Liturgy Planning

The liturgy is sometimes thought of as embracing the most religious and perhaps mysterious aspects of church life, the order of the mass, the sacraments, other services and church protocols whose descriptions are at times sprinkled with unfamiliar liturgical words and phrases. More than a bit of mystery is associated with our ability to fully comprehend some aspects of Catholic theology, doctrines and beliefs, but the liturgy is not a mystery. For purposes of a better understanding of the role of the liturgy committee in a parish, it might be fittingly described as taking in everything, that is, the full experience of coming to church.

Thus, the scope of the liturgy covers the experience from the moment we turn into the parking lot, the landscape, the buildings and our walk to the church entrance. Everything we see and sense is part of our liturgical experience which continues as we enter the church, meeting the greeters, ushers, clergy, fellow parishioners, and staff. The sights of the theme liturgical décor and the sounds of seasonal music are certainly very recognizable elements of the liturgy. But liturgy planning goes on to include the manner and conduct of the lectors reading the Word, the altar servers, the Ministers of the Eucharistic, the Deacons, the homily, the cantor, the choir and the music. It continues to include the interaction and responses of the entire congregation.

At Saint Dominic Church there are twenty members of the liturgy planning committee, who represent a balance of clergy, staff and parishioners. The members include:

The Pastor, Fr. Ronald P. May, affirms by his presence at every meeting, the importance he places on the work of the committee. His leadership is key to an effective spirit of collaboration among all committee members.

Lay Liturgy Minister, Mary Anne Plourde, assumes the key responsibility of coordinating the agenda and the work of the committee members.

Music Director, Jonathan S. Budd, plans a musical repertoire that is appropriate to the season and special occasions of our church calendar. His musical artistry and experience serve to complement the liturgy planning objectives of the committee in a thoroughly professional manner.

Director of Religious Education, Terry Kamradt, plays a vital role in coordinating the events and activities of our parish religious education programs with the liturgy. First penance, first holy communion and Confirmation are some of the key family events closely affecting the liturgical plans of our parish. There is also Joy In The Beginning which is an extension of the liturgy during the ten o'clock mass each Sunday.

Deacons, Paul Kulas and Eugene Nebiolo, through their duties and responsibilities as deacons, are an important component of the successful work of the liturgy planning committee.

Parishioners: In addition to the staff, this committee includes  dedicated lay members that are representative of our entire community.

Time Commitment of Members
Planning meetings, held monthly except for July and August, last from two to two and a half hours. Extra time commitments are common during the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent.

The work of preparing liturgies is done by committee members and invited parishioners. Liturgy planning and its associated tasks include: inviting and informing liturgical ministers and greeters, creating the appropriate liturgical environment, inviting parishioners to participate in specific celebrations such as masses, reconciliation services, stations of the cross, etc.

Membership in the Liturgy committee demands dedication, involvement, attention to detail, openness to education, and willingness to accept leadership. Productive members are persons of deep faith who are willing to learn and to grow.

 

The basic tasks of the liturgy planning committee include:

  • Preparation of special liturgies and events during liturgical seasons, e.g., Triduum, Thanksgiving, memorials for our deceased love ones, anointing of the sick and elderly, Blessing of Advent Wreaths,  Palm Sunday procession, etc.
  • Evaluating present liturgies with a view to making them more meaningful: e.g. Sunday Mass, Baptisms, Funeral liturgies, Weddings, Communal Reconciliation Services, Daily Mass.
  • Education of parishioners on various aspects of the liturgy through a weekly column in the parish bulletin.
  • Collaborating with Religious Education and the RCIA in their liturgical rites.
  • Formation and organization of liturgical ministers.

 

The value of a good liturgy committee:

  • It hears what the people in the pews are saying about the weekly celebrations.
  • Offers different perspectives on ways to celebrate major feasts and liturgical seasons
  • Comments on the perceptions of the young and old as to the environment of the Church, its music, atmosphere and appearance.
  • Explores new and better ways for the community to give honor and glory to God.
  • Invites members of the community to discover and use the talents they have for the benefit of all.
  • Encourages constructive criticism of parish liturgies lest complacency rule the day.
  • Calls us all to be good witnesses of our faith.

 

How do Good Liturgies contribute to the life and growth of the parish?
It is difficult to make a quantitative correlation between well-planned, meaningful liturgies and attendance at Sunday Mass. However, it would not be unreasonable to interpret the continuing growth of new members of Saint Dominic parish and the frequent, very positive feedback regarding liturgies that is so enthusiastically and gratefully expressed, to the well-planned and effectively implemented liturgies. The work of the liturgy committee is critically important to the spiritual vitality and experience of a parish.

Liturgy Planning Side Info

Name MaryAnne    Plourde
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone 860.628.0349