Ushers-Ministers of Hospitality Guidelines

Christian hospitality is centered in Christ. It is an expression of reverence for the presence of Christ in each member of the assembly; it is rooted in the sacrament of baptism. True hospitality draws us together and opens us up to participate in the liturgy. An ancient Christian saying expresses it this way: "When a guest comes, Christ comes."

St. Paul instructed the assembled community to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you to the glory of God” (Rom 15:7)…The people are coming as invited guests of the Lord himself, to share in his supper as sisters and brothers. (Introduction to the Order of Mass, #23)

“Hospitality is a vital element in creating a sense of community for worship. A person who feels welcomed and valued is much more likely to enter wholeheartedly into the celebration of the liturgy, giving thanks to God for the love that God pours out on us.” (Rev. Lawrence Mick) 

When people come into a public place – whether it be an auditorium, concert hall, or church building – they are able to perceive if preparations have been made for the event. This very "sensing" affects the manner (positive or negative) in which people will enter into the event. "Something important is going to happen" can be said in many ways, not the least of which is the presence of capable, poised welcomers. (Elizabeth Young)  

Scheduling

Ushers work as teams and are responsible to each other at their chosen Mass.

Attire

Appropriate attire is expected for all ministers at all times. You are asked to be neat and presentable when carrying out your important ministry. It would be advisable to come to church ready to serve whether you are scheduled or not. 

Men are encouraged, but not required, to wear ties. A nice sport shirt, sport coat, suit, sweater, etc. and dress slacks are fine. 

Women are encouraged to dress neatly. Do not wear anything that is distracting or inappropriate in church. Clothing that is low cut, showing the midriff, too short or bares the shoulders or back is not appropriate dress for women in church at any time. 

Not acceptable attire is anything that is attention grabbing. This would include revealing clothing, shirts with printing on them, or flashy earrings. At no time is ANY denim acceptable.

Before Mass

  1. Be identifiable, wear an Ushers lapel pin. (Provided)
  2. Ushers need to arrive well before other parishioners at least 20 minutes before Mass begins. They should make sure that the worship space is free of any clutter that may have been left from a previous Mass.
  3. Ushers greet people at the door paying particular attention to those who may be visiting or in need of special seating and assist anyone in finding a place to sit.
  4. They may also be responsible for choosing the gift bearers.

During Mass

  1. Ushers, like other liturgical ministers, are primarily members of the worshiping Assembly. As such, they join in the act of worship in the same manner as the Assembly. Even while performing the tasks of their ministry, (e.g., taking up the offering), they remain united to the Assembly, singing and praying in an active way. 
  2. Ushers never should be separated from the rest of the Assembly with separate conversations, or inattentiveness. They are to be present and attentive during the entire Mass. 
  3. Ushers assist in the seating of latecomers to Mass. Be aware of the open seats so that you do not have to hunt for them as people arrive.
  4. Ushers take up the offering. As soon as the Presider is seated the Ushers take up the collection; four on the main floor and one in the loft. Once the money is collected each Usher empties their collection into the main basket. Two Ushers bring the collection forward to the sacristy. In the sacristy, the Sacristan (Dave Tully) will have a security bag for each collection at each Mass. 
  5. Ushers help direct the Communion procession; two lines down the center aisle – when needed, Christmas, Easter Sunday, etc. 
  6. Ushers, if needed, deal with any disturbances that may occur. 
  7. Ushers should know the location of rest rooms. 
  8. Ushers should know the location of the first aid kit and fire extinguishers.

End of Mass 

  1. Ushers distribute the parish bulletin as people leave the church. 
  2. Ushers direct people toward any social events that may be taking place in the Parish Center. 
  3. Ushers make sure that the pews are in order before leaving the church and assist in collecting the Food Pantry offering.

Situations 

  1. Always act in compassion and mercy – but fair and firm. 
  2. Safety of the congregation is always first – when in doubt, call the police. #911 
  3. To panhandlers, bothersome, or disruptive people; “If you do not get off the property the police will be called.” 
  4. Fr. Tim is the ONLY person who will give out money. Do not refer them to another priest. Hand out help cards or call #211 for non-life-threatening assistance. 
  5. Medical Emergency – #911 FIRST, tell Dave Tully in the sacristy, who will notify the presiding priest.

View/Print Usher Guidelines pdf


Return to Liturgical Ministry Home