Liturgical Ministries

The liturgy thrives on symbolism. Symbols are actions and objects that reveal to us realities that lie beyond. Symbols that we can see and hear and touch are the windows that open to us realities that we cannot see or hear or touch.

The bread and wine used for the Mass are just such symbols. But like all symbols, the bread and wine work on many levels. They express a number of invisible realities. As basic food items, they are symbolic of God’s constant care for us. They are, as the liturgical texts remind us, “the work of human hands,” for both bread and wine are the result of many laborers who worked to produce them. For this reason they come to symbolize the offering of our labors as a thanksgiving gift to the God who always provides for our needs. Because one loaf is made from many parts of the wheat harvest, and one cup of wine is made from many grapes, these two simple food items come to symbolize the unity of the Church - one Body of Christ made up of countless members. 

Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist

Join us for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the first Friday of the month in the church, between 2:30 and 8:30 PM. Sign up for an hour or drop in for as long as you would like. All are welcome.
Join us for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday, October 6th between 2:30 and 8:30 PM.

All are welcome to sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament for any amount of time you would like to spend in prayer and Adoration. Please sign in as you enter the church.

If you are able to commit to an hour of prayer on a regular basis, contact Sarah Beaty-VanDeMark at sarahbv53@comcast.net to sign up. 

During the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament our encounter with the risen Jesus in the sacramental signs of bread and wine, and in the sacramental narrative of God’s saving history-become the continuing object of our thought and gaze, and invite us to deeper, more conscious
participation in the Eucharistic meal. 
The attraction of Eucharistic devotion, is that it enables us to spend time simply trying to encounter that multifaceted body as something immediate and visibly real. Prayer is always an
encounter with Mystery, but it seems more obvious as we pray before the Blessed Sacrament,
that the Lord is here, and that in the stillness we are somehow at the heart of the church.
-Brian Daley, SJ

FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS 

We will celebrate the feast of our Patron St. Francis of Assisi on the weekend of October 7th and 8th. The blessing of the Animals will be on Sunday, October 8th at noon on the patio in front of the church.
Pope Francis wrote this about the Saint he chose to be his guide and inspiration when he was elected Bishop of Rome. “I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous selfgiving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others,
with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseperable the bond is between concern
for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.”
(Laudato Si’, Encyclical Letter, Pope Francis) 

Sharing your love of Jesus with children is a gift. 

Please consider sharing your gift with the Kindergarten children of St. Francis. We need a
teacher during the 10 AM Mass during the school year. Please contact Cheryl Brooten if you
are interested. 206 293-5229 ext. 24 or cbrooten@stfoa-parish.org

Music 

Contact Denise Duque, Pastoral Assistant (206) 242-4575, ext. 33 or dduque.stfrancisparish@gmail.com
The choirs of St. Francis are looking for more voices to carry out the word of God! If you have a song in your heart and you love singing in church, please consider sharing your gift in music ministry! Contact Denise for more details.  

Volunteer Opportunity

We are looking for volunteers to launder the linens used at Mass. This ministry includes washing and ironing the corporals, purificators and small towels. Linens are taken home after the last Sunday Mass or on Monday morning and returned by Wednesday. Each volunteer is scheduled approximately 6 times during the year. 
Kim Rooney, one of our current volunteers and a parent of two students at our school, had this to say about this ministry: “I’ve been a part of the church linen rotation for about three years. With a toddler at home, I found other volunteer opportunities challenging to fit into my schedule. Linens has been a unique opportunity to serve from my home, choosing what time of day works best for me. I like to do them after my kids are in bed for the evening, while I
watch TV. It takes appx. three hours and has been an easy routine to get into”. -Kim Rooney

For more information about this volunteer opportunity contact Elizabeth Hanks at the Parish Office 242-4575, ext. 25.  

Liturgy Committee

The Liturgy Committee is an advisory group to the pastor in planning and enriching the liturgical seasons as well as coordinating the liturgical ministers. Members include Fr. Dick Hayatsu, Deacon Lloyd Snider, Deacon Theman Pham, Denise Duque, Pastoral Assistant for Music, Camille Sutton and Kitty Meehan, Environment Coordinators, Janet Seidl, Lectors Coordinator, Mel Batt Eucharistic Ministers Coordinator, Elizabeth Hanks, Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy.

Liturgy Service Opportunities

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.  It is very much the wish of the Church that all of the faithful take full, conscious, and active part in the liturgical celebration which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy to which the Christian people have a right by reason of their Baptism. (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14)

If you are interested in serving our community as an Altar Server, Acolyte, Eucharistic Minister, Usher, Lector, Linen Minister, Church Cleaning Minister, Sacristan or Gift Bearer contact Elizabeth in the Parish Office for more details.

