Ministers of Hospitality
People experience the presence of Jesus Christ in the world through the ministry of the church. The first task of the parish community is to reach out to all people in Christian love and service. Christian hospitality draws people together, opens them to participation, and sets the tone for the liturgy.
The ministry of hospitality, which includes both ushers and greeters, is crucial because it is so visible in the Church. Certainly the attitude, conduct and even the appearance of the ministers of hospitality directly affects, either positively or negatively, the experience of the faithful at Mass.
Conscious of this vital ministry and its significance for the faithful, some parishes have created a separate ministry of greeters to help create a sense of welcome and hospitality. Others have broadened the role of usher to include all the services of hospitality.
Those who wish to serve as minister of hospitality should be active and faithful members of the parish. They should be of good character and reputation. Respect for others, discretion and appropriate decorum are the hallmarks of a minister of hospitality. Above all, ministers should be noted for their care to the assembly. These qualities are found in mature Christians—qualities that transcend chronological age.
The minister should be comfortable meeting and greeting others, always ready to extend a sense of welcome to others and make them feel at home. Such qualities are a blessing, especially to the stranger in our midst.
Although men have traditionally filled the role of “usher” in most parishes, women (as well as teenagers and children) are invited to serve as ministers of hospitality. As St. Paul reminds us, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28). Indeed, variety in and among the members of this ministry better represents the diverse nature not only of our parish community, but also of the universal Church.
For more information about this ministry, please contact Fr. Joseph Lubrano at 256-534-8459.