The parish is a very busy place. More than just the church where Mass is celebrated, a parish is like a home full of many children and extended family of all ages where everyone is involved in some meaningful activity.
A typical day may begin with early morning Mass celebrated by a priest and assisted by a deacon. The altar may have been set up by a sacristan, using linens maintained by members of the Altar Rosary Society.
A bit later, there may be a funeral, for which members of the Lazarus Ministry have been instrumental in helping the family prepare for the Mass of Christian Burial. Usually, the organist will play hymns selected by the family, and sometimes members of the choir will sing, as well, to help support the family during a particularly difficult time.
As the funeral procession moves out, a group of parishioners may arrive to begin Bible study, say the Rosary with their prayer groups, stock the parish food pantry or set up the parish hall for a special event – perhaps a parish retreat, mission or guest speaker.
The evening may bring religious education classes for parish youth, classes for the R.C.I.A. process, choir rehearsals, liturgy and worship committee meetings, bereavement groups, training for altar servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, lectors, or ushers.
Truly the parish is alive, a faith community full of the life of Christ, serving others in charity, hope and love.
If you are looking for ways to serve your parish, check your parish bulletin for a listing of the many ministries or volunteer opportunities in which you may participate.
"Parishes are communities of faith, of action, and of hope. They are where the Gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. … Parishes are the place where God's people meet Jesus in word and sacrament and come in touch with the source of the Church's life."
- Communities of Salt and Light, p. 1