Altar Servers and Acolytes

Altar Servers and Acolytes serve God and His people by helping the priest during daily and weekend Masses and other liturgical celebrations throughout the year. Any Catholic child, 5th grade and older may be an Altar Server and high school student may be an Acolyte.

Altar Server Applications 

I invite you to prayerfully consider service to St. Francis of Assisi Parish as an Altar Server. The ministry of Altar Server takes a reliable and dedicated commitment. The application form should be filled out and returned to the Parish Office. Please be sure the form is signed by both the Altar Server and their parent. You will be contacted by email to schedule a time for training that works for you. 

Ministers for Church Cleaning

These ministers help keep our church tidy. Only about 30 minutes once a month is required. These volunteers work in teams of two on Friday mornings to prepare for weekend Masses. Responsibilities include cleaning and filling the holy water fonts, dusting the church and straightening the books.

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

Lay ministers who help with the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass. To serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist you need to be Confirmed and actively participating in the Church’s Liturgical Life on a regular basis.

Lectors

Lectors proclaim the Word of God to the assembly on weekend, weekday and Holyday liturgies. The Lector proclaims the first and second readings from the Sacred Scripture, reads the Prayer of the Faithful and the announcements. You will receive a workbook, provided to help you prepare for the upcoming Scripture readings. You must have received the sacrament of Confirmation to be a Lector.

Sacristans

The Sacristans are responsible for unlocking and locking the church and setting up for Mass. Set-up includes preparation of vessels, hosts and wine. Sacristans are scheduled to perform their duties for all Masses on weekdays, weekends and Holydays. Sacristans may be called on to perform their duties on other occasions such as funerals. Weekend Sacristans are scheduled on a rotating basis and usually serve once a month.

Gift Bearers

At the beginning of the liturgy of the Eucharist, the gifts, which will become Christ’s Body and Blood, are brought to the altar. The gifts are brought forward by members of the community and are accepted by the priest or deacon. At this time the work of our human hands is brought forward to be used by God in the Eucharist. The hands of many people, working together, have produced the people’s gifts that are offered to God.

Are you interested in bringing up the gifts at Mass? This is all you need to do:

1. Sign up on the date of your choice by contacting Elizabeth Hanks.

2. Please be at Mass 10 minutes before Mass starts on the day you have signed up. 

3. Check in with an Usher so that they know you are present. 

4. When it is time to bring the gifts to the Priest or Deacon, the Cross Bearer comes to the middle of the church where the bread and wine are on a table. 

5. Follow the Cross Bearer up the center aisle and give the gifts to the priest or deacon.

It is a praiseworthy practice for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful. Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy, as was once the case, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual efficacy and significance. (GIRM 73) 

Did you know? 

 

The Bread and the Wine symbols of our labor and God’s constant care

The liturgy thrives on symbolism. Symbols are actions and objects that reveal to us realities that lie beyond. Symbols that we can see and hear and touch are the windows that open to us realities that we cannot see or hear or touch.

The bread and wine used for the Mass are just such symbols. But like all symbols, the bread and wine work on many levels. They express a number of invisible realities. As basic food items, they are symbolic of God’s constant care for us. They are, as the liturgical texts remind us, “the work of human hands,” for both bread and wine are the result of many laborers who worked to produce them. For this reason they come to symbolize the offering of our labors as a thanksgiving gift to the God who always provides for our needs. Because one loaf is made from many parts of the wheat harvest, and one cup of wine is made from many grapes, these two simple food items come to symbolize the unity of the Church - one Body of Christ made up of countless members.

Book of Special Intentions 

Our book of Special Intentions is kept in the vestibule of the church during the week and before weekend Masses. If you have prayer intentions that you would like the community of St. Francis to pray for you can write them in this book. At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the book of Special Intentions along with the bread, wine and offerings for the church are brought to the altar. We pray for the Intentions that are mentioned in this book of Special Intentions during our Prayer of the Faithful.

Please assist the volunteers who keep our beautiful church clean.

Before you leave Mass, kindly take a moment to tidy your pew, replacing books, Mass cards and envelopes neatly in the racks. We frequently have funerals, weddings and gatherings during the week and want to present gracious surroundings for all families. What a perfect opportunity to teach our children to respect God’s house. Thank you for helping.

