Liturgical Ministries

Serving God and God’s People in the Assembly

At the Last Supper, Saint John relates that Jesus got down on his hands and knees and washed the feet of his disciples, instructing them to do likewise. This example of service is for all followers of Jesus to imitate, but some members of the Church serve others in the Liturgical Assembly. You do not become a liturgical minister because you are “better than” other members of the congregation, but because you want to serve them, as Jesus did!

If you are interested in any of the ministries below, please have a word with the Parish Priest, another ministers already doing it, or contact the Parish Office. Please be aware that most of these roles, because they are extremely public and involve contact with children or vulnerable adults, will require a DBS check – more information about this can be found on our Safeguarding Page >

Liturgical Ministries in Radcliffe

We have a great team of Altars Servers, who generously give their time and skills to help the celebration of Mass on Sundays and on special occasions. To become an altar server you need to have made your First Holy Communion, and be willing to commit your time generously to learn your role and then to carry it out. We will depend on you, so your ability to attend regularly is very important. Obviously for children under 18 parental consent and support is an absolute requirement.

Baptised Catholics who have made their First Holy Communion may also be commissioned as Readers for Sunday and Weekday Masses. There are certain skills that are needed (confidence, a clear voice and willingness to practise and learn) but training can be provided for all of these. Normally a reader would only exercise their ministry every three or four weeks on a rota system, but you would be expected to take responsibility for your Mass, andarrange cover if you could not attend.

Lay Catholic men and women who are baptised, confirmed and receiving Holy Communion themselves may be commissioned to assist in the distribution of communion at Mass. You would need a sense of service, and a willingness to exercise this ministry reliably, reverently and regularly! Sometimes people feel a sense of “unworthiness” to carry out this function in Church – it is worth pointing out that all of us – priests and bishops included – say the same prayer before communion: “Lord I am not worthy …. but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” It is not our personal “holiness” that makes us suitable for this ministry, but our willingness to let the Word of Jesus heal us for His work.

Some Ministers of Holy Communion will also be commissioned to take communion to the sick and housebound in their own homes. This is a separate ministry, which requires certain skills of compassion, confidentiality and sensitivity.

We are lucky that we can offer Children’s Liturgy at each of our three Sunday Masses, but to do so requires the help of volunteers! If you would like to help, you need to be over the age of 16, able to communicate well with children, and willing to learn and follow all our guidelines. You would need to commit to being on duty according to a rota, to ensure that our children can take advantage of this service whenever they come to Mass.

It is important that parishioners and visitors receive a warm welcome at Saint Mary’s: we also like to be able to offer refreshments after Sunday Masses. The only skill required is a generous and warm personality!

Never to be forgotten or overlooked are the people who help make our Church beautiful for our celebrations! We are always keen to welcome new volunteers for either of these roles, which though they may not be the most visible, truyly serve the Lord and his people as much as the roles of Reader or Minister of Holy Communion!