Chairpersons of the various liturgical ministries: Readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Music Ministry, Altar Servers and Ushers, meet with the pastor monthly to plan and provide inspiring liturgies. As servants of the Parish Community, they make assessments of needs and set goals for the liturgical life of the parish. Anyone interested in learning more about liturgy and the Mass is invited to join. Contact Olivia Ahyoung, 656-1071.
Sacristans care for the sacred vessels and vestments used in celebration of the Mass. They prepare the altar, credence table, sacramental elements, vessels and books needed for each Mass. They are responsible for ensuring sufficient Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Altar Servers are present for the Mass and assist the celebrant in any way needed. After the Mass, they return the sacred vessels and articles for worship to their proper places. All sacristans are responsible for advising the head Sacristan of any needed equipment or supplies. Contact Rita Feté, 386-8715.
Ushers assist and extend a warm welcome as they help worshipers find seating, provide for orderly movement in the church, before, during and after the liturgy, direct Ministers of Holy Communion to disabled parishioners and assist in any special situations, such as an unexpected illness. They also collect the offerings of the faithful, distribute the Weekly Bulletin as parishioners depart the assembly, after which they restore books and envelopes to their proper place, and search the sanctuary for any items left behind, storing them in the Sacristy. Head Usher, Charles Ziegmont, 997-1150.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Communion Ministers)
Pastors may appoint Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. This permission was channeled through the Liturgy Office of the Diocese. “The faithful who are special ministers of Communion must be persons whose good qualities of Christian life, faith, and morals recommend them. Let them strive to be worthy of this great office, foster their own devotion to the Eucharist, and show an example to the rest of the faithful by their own devotion and reverence toward the most August sacrament of the altar. No one is to be chosen whose appointment the faithful might find disquieting (Immensae Caritatis)” Communion Ministers must be commissioned for the Parish. The pastor may revoke this commission at any time. A big responsibility for the Communion Minister is to visit the sick, pray with them and distribute Holy Communion. At present, Communion Ministers visit 15 facilities and private homes. Communion Ministers are appointed to distribute Holy Communion at Liturgy at weekend Masses. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion receive schedules and directives regularly. Contact person: Carol Sunderhaus, 877-8775.
The Ministry of Altar Servers is one of the most rewarding ministries for children. They learn at an early age what it means to serve God and the Church. They assist the priest and other ministers at the Mass. The Altar Servers may also be asked to help at other liturgical celebrations (weddings, funerals). Boys and girls in grade 4 and up, and who have received their First Communion, are invited to participate in this ministry. Altar servers and their parents should be willing to make a commitment to serve on a regular basis. After participating in a training session, conducted once a year in the fall, they will be put on the Liturgy schedule. Anyone wishing to be part of this ministry may contact Carol Sunderhaus at 877-8775.
Readers are called to proclaim the Word of God at Mass. As heralds of the word of God, prayerful consideration should be given to participation. The most effective readers carefully prepare by prayerfully studying the Scripture for which they have been scheduled. The reader will gain perspective by studying the Scripture that precedes and follows the text selected for the Sunday reading. Readers are usually assigned to read during the Mass which they regularly attend. However, sometimes there is a need for an exception to be made in order to adequately cover all Masses, which include ordinary times and holiday celebrations. Readers represent a wide range of age and come from all walks of life. Readers are responsible for assisting with the celebration of the Eucharist by delivering the two readings for that day, presenting the Intercessions (in the absence of a deacon) and delivering the closing announcements. When performing the duties of the reader, one experiences a wonderful feeling of closeness to the Lord and service to our Church. Readers generally meet once or twice a year. For the new reader, some basic training and documentation is provided that will help him or her get started in the ministry. A basic requirement is for the reader to always dress professionally (coat and tie for gentlemen, modest dresses for ladies), always being aware that we are participating in the celebration of the Eucharist. Readers, by their voice, attitude and physical bearing, reflect the dignity and sacredness of their calling. Contact Ted Altavilla at 386-5891, or Jan Sullivan at 668-4492, if you are interested in serving as a Reader.
Cantors: (Practice with the organist as needed)
All Masses need cantors! Cantors lead the people in musical worship, proclaiming the readings from the old and new testaments through the Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations, and in the singing of traditional and new hymns. But knowing how to read music is not the main requirement. What does it take to be a cantor? One needs a strong sense of dedication to musical worship within the Mass. The cantor stands as a model of prayer through music, for as St. Augustine said, “To sing is to pray twice!” We are happy to teach you how to proclaim the various tunes, and how to lead the people in the parts of the Mass.
