The Funeral Ministry is for adult volunteers who assist the pastor during a funeral. The ministry is composed of Adult Altar Servers and Hospitality-Greeters. An Adult Altar Server serves the mass. Hospitality acts as a greeter to the many people who attend the funeral. Training is provided for Adult Altar Servers and Hospitality people. If you are interested in becoming part of this ministry, please speak with Fr. Costa.
About the ministry
The St. Thomas More Funeral Ministry comprises a group of volunteer parishioners who carry out a variety of tasks during funerals. These tasks include setting up the church for the funeral, serving the mass, performing lector and Eucharistic Minister duties, and greeting/assisting mourners.
Usually, a team of three persons is assigned for funerals. This team comprises two altar servers and one hospitality person. The team arrives about 45 minutes before a funeral is to begin. They prepare the church by putting in place the particular items and articles used during a funeral mass. These include the casket pall and crucifix, the holy water vessel and sprinkler, the thurible (for incensing), and the Marian candle. The team also makes the usual mass preparations (lights, doors, sound system, candles, offertory gifts, etc.)
During the mass, the altar servers assist the celebrant at the offertory as at a regular mass, and at Communion as Eucharistic Ministers. For some funeral masses, the altar servers also perform lector duties.
The hospitality person sets up the holy water and casket pall at the rear of the church and arranges for bottled water and cups in the foyer of the church. As the funeral party arrives, he or she greets mourners and answers any questions they might have regarding seating, restrooms, etc. As mass ends, the hospitality person moves to the foyer of the church to assist mourners as they leave.
Training is provided for all aspects of the Funeral Ministry. New volunteers are generally paired with an experienced person to ease the learning curve.
Our Funeral Ministers find this bereavement work to be extremely rewarding—several of them have been in this ministry for many years. Talk with one of them and you’ll likely be convinced to join this group of volunteers.
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