Guideline for Usher and Greeters
ST. PETER’S CATHOLIC CHURCH
Guidelines for Ushers and Greeters
Thank you for agreeing to serve the parish as either an usher or a greeter or both.
The Church’s liturgical books call for communities to develop these ministries in order to have a welcoming presence for all who come to worship, especially guests and visitors.
Although greeters do not double as ushers, at times ushers do act as greeters. That is why the guidelines for these two ministries are brought together in one booklet.
It is important to review each year the expectations and procedures for those who are ushers and greeters.
The Eucharist is the heart of our worship, and you are one of the public witnesses to its meaning. It is important that this service not become merely routine but continually challenge us to grow in our own faith, our trust in God, and our appreciation for the Eucharist.
You are one of the first and keyways that people see present the full, conscious, and active participation toward which the Second Vatican Council asks all Catholics to strive.
You are the “face” of the parish to every visitor or guest who arrives and who is seated.
“To live, love, learn the faith, and grow as disciples of Christ”
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Specific Guidelines for Ushers
Safe Environment Compliance
The Safe Environment program of the Archdiocese of Atlanta includes all volunteers who work or have contact with children, youth, and/or vulnerable individuals.
To be Safe Environment compliant a person must have passed a background screening through the Archdiocese of Atlanta and attended a VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children (PGC) training session.
For minor volunteers wanting to shadow an adult Usher, they will need to have their parents complete a Minor Volunteer Application and a Confidential School Reference Form and turn it to any adult Usher and finally to the Director of Religious Education.
DRESS AND DECORUM
As a public witness to the Eucharist, our behavior and dress should show respect for the role we perform.
Men are encouraged to wear dress slacks, shirt and coat (with or without a tie). During the months of May, June, July, August and September, dress slacks and short sleeved shirts are acceptable. Women are encouraged to wear business-casual attire.
AS YOU ARRIVE
- Each Mass is assigned a team of ushers that serve on scheduled monthly basis. Each team member should plan on arriving 15-20 minutes prior to the start of Mass.
2. Check the ushers’ board located in the entrance to the sacristy for any information on special occurrences for the day like 2nd collection, other special liturgical events for which pews need to be reserved, or if there will be any special handouts.
- Sign in and put on an usher badge, which is in the cabinet in the gift shop.
- Take the square collection basket and the 4 round receiving baskets and place the collection basket under the gift table. Whereas the receiving baskets are placed on the right lower corner of the first pews on the left side and the left lower corner of the rights side coming from the main entrance.
5. If you notice that there is no greeter at the entrance and people are starting to arrive, please step in and help greet.
BEFORE MASS AND AT THE BEGINNING OF MASS
- Ushers need to be in three (3) area’s: The center with minimum one, and the left and right aisles with one Usher each. Please assist people if they need help in being seated.
- As people are coming in, be alert for individuals who may require communion brought to them due to their physical condition. Politely and discreetly confirm that they want communion brought to them and if they wish to receive both the consecrated bread and wine or only the consecrated bread. Review with your team members the individuals who need communion provided to them.
- One (1) usher finds a family or single persons to take up the gifts. Before doing so, check to see if there is a special occasion (baptism, first Eucharist, anniversary, etc.) being celebrated. It is best to try and find a family or a person that has not brought up the gifts recently. Inform them that the time to go back to the gift table is shortly after the collection begins.
- You might put some extra hosts into the ciborium if needed for those who are coming later to Mass.
5. Now you can take your position next to the door and guard the congregation.
- Do not actively seat people once Mass has begun, but you can point people toward available seats.
- During the first reading, ‘count’ the number of people in your section, including infants, children, choir and altar servers.
Also count the people in the vestibule.
Record the total number in the attendance binder in the gift shop and, if necessary, get extra bread for the ciborium from the sacristy.
- Collection – Walk as a group from the back to the front. Each Usher has one receiving basket per section and passes it to the front pew and receives it in the second pew, depending on what gifts are given. If only one Usher is serving in the center aisle the collection is done alternating left and right halfway down the pew. All receiving baskets are combined in the collection basket, which is given to the bearer of the gift.
- They should be instructed on the process, when necessary, in bringing the gifts to the altar.
- The gifts are to be given to the priest or deacon standing to receive them. After the bread, wine had been handed over, the priest will bless the offertory and will hand it back to the gift bearers. They will than bow and return to the gift table.
- Two Ushers receive the basket and carry it back to the sacristy. Place the money in the bag and seal it, then sign it with the initials of both Ushers before placing it in the safe. Also make sure the bag does not get stuck in the safe. Both Ushers sign the collection sheet for proper handling of the collection.
- There will be a separate bag for the SECOND COLLECTION!!!
- Also keep then the receiving baskets in your standing location.
- Sign of Peace – During Sign of Peace, exchange a sign of peace with those who are around you.
- When the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist begin to receive Communion. Ushers walk up to the 1st
11. It is your responsibility to be sure to let a Eucharistic Minister/Priest know that Communion may have to be brought to someone in the rear of the Church if not sitting in front.
12. Altar Server, Cantor, Organist and Choir assembly will receive communion first at the left wing before the center isle starts receiving.
