Liturgy Committee

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The Liturgy Committee assists the pastor and pastoral staff in forming and maintaining a vision of liturgy which is truly the center of the life of the parish. That vision of liturgy is intimately linked to the desire of the church, “that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy.
 
Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.” (CSL II 14) The committee is open to anyone with a passion for liturgy and a strong desire to learn more about it.
 
Members currently engaged in liturgical ministry are especially encouraged to consider joining. Meetings will be monthly with the dates to be determined. 
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Who are the members?
Committee members are parishioners, liturgical ministers and some members of the pastoral staff who are committed to worship as a priority.
 
They should have authenticity, integrity, respect, flexibility, courage, humility and a passion for crafting the worship experience (as well as a good sense of humor).
 
They should have an understanding of the power of the liturgy to transform hearts, lives and communities. Their formation in the theology of the sacraments should be ongoing. (each meeting includes a topic for brief discussion).
Their leadership skills will be nurtured and supported in service to the liturgy and the community.
 
An openness to experiences that develop and deepen relationships and understandings that can profoundly influence liturgical prayer is desirable.
 
These may include seminars and retreats that encourage dialogue and sharing of stories and values as well as intergenerational and multicultural social gatherings.
 
Most of all, members should be able to freely and reverently open their hearts to the profound experience of embracing Christ gathered, proclaimed, blessed, broken and shared.
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What does it do? The Liturgy Committee’s function centers around 3 primary areas of responsibility: Preparation, Formation, Coordination and Reflection. Preparation: The liturgy committee supports and builds up the worship experience by means of long-term preparation.
 
This involves oversight of the “big picture” of parish liturgies across the entire liturgical year, establishing parish policy on matters of worship and setting goals for the liturgical life of the parish.
 
Because of its primary function as an advisory group, the committee, as a body, does not serve as the implementers. For example, the specific tasks of setting up for Mass, putting up the Advent wreath, etc., would fall to the person(s) who have that liturgical responsibility.
 
However, in preparing for a liturgical season, the liturgy committee might recommend how the environment best be appointed in keeping with the season and in accordance with the church’s liturgical norms.
The actual ordering and setup would be left to the person or subcommittee responsible for the church environment.
 
The liturgy committee should be active in recruiting talent for those subcommittees, and members of the committee may be tasked with initial oversight of a subcommittee until the process is running smoothly.
 
Formation: An important role of the parish liturgy committee is to provide opportunities for spiritual and practical formation for its own members, for the various liturgical ministers and for the parish as a whole.
 
This can be done by arranging guest speakers, by workshops, providing training resources and by including information about liturgy in parish bulletins and handouts.
 
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Coordination: Certain liturgical ministers prepare and carry out certain functions by means of specialized knowledge and skills.
 
For example, pastoral musicians discern appropriate liturgical music and artists shape the liturgical environment. It is the responsibility of the liturgy committee to coordinate these various ministries (and others) and to ensure that they are carried out with a common understanding of the spirit and structure of the celebration.
 
Reflection: Looking back at the way feasts and seasons were celebrated is an important learning experience for those who prepare liturgy. What worked well that should be retained? What should be revised, improved or eliminated in the future?
Are our liturgies life-giving? Is the assembly able to participate easily in the liturgies?
 
Are we meeting the needs of the assembly at worship? In every season we strive to facilitate an experience of prayer drawing our community closer together in Christ.
 
Interested? Email Donna Cole: Donna@MadonnaChurch.org
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