Canon Missæ

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Our Lord Jesus Christ was once and for all to offer Himself to God the Father by dying on the altar of the Cross, to redeem the world from sin, death, and the power of hell. But because His Priesthood was not to end with His Death, at the Last Supper on the night when He was betrayed, He left His beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice by which the one Sacrifice which He was to accomplish on the Cross would be made present sacramentally until the end of the world, and its saving power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.
The risen Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, the perfect fulfillment of His promise
to remain with us until the end of this world.

Recognize in this bread what hung on the Cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side …
Whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament
pertains to this one Sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.
St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)


Although institution into the ministry of Lector is reserved to lay men, in the absence of an instituted Lector other lay people, men and women, may be deputed to carry out the proper function of the Lector. Lectors proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. They may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer (a.k.a. Prayer of the Faithful; a.k.a. General Intercessions) and, in the absence of a cantor, recite the Psalm between the readings. Lectors are expected to review the appointed readings in advance, and should be confirmed Catholics with competence speaking publicly.


Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest in administering Holy Communion when a sufficient number of ordinary ministers (i.e., priests and deacons) are not on hand. The pastor appoints qualified lay men and women as extraordinary ministers. Some of our extraordinary ministers bring Holy Communion to the hospitalized and homebound.


Altar Servers

Although institution into the ministry of Acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan Bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted Acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, male and female. Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. They should have already received First Holy Communion.

Servers assist the sacred ministers at Mass and other liturgical occasions. They should respond to the prayers and dialogues of the priest along with the congregation, and join in singing the hymns and chants. Servers carry the processional cross and candles, carry the incense and thurible (censer), present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the Preparation of the Gifts (or assist him if he receives the gifts from the people), wash the priest's hands, and assist the priest (and deacon) as necessary.

Training for new altar servers usually takes place in the fall.


Liturgical Musicians

Our liturgical musicians (cantors, choristers, organists) enhance the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy by means of music and song. Their role is not to distract the congregation but rather to help worshipers enