All parishioners willing to serve as ushers for 2016 and beyond should attend the Usher Formation Meeting on Thursday, January 21st at 7 pm in the Youth Building conference room. This is a great opportunity for you to get involved in an important service to the parish! Why not check it out? The new Usher Guidelines follow:
A. Ushers carry out an important service in parishes during the celebration of the Holy Mass. As with the ancient order of “ostiary”, the modern usher is a personal doorway between the uncertainties of the outside world and the certainties celebrated inside the church.
B. Ushers must be in compliance with the Safe Environment policy of the Diocese of Knoxville.
C. At each Mass, one usher should serve as the “head usher”.
D. The head usher, in cooperation with the sacristan, should ensure that there are three other ushers ready for Mass.
E. The head usher should arrive early enough to ask the celebrant if there are any special instructions.
F. At least one usher should stand in the foyer to greet any visitors before Mass.
G. Throughout the Mass, ushers should remain visible and ready to address any unusual situations that arise, especially emergencies. The head usher completes the Catholic Mutual incident forms, as needed.
H. The head usher should inform the celebrant if any noteworthy groups are visiting.
I. After the Gospel is proclaimed, ushers should promptly go all the way up to the very front of the church (visitors are more likely to keep their hands raised if they can see you) to distribute the welcome brochures to any visitors.
J. Ushers should take up the collection, as usual, and seal and sign the bags. Either a family, or identifiable members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, should present the offerings to the priest.
K. Ushers should ensure that communicants are already lined up to receive Holy Communion before the Communion ministers begin to come down from the altar.
L. Ushers should direct the extraordinary Communion ministers to any disabled communicants.
M. Second collections should begin promptly, so as not to unduly prolong the Mass.
N. The head usher should promptly report to the sacristan any maintenance, security or janitorial concerns, preferably in writing.
O. The five head ushers are free to elect a representative to the Divine Worship Committee.
(Guidelines approved November 4, 2015, for implementation in 2016.)