow of the liturgy by assisting the other ministers in the execution of their liturgical functions.  The Masters of Ceremonies will serve as mentors for the younger servers. They will function as lead server at 9:30 and 11:15 Mass on Sunday and will direct and assist on the big celebrations at Our Lady of Good Counsel, such as Christmas and the Triduum. 

This ministry is open to high school age youth of the parish who have experience as an Altar Server.

The Masters of Ceremonies are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.  

Sacristans

The Ministry of Sacristan is one of the most ancient of responsibilities in the Church.  It involves preparing the vessels with Bread and Wine and cleaning the vessels after Mass.  The Sacristan arranges the Presider Book, Roman Missal, and Lectionary. Communicating with other ministers is important to ensure that all are aware of any special procedures during a service.

The sacristan should be well-trained in the complexities of the Liturgical Rituals.  The Sacristans are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.

Sacristans are ordinarily assigned once every three weeks.  One also has the opportunity to be a Sacristan at Funerals, Christmas, the Triduum, and other special Feast Day Masses.

Ushers

The Ministry of Usher assists those who are in need, gives direction, and lends a hand as needed. The ministry also includes inviting a family to be gift-bearers, taking up the collection, overseeing the Communion procession, distributing bulletins at the conclusion of Mass, and helping to tidy up the pews before the next Mass.   

Consider this as an opportunity to reflect upon all the blessings you have received from God and how you might be able to fulfill your call to service.  

Each Mass has an assigned team of Ushers.  A captain heads each team. The Ushers are prepared for this ministry through initial training and on-going formation offered in the parish.   

Contact:

Gerard Hall 
Director of Liturgy
703.896.7411

Ministry Procedures

Liturgy Calendar

Monday 01/29

triduum - why 3 days

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Chapel

triduum - why 3 days

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Chapel
Tuesday 01/30

triduum - why 3 days

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Chapel

triduum - why 3 days

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Chapel