The liturgy committee works under the leadership of our Pastor, Fr. Raymond Lafontaine. It exists to prayerfully discern ways in which we at St. Monica’s can deepen our Christian experience as we encounter the presence of Christ in Word and Sacrament – particularly in our celebration of the Sunday Eucharist and the seasons of the Liturgical Year.
The goal of the committee is to assure that our liturgies truly and fittingly express our faith in Christ, our belief in his Word and our trust in his promise. It is Christ who must be recognized in our actions, our words, and in the way we receive one another and all those who are present at our liturgical celebrations.
The principal tasks of the committee are to prepare liturgies – daily, weekend, special seasons and feasts – that bring alive the message of the Scriptures proclaimed and our communion in the Eucharist. This implies music that inspires and draws people in a closer relationship with Christ, homilies that address the real experience of a people who strive to live in the world without being “of the world”, and a spirit of hospitality that welcomes and includes all who come to worship as equal members of the Body of Christ.
The liturgy committee unites itself with the larger church in assuring fidelity to the structure and shape of the Eucharistic celebration, while fostering a healthy diversity in the ways in which we express that faith in the here and now. We believe that liturgies well celebrated help all of us to journey together in solidarity and love, and to embrace the task of spreading the word of God as part of a “New Evangelization.”
Members of the liturgy committee include the pastor, one or more of the deacons, and representatives from those who have a special responsibility within the liturgy: Mass coordinators, altar servers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, music ministry, ministers of hospitality, children’s liturgy, and those working in the sacristy and preparation of the worship space. It is also helpful to have input from those involved in faith education, pastoral council, youth ministry, justice and peace, and from parishioners who may not be responsible for any one dossier, but have a love for the liturgy and a desire to see it celebrated worthily and well.
The liturgy committee meets 5 or 6 times a year, corresponding to the principal liturgical seasons of the church: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, the Easter Triduum, Pentecost, and the cycle of Ordinary Time. They also prepare celebrations which are special to the parish community: St. Monica’s Feast, Welcome Sunday, Thanksgiving, Mass of Anointing, Mass of Resurrection, and the Christian initiation of our young people through Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. The word liturgy means “the work of the people”; thus, the liturgy committee is the work of the people of God for the people of God within this parish community.