Over the last few years the role of lay ministry in our parish has increased significantly and focused on the development of a church based on ‘community’. Today, this involves a wide range of Ministries and Groups that support both the pastoral and social needs of our parish.
Altar Servers provide important assistance to Fr Steven in the celebration of the Mass so that the liturgy can be conducted with grace and reverence.
The role of an altar server involves preparing the altar for services, carrying the processional cross, lighting the candles, holding the books, assisting Fr Steven with the offertory and preparation of the bread and wine for consecration, carrying the incense and a variety of other tasks during the service.
This is an important ministry for young people that offers an opportunity for you to participate more fully at Mass and in parish life, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the church’s liturgical life. It is a great privilege to serve your parish and God at the altar and so it is essential that our altar servers carry out their tasks with dignity and reverence.
Boys and girls who have made their First Holy Communion can become an altar server if they wish, following some preparation and training. If you are interested in becoming an altar server, discuss this with your parents first. You and/or your parents can then contact Fr Steven for more information.
Baptism is recognised as the entry sacrament of the Church, marking the beginning of our Christian life and faith journey. As parents, when we make the decision to have our children baptised, we are giving them the most precious gift – lifetime membership of the Catholic Church. Fr Steven performs the Sacrament of Baptism on behalf of both the community of St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s and the Roman Catholic Church worldwide. However, having made the decision to pass on their faith and bring their children up Catholic, parents are the most important teachers of the faith; the early foundations of faith are laid at home then built on in school and through the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.
The parish Baptism Preparation Programme supports parent to:
- Explore the importance of the decision they are making on behalf of their child to have them baptised
- Develop an understanding of the symbols of baptism and their roots in the early church
- Reflect on what baptism means to them and the way it has influenced their life choices
- Support their child(ren) on their faith journey
Full details of how to arrange Baptism for you child can be viewed here
If you would like to join our Parish Baptism Preparation Team contact the Parish Office or speak to any member of the baptism team. Our team encompasses a great group of parishioners who work together to support the programme with parents of babies, pre-school children and those of school age.
Children’s Liturgy is an important part of our Mass. It is specially designed so that the weekly scripture readings can be explained on a level appropriate to children of nursery and primary school years.
Thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, we are able to offer Children’s Liturgy at all our weekend Masses – all year round
How do children participate in the Liturgy of the Word?
Following the Opening Prayer of the Mass, the children are invited to gather with their leaders at the front of the altar to receive the Candle and Scripture Book by Fr. Paul. Depending on the Mass and numbers of children attending, the Children’ Liturgy is held in the Lourdes Room.
The Leaders welcome everyone and introduce the Gospel reading. An age-appropriate reflection on the Liturgy is discussed with the children before the adult leaders introduce an art activity that helps to convey the meaning of day’s scripture readings. The children either work independently or collaboratively to show their understanding of the scripture that they have listened to.
The children then return to Church and take part in the Offertory Procession – some children are designated the roles of carrying the Host, Wine, Book, Mass Intentions, Offerings Basket etc. During the Presentation of the Gifts, the children also present and explain any work they have prepared during the session to Fr. Steven before returning to their families.
We always look forward to meeting the children each week.
Can you help?
We are currently in need of extra volunteers to help lead the Liturgy of the Word for our children. If you are interested in this ministry of faith-sharing please come along to one of the three Masses. The adult leaders will be happy to chat to you and share their experiences. Alternatively contact the parish office.
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is the official title of what we commonly refer to as a Eucharistic Minister in our parish. These are lay people who have been commissioned to support Fr Steven in the distribution of Holy Communion either during Mass or via home visits to the sick and housebound members of our Parish community.
At St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s we have a large team of Eucharistic Ministers performing this important ministry in our parish.
In the words of St Augustine – ‘those who sing pray twice’!!
We are very fortunate at St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s to have a thriving music ministry with talented musicians and angelic voices that lead the music and singing at all three of our weekend Masses, special services and parish events. Members of the group are welcome to participate in any of the masses over the weekend to suit their needs.
Music is an integral and important part of our liturgy celebration and our masses vary from traditional organ led music to keyboards, strings and wind instruments. We rehearse either before of after services with extra rehearsals for the bigger occasions – particularly around Easter and Christmas.
New singers and musicians are always welcome to join us in celebrating our liturgy through music. No audition is required, just pop up to the choir after any of the masses and speak to one of the group or leave your details at the parish office. Whether you are just stepping out into the world of music, enjoy singing at mass or a seasoned musician / singer – come and join us!