The Book of Common Prayer, 1979 (BCP), consciously emphasizes the role of the laity in its composition, although the way it comes out, especially with all our old habits and the fact that we often do not read the rubrics, we cannot be blamed for not seeing this. There are a great many things the lay members of St. Francis are called to do in and around the morning services.
Let us begin by the highlighting what the rubrics of the BCP say:
At all celebrations of the Liturgy, the principal celebrant, whether bishop or priest, be assisted by other priests, and by deacons and lay persons. (BCP, 1979, page 354).
Now in the vernacular of the BCP it seems the “Celebrant” is mentioned a great deal. The reason for that is that the BCP was still being written in the language we knew, and that language was clergy centric. Consequently, the language obscures that everyone gathered for the Eucharist is a celebrant. I have tried to tamp down the clergy centrism by calling the celebrant the presider in our Orders of Service, so that the people can begin to reclaim their central role in the service.
St. Francis Church is looking for more of the laity to take on roles that are traditional in Eucharistic Worship, both those that are specifically noted in the BCP and those that are anticipated but not designated.
The eucharistic roles we are looking to increase are Crucifer, Chalice Bearer, Reader, Acolyte, and Choir Member. Roles that are supportive of Sunday morning worship, but not specifically in the liturgy itself, are Altar Guild, Greeters, Ushers, and Counters. And we also have important roles in Christian formation for adults and children, so we need Adult Forum leaders and Sunday School teachers as well.
Over the next ten weeks, the FRANCISCO-fact will highlight one of these ministries, the rector will make a specific announcement about the responsibilities of the ministry at each Sunday morning service and extend an invitation to join. Finally, the rector and leaders of these ministries will be reaching out to members individually to add their gifts to our worship by committing to serve on Sunday morning. Prayerfully consider saying yes to our invitation, just as so many of the congregation have inserted their own Alleluias into our dismissals. Celebration is for all the people and serving is a big part of celebrating!
If you would like to volunteer please Contact Rev. David Lucey