Q. 1. Is there such a thing as a lay of lay ministry services that are available in the Catholic Church?
A. 1. The following is a partial list that is divided into two categories, first within the liturgy, secondly within the Church as a whole:
• Altar server,
• Banner designer,
• Choir members,
• Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Communion,
• Preparation of the visual aid for the Mass,
• Plate collection,
• Sign language for the deaf,
• Bible study leadership,
• Bulletin preparation,
• Charitable activities,
• Pastoral care and outreach,
• R.C.I.A. leadership,
• Retreat Leadership,
• Youth group leadership.
If you know of other roles that should be included in the list, please submit them to my email address. Thank you in advance for your help on this matter.
For your information, while most roles in the service of lay ministries is something to be very proud of, there is one lay service that has a very bad reputation in most Churches. It is the role of Ushers. They are known to be very disruptive before Mass when the faithful are trying to pray in preparation of the Holy Mass. And they continue their gossip during Mass by socializing among themselves instead of attending Holy Mass.
In some Churches, they include very small disruptive children as ushers, these children talk loud and run back and forth in the Church from the moment they arrive until the moment that they leave. They have no sense of respect for the House of God because their parents or grandparents who are present, they also being ushers, are not teaching them the respect that is expected of them in the Church. There should be a minimum age requirement for Ushers, such starting in the teen years. Being a Usher is not a game; it is a responsibility!