13. You should go row by row or alternately to the back of the church. Remember that your role is to serve the congregation. So, you should offer gentle leadership and not act as a drill sergeant!
The Ushers are last to receive communion.
- After the celebrant leaves the altar and begins the recessional, the ushers should open the doors and stand by to hand out bulletins. Again, when people leave the celebration early, it is not our place to judge those who do so.
- Once the Celebrant has left the altar, Ushers should go to their respective "posts" and stand by with a warm smile to hand out the parish bulletin and dismiss the congregants with a wonderful week or holiday.
- Once the congregation has left the celebration, the worship space must be cleaned up. Help clean up the pews by returning the hymnals to their proper places with their backs facing up, they may also need to be evenly distributed. Items left behind are picked up and placed in the Found Closet. Scattered bulletins are returned to the appropriate places near the doors and the lights are turned off.
Ushers should at all times offer assistance to those in need of a cup of water or fresh air, or in case of emergency, request medical assistance; they should also be on the lookout for persons causing a disruption; and for possible needs of the celebrant during Mass. Families with young children need to be welcomed and encouraged. Sometimes it may become necessary to help or find someone to help a family who is having difficulty.
*In the case of a medical emergency, you may call 911 from a cell phone or from the phone behind the altar in the entrance to the ‘working sacristy’. Be sure to give our address and the nature of the situation. After the call is placed, an Usher should go to the parking lot to direct EMS to the proper entrance.
*If you are familiar with parishioners who serve in the medical community as physicians, nurses, or EMTs, you can discretely seek their assistance.
*There is an AED (automatic external defibrillator) just behind the door to the office hallway. After turning the machine on, it will give recorded instructions for what to do. Directions for using this machine will also be covered in the CPR classes.
Fire Extinguishers / Emergency Procedures
There are several fire extinguishers for fire related emergencies:
- Along the hallway (vestibule)
- Behind the Altar (right side)
- Towards the restrooms
- With each fire extinguisher are directions for use
Please be familiar with all doors and emergency exit routes. In addition to the main church entrance doors, there are:
- Left and right side of the Altar
- Left and right side of the hallway (vestibule)
- One double door (main entrance)
Holidays/ Special Events
Please sign up for Holydays or special event, if you know you will be helping, even though *you* know you will be there, it is helpful to know that all the positions are covered.
SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR GREETERS
DRESS AND DECORUM
As a public witness to the Eucharist, our behavior and dress should reflect a real respect for the role we perform. It is an expectation, as well, that you will be a registered member of the parish. Although there are not specific rules of dress for greeters, please keep in mind that you represent the parish to everyone who enters the doorway. Excessively casual dress is discouraged. If you wear "Sunday attire," you will be a great example to the community.
Greeters’ check-in by the gift shop. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early and sign-in.
Greeters: after signing in, go to the entranceway. The doors to the church should be kept closed and begin greeting all who enter, warmly and actively.
Greet the person(s) before jumping in with a worship aid, if applicable. Whatever invites a warm and hospitable friendliness is the key. Greeters must be good at reading people’s reactions so that you don’t force people into an uncomfortable encounter, yet don’t miss an opportunity to be actively welcoming.
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
- The entrance doors should remain closed to conserve air and heat and reduce insects.
- Please pay attention to any special needs and call upon the ushers to help seat people.
- Greeters need to be familiar with the layout of the building (restrooms, where the parish office is located, etc.).
- Our greatest challenge with this area is the faithful fulfillment of assignments. Please get a substitute if you cannot be here. It is not fair to assume that someone will fill in if you don’t show up. If you cannot make it, get a substitute.
- Schedules can be overseen at the billboard next to the parish office. Any concerns about special schedules should be directed to the parish office.
- The length of term for a greeter is one year. There will be annual opportunities to review your commitment and to sign-up for another year. We deeply appreciate those who serve faithfully year after year.
- Any way in which you can improve our welcoming feel and look are appreciated. Sometimes little things like picking up a stray paper, paying attention to when help with the door is needed, and so forth, can make a difference.
3. Please try to volunteer for all the special non-weekend liturgies when they arise: holidays, especially the holydays and the prayer for the deceased.
Council of Catholic Women
All women of the parish are invited to be in this organization. We plan and organize religious, educational, social, and charitable, activities and plan special events for the parish and community.
Please contact Araceli Ramirez-Puga at [email protected] for more information about St. Peter’s Hispanic Ministry.
The Knights of Columbus is a thriving organization at our parish. KofC members hold monthly meetings, have annual fundraisers and sponsor fun social events. If you are interested, please contact
GK Holger Kienlin ([email protected])
St. Vincent de Paul Society has been a part of St. Peter’s for several years. They help people not only in our parish, they also help those in most need within our community.
If you interested, please contact Stephanie Preston, conference president: [email protected]
Who we are
St. Peter's is here to serve our Catholic Community and the greater surrounding communities.
There are several active organizations and ministries within St. Peter's.
- Knights of Columbus and 4th Degree Assembly
- Vincent de Paul
- Youth Ministry
- Legion of Mary
- Hispanic Council and more
St. Peter's Catholic Church of Lagrange, GA., a Roman Catholic Parish;
part of the Archdiocese of Atlanta GA
200 Lafayette Pkwy,
LaGrange, GA 30241
Email: [email protected]