Adult Choir: (Rehearses every Wednesday evening, 7:30-9:00 in the Church)
The 10:30 Mass has an adult choir, whose role it is to lead the congregation in the singing of the hymns, and to provide inspirational and liturgically-relevant music for the enrichment of the service. This includes Latin chant, gospel tunes, and contemporary and classical settings. We minister to each other as well as to the congregation, coming together weekly on Wednesday nights at 7:30 to prepare our liturgical offerings. We prepare 1-2 selections for every Sunday Mass, but the choir is especially busy twice a year: Christmas week and Holy Week. The music for these seasons is especially meaningful to us, and to those who hear it, and we select material that will heighten our devotional sense and bring us closer to God and to our friends. It requires more of our time, but we offer it willingly, as a means of making our gift more special. We are deeply enriched by doing so! We also participate in the Catechesis evenings (held during our rehearsal times), the Red Mass (at St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral), and other events relevant to the Tallahassee area Catholic community as they occur.
For information on serving as a Cantor, or singing with the Choir, please contact Diane Whitney at 878-2465.
All parishioners, 8th grade to adult, are invited to join the Handchime Choir. The ability to read music is helpful but not required. We are a three octave choir with eleven ringing positions available. Handchimes are similar to handbells and excellent instruments on which to learn. Future goals include expanding into a full handbell/handchime choir, ringing regularly at Mass, as well as participating in the growing number of opportunities for ringing with the rich handbell community here in Tallahassee. Join us for a unique addition to your worship experience at Blessed Sacrament. For more information, please call Caroline Colletti at 251-2129.
Liturgy of the Word for Children
This is a concerned and sensitive way to enable children to participate in the formal worship experience of the community. The celebrations of these liturgies are intended to nourish and guide their spiritual growth, and to immerse them in the Word in ways that are understandable to them. During the Liturgy at 10:30 on Sunday, children (grade K through grade 3) are called to the front of the church, receive the book of God’s Word and process to a place where they proclaim the Word of God. The Gospel is the important part of this assembly. The Gospel may be acted out. The text is not paraphrased or modernized. Children already have a spiritual life and a relationship with God. The main concern is to listen to what the children have heard, not to tell them what we think they should have heard. The return of the children to church usually coincides with the recitation of the Creed or the Offertory collection. Offertory gifts are presented by the children. One child leads the procession with a candle. Others follow with the basket, wine and bread. For more information, please contact Sr. Josette at 222-5153.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Eucharistic Adoration is the exposition of Our Eucharistic Lord in a special monstrance which is placed on the altar for all the faithful to venerate, worship and pray before. Perpetual Adoration means that Our Eucharistic Lord is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To have Perpetual Adoration, there is always at least one adorer present to keep Our Lord company. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked His disciples, “Can you not watch one hour with Me?” Perpetual Adoration gives the adorers the opportunity to fulfill Our Lord’s request to console, exchange loving prayers, and just spend time with Him. For nine years now, parishioners of Blessed Sacrament have had the wonderful opportunity to spend one hour each week with Him.
There is always an ongoing list in the parish bulletin with the needed hours. Twice a year, we have a promotion in the parish (usually in the fall and spring) to try and “replenish our stock.” We also have a booth at the Parish Ministry Showcase. When an adorer signs up for a weekly holy hour, then he/she is responsible for coming for that hour every week. Once an adorer signs up, he/she will be given the name of the Hourly Captain. If an adorer can’t make their assigned holy hour, we have a substitute system. By calling their Hourly Captain, a substitute will fill in. There is a Division Leader assigned to each quadrant of the day and night, who oversees the Hourly Captains and the entire division, so if the Hourly Captain is out of town or can’t find a sub, the Division Leader will. The Division Leaders meet on an “as needed basis” to discuss upcoming Eucharistic events, such as missions, or to plan the calendar year. Division Leaders keep in touch with the Coordinator and the Hour Captains to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Any parishioner can sign up for any weekly Eucharistic Adoration hour by contacting the coordinator, Jean Nixon, at 553-4015.
Sacred Heart Enthronements
One wonderful program we have here at Blessed Sacrament Parish is the Sacred Heart Home Enthronements. When Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary in the 16th century, he explained the importance of honoring His Sacred Heart. He said, “Behold my Heart which loves mankind so much, but is so little loved in return.” His Heart was crowned with thorns. He asked that His Sacred Heart be honored by all mankind, to console Him, and to turn to Him for His love. He gave 12 promises to those who honor His Sacred Heart. Some of those promises are: peace in the family; all the graces necessary for one’s state of life; that He will be our refuge during life; He will personally bless every home where a picture of His Heart is honored; those who promote this devotion will have their names written in His Heart, never to be blotted out. He also said that anyone who receives communion on the first Friday of every month for 9 consecutive months shall receive the grace of final penitence, and shall not die without receiving the sacraments, and His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in their last moments of life.
Sacred Heart Enthronement is a beautiful way to bring the peace and love of Jesus into the family. There is a simple ceremony, which is done by either a priest or deacon, where the Sacred Heart image is officially enthroned. Prior to the enthronement, there is a home visitation where a promoter comes into the home and brings a traveling state of Our Lady. The family then comes together in prayer for 3 days to prepare for the Enthronement. Many graces have been experienced by the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament as a result of their Sacred Heart Enthronement.
To sign up for a Sacred Heart Enthronement, or to learn more, contact Mike & Jean Nixon at 553-4015; or Kevin & Ann McGlynn at 297-0099.