In the celebration of Mass

We raise our hearts, minds and voices to God, but we are creatures composed of body as well as spirit, and so our prayer is not confined to our minds, hearts and voices, but is expressed by our bodies as well. When our bodies participate in our prayer, we pray with our whole person, as the embodied spirits God created us to be, and this engagement of our entire being in prayer helps us to pray with greater attention.

During Mass we assume different postures: standing, kneeling, sitting, and we are also invited to make a variety of gestures. These postures and gestures are not merely ceremonial. They have profound meaning and, when done with understanding, can enhance our personal participation in Mass. In fact, these actions are the way in which we engage our bodies in the prayer that is the Mass.

Each posture we assume at Mass underlines and reinforces the meaning of the action in which we are taking part at that moment in our worship. Standing is a sign of respect and honor, so we stand as the celebrant, who represents Christ, enters and leaves the assembly. This posture, from the earliest days of the Church, has been understood as the stance of those who are risen with Christ and seek the things that are above. When we stand for prayer, we assume our full stature before God, not in pride, but in humble gratitude for the marvelous thing God has done in creating and redeeming each one of us. By Baptism we have been given a share in the life of God, and the posture of standing is an acknowledgment of this wonderful gift. We stand for the Gospel, the pinnacle of revelation, the words and deeds of the Lord; and the bishops of the United States have chosen standing as the posture to be observed in this country for the reception of Communion, the sacrament which unites us in the most profound way possible with Christ, who now gloriously risen from the dead, is the cause of our salvation.

The posture of kneeling signified penance in the early Church: the awareness of sin casts us to the ground! So thoroughly was kneeling identified with penance that the early Christians were forbidden to kneel on Sundays and during the Easter Season when the prevailing spirit of the liturgy was that of joy and thanksgiving. In the Middle Ages kneeling came to signify the homage of a vassal to his lord, and more recently this posture has come to signify adoration. It is for this reason that the bishops of this country have chosen the posture of kneeling for the entire Eucharistic Prayer.

Sitting is the posture of listening and meditation, so the congregation sits for the pre-Gospel readings and may also sit for the period of meditation following Communion.

In addition to serving as a vehicle for the prayer of beings composed of body and spirit, the postures and gestures in which we engage at Mass have another very important function. The Church sees in these common postures and gestures both a symbol of the unity of those who have come together to worship and a means of fostering that unity. We are not free to change these postures to suit our own individual piety, for the Church makes it clear that our unity of posture and gesture is an expression of our participation in the one Body formed by the baptized with Christ, our head. When we stand, kneel, sit, bow and sign ourselves in common action, we give unambiguous witness that we are indeed the Body of Christ, united in heart, mind and spirit.

LOW GLUTEN HOSTS 

Given the serious health risk for those suffering gluten intolerance, it is important for us not only to be aware of the reality of Celiac Disease, but be prepared to address the situation of Catholics with celiac disease who come to parishes and seek to receive Holy Communion in a
safe, sensitive, and compassionate manner. We have Low Gluten Hosts available.
If you would like to receive a Low Gluten Host at Mass please contact Elizabeth in the Parish
Office or talk with me before or after Mass. 

Is low-gluten bread permitted?

Yes. If, for medical reasons, a person is restricted to the amount of gluten he or she may consume, churches may use low-gluten bread. Pastors and the faithful are reminded that for bread to be valid matter for the Eucharist, it must be made solely of wheat; contain enough gluten to effect the confection of bread; be free of foreign materials and unaffected by any preparation or baking methods which would alter its nature. The amount of gluten necessary for validity in such bread is not determined by minimum percentage or weight, though hosts which have no gluten are considered invalid matter for Mass. In the Roman Rite, the bread prepared for the Eucharist must also be unleavened. The lay faithful who are not able to receive Holy Communion at all under the species of bread, even of low gluten hosts, may indeed receive Holy Communion under the species of wine only.

As a final note, it is important to recall that through the doctrine of concomitance, the Church teaches that under either species of bread or wine, the whole of Christ is received (cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no.282; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1390; Council of Trent, session 21, Doctrina de communione sub utraque specie et parvulorum, 16 July 1562, chapters 1-3: Denzinger –Schonmetzer, 1725-1729). (USCCB website)

 

 

Elizabeth Hanks, Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy
206-242-4575, ext. 25
ehanks@stfoa-parish.org

I welcome your questions, concerns and suggestions regarding Liturgy and the environment of the church. If you have ideas for what would make Liturgy at St. Francis of Assisi more life-giving for you, please contact me at the St. Francis parish office, drop by, send a note, give me a call, or send an email. Please sign your name to your suggestions so that I can contact you. Your suggestions are valuable to me and our community.

Thank you, Elizabeth Hanks, Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy

 

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