Liturgy, defined as the “work of the people,” includes the preparation and implementation of our community’s liturgical celebrations.
The goal of liturgy is the “full, conscious, and active participation” of all the people in our worship.
When we think of liturgical ministry and “active participation” in worship, we may automatically associate these with the musicians, lectors, presider, etc. However all members of the community actively participate in the important ministry known as the Ministry of the Assembly or the Ministry of the Celebrating Community. Christ is present in the actions of the community of believers who come together to celebrate their faith and the presence of Christ in their lives. We strengthen one another’s faith in the ways that we sing, respond, and are attentive to each other and to what is happening. This indeed is our primary ministry.
For an eloquent statement about the “Theology of Celebration” (largely inspired by Fr. Eugene Walsh), see below.
The Theology of Celebration
(excerpts from the U.S. Bishop’s document on “Music in Catholic Worship” )
1. We are Christians because through the Christian community we have met Jesus Christ, heard his word in invitation, and responded to him in faith. We gather at Mass that we may hear and express our faith again in this assembly and, by expressing it, renew and deepen it.
2. We do not come to meet Christ as if he were absent from the rest of our lives. We come together to deepen our awareness of, and commitment to, the action of his Spirit in the whole of our lives at every moment. We come together to acknowledge the love of God poured out among us in the work of the Spirit, to stand in awe and praise.
3. We are cerebrating when we involve ourselves meaningfully in the thoughts, words, songs, and gestures of the worshiping community—when everything we do is wholehearted and authentic for us—when we mean the words and want to do what is done.
4. People in love make signs of love, not only to express their love but also to deepen it. Love never expressed dies. Christians’ love for Christ and for one another and Christians’ faith in Christ and in one another must be expressed in the signs and symbols of celebration or they will die.
5. Celebrations need not fail, even on a particular Sunday when our feelings do not match the invitation of Christ and his Church to worship. Faith does not always permeate our feelings. But the signs and symbols of worship can give bodily expression to faith as we celebrate. Our own faith is stimulated. We become one with others whose faith is similarly expressed. We rise above our own feelings to respond to God in prayer.
6. Faith grows when it is well expressed in celebration. Good celebrations foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations may weaken and destroy it. …
The document then goes on to describe the work of planning for good liturgical celebrations.
St. Martin’s Liturgy Commission is a group consisting of various liturgical ministers and parishioners established to create a vision for the prayer and worship of this community. The commission implements its vision by setting long and short range goals which include the education, prayer, and witness of the people of this parish. The vision is translated into liturgical action through the various committees of the Liturgy Commission.
The members of the Liturgy Commission are ministry coordinators and liaisons from various ministries in the parish, who meet monthly (on the third Mondays) except during July, August and December).