“Evangelization leads to the Eucharist since the Eucharist is the fullness of communion with Jesus and his whole Church. On the other hand, the Eucharist leads to evangelization since our ability to announce the Gospel springs from the passion and resurrection of Christ, which is made present anew in the Eucharist. This is why the Latin liturgy traditionally ends with the words Ite, missa est: “Go, she is sent.” At every Mass, the Church—that is, all her members—are newly empowered and sent forth to bring Christ into the world.” -Unleash the Gospel Marker 3.4. Archbishop Vigneron
What is the Mission Direct Area of Sacred Worship?
The Sacred Worship of God is at the heart of Evangelization. In the celebration of the Mass, we come before God and humbly beg the Holy Spirit to “make our offering spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf Roman Missal 88). We encounter him, are nourished by him, and we are sent out on a mission – to unleash the Gospel! The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian Life” (CCC 1324) because “in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.”
The Office of Sacred Worship in the Archdiocese of Detroit exists to serve the mission of bringing Christ to our parishioners so that each of us may bring Christ to the world. Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, worship cultivates the seedbed for evangelization. In each Family of Parishes, someone is appointed as the Director of Worship, who collaborates with the Director of Sacred Worship and the Director for Sacred Music in the Archdiocese of Detroit for the ongoing formation of liturgical ministers and regional workshops.
The Director of Worship is responsible for promoting and assessing a “Sunday Experience,” which includes hymns, hospitality and the homily to ensure the connection between worship and evangelization. He or she also has the task of building and training a team of liturgical ministers.
The Office of Sacred Worship of the Archdiocese of Detroit provides an online course for the spiritual and pastoral formation of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and an online formation course for Lectors/Readers. Additionally, since collaboration is essential for those who participate in the service of the Sacred Liturgy, we provide an online course to encourage friendship and hospitality among the participants of the liturgical team.
The service of the “Mission Direct” Director of Worship includes working with Coordinators in the areas of Liturgical Ministers, Music Ministers, Liturgical formation for Catechumens and Candidates for full Communion (RCIA), Prayer Groups, and those involved in Wake Ministry (funerals).
Liturgical Ministers Coordinator
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion take a training course and are then recommended to the Moderator for commissioning by the Director of Worship. They are also supplied with a certificate indicating that they have been pastorally, theologically, and spiritually informed and are considered a “guardian” of the Most Holy Eucharist. A handbook (forthcoming) will assist those who serve as Extraordinary Ministers. This ministry also includes taking Holy Communion to the sick and the homebound.
Lectors take a lector training course and are then recommended for approval to the Moderator by the Director of Worship. A lector handbook serves as an additional guide. Daily readings in both English and Spanish are available on the USCCB website.
Sacristans are essential for good order in the sanctuary and the sacristy. They are responsible for the care of sacred linens, vestments, liturgical books, and the ordering of supplies.
Altar servers have the unique honor of assisting the priest celebrant in the reverent celebration of the Mass. Some altar servers may also be trained to serve as a master of ceremonies for Solemn celebrations of the Mass during the seasons of Christmas and Easter.
Ushers and greeters have a special role in hospitality and evangelization. They are typically the first ones to welcome parishioners and those who are new to the parish
The liturgical environment is important to bring all into an awareness of the sacred. So often, we can be attentive to flowers, art, and candles, but what is most important is that we use the many gifts from creation to direct us to an encounter with Jesus.
The Music Coordinator in the Family of Parishes is responsible to the Director of Worship and the Moderator. The Archdiocesan Academy of Sacred Music exists to assist the music coordinators. They have produced a handbook (forthcoming) as a guide. For those who have the responsibility to hire and retain musicians, they have a guide (forthcoming). In addition, the AASM provides antiphons for Mass (forthcoming). They also show how to work with a children’s choir (forthcoming).
Musicians work with the Music Coordinator (in addition to the coordinator) and include the cantors and the choir members. In the future, we will supply resources to assist the music coordinators in their ministry.
The Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA, formerly RCIA) is a journey of conversion designed for adults (and those who are of catechetical age) who have heard and responded to the call of Christ in cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit. The catechumenate is a progression toward heaven, as a person, step by step turns away from sin and becomes more open and responsive to the grace of God. This interior journey is supported by a series of liturgical rites, which provide the catechumen with spiritual help to be gradually cleansed and set free for a life in Christ.
The OCIA Coordinator pastorally accompanies individuals in their first encounters with the person of Jesus Christ and lovingly calls each to an initial point of conversion. The coordinator then helps each mature in his or her faith and in an understanding of Divine Revelation during the period of the catechumenate, while preparing them for and guiding them through the liturgical rites that accompany the process. Finally, after the neophytes have received the Sacraments of Initiation, the coordinator aids each in the process of deepening their understanding of the Paschal Mystery and its further application to daily life, all while helping them integrate into the Catholic community.
As the Church is by nature missionary, OCIA should be visible in parish outreach programs such as Alpha, Discover Christ, and CCO Faith Studies, with explicit invitations for participants to grow in the faith they have encountered and enter into a formal relationship with the Church.
Prayer Groups Coordinator
Prayer is at the foundation of Sacred Worship. Practices of devotional prayers and popular piety nurture our faith and help us become closer to one another. They prepare us to participate in Mass and the Sacraments.
Marian devotions are prominent in our parish and family life. They help us to develop our relationship with Mary, the first disciple, so that we too can serve as joyful missionary disciples.
Eucharistic Adoration is the worship of God outside of the Mass. Jesus is truly present. When we take the time to pray with him, we extend the graces from Holy Mass and prepare for a deeper participation in communion with Our Lord during the celebration of the Mass. It is important to follow the guidelines for worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass.
Intercessory prayer groups have been essential to the work of the Church in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Each Family of Parishes is mandated to have an Intercessory Prayer Team that works with the Moderator. We have a Prayer Manual to guide these teams (forthcoming) and periodic training sessions to help the teams to grow and be sustained.
The power of praying with Sacred Scripture is a treasure. Prayer groups are formed around Bible studies as well as lectio divina. Praying with the Word of God opens our hearts to an ever deeper relationship with Christ.
Above all, prayer groups are encouraged to establish the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) in their Families of Parishes. This prayer is Public Worship and, through the ages, has, and continues to, sanctify time. This prayer also invites us to a greater awareness of the saints; their lives, and their intercession for us.
Wake Service Coordinator
The responsibility of the wake service coordinator is to assist families in planning the funeral of a loved one. They coordinate with the liturgical ministry team, the family, and the mortuary service to provide for the process of grieving as well as the hope for eternal life. We have a guide to assist in this ministry, which is being revised to assist with questions regarding the cremated remains of a loved one. This transition to new life (eternal) is often a time of reflection for those who may have lost their zeal for the faith and thus is an opportunity to encourage a return to the Church and the sacramental life that we so depend upon.