Parish Liturgy Team
In February 2014, we invited the liturgy resource person for the diocese Ms Mary Dee to train a group of parishioners who had volunteered to form a parish liturgy group. It was decided early on that there should be one group, representative of both churches, in the parish. Mary facilitated three training sessions and outlined the meaning and purpose of the Church’s liturgical celebrations and explored the role of the parish liturgy group; this is summarized below:
What is the role of the Parish Liturgy Group?
• Plan the liturgical year ahead – short-term/ medium-term/ long-term
• Be aware of the different moods/times/senses of the liturgical year
• Ensure that there is initial and on-going formation and support for all liturgical ministers;
• Connect with the other ministry groups to ensure good communication and clarity;
• Evaluate our liturgical celebrations and make whatever decisions are needed for our upcoming celebrations.
We are hoping that more parishioners might volunteer to join the group, particularly people from St. Mary’s Church. Who might be interested?
Anyone who shows an interest and is open to enjoying and celebrating liturgy, to working in cooperation with priest(s) and parishioners, to undertaking some reading and reflection on liturgy, and who is open to creativity. It can be very helpful to have people from some of the ministry groups e.g. Word, or Eucharistic or music ministers, altar society etc. as well as people from different age groups within the parish community. It is important that there is a shared understanding among members re:
• The meaning of liturgy and what we are trying to do in and through the Mass;
• The role and purpose of the liturgy group in the parish;
• The relationship between this group and other groups in the parish.
What is the agenda for our liturgy meetings?
Like all parish ministries, we are called to consider both the current and the long term needs of the community. So preparation for an up-coming liturgy is important. So too is consideration of wider issues. Two questions inform our work:
• How are our celebrations enabling people to pray and live their lives as Christians?
• How can we make our celebrations more welcoming and inclusive for all?
As a liturgy group, we need to become aware of the different groups who come to celebrate in our community e.g. young children, older people, parents, people with a disability. As we prepare liturgies, it can be helpful to imagine oneself as young, old, unwell, disaffected, hard of hearing etc. to see how this might seem to others, and whether in fact we are managing to touch into the needs of different groupings within the parish community.
If possible, take a few weeks just to notice what is happening in your parish – try to look at it all afresh and see what is good, what is supportive, what is life giving to parishioners. Begin small…concentrate on one Mass or some small actions. Confidence and abilities grow as we learn from each small step. Take stock as you go. Take note of what you try and how it worked for you…take time to see what is helpful for your parish and what is needed.
The PLT is made up from representatives from St Marys Ballygunner and St. Joseph & St Benildus:
Fr. Liam Power P.P.
Fr. John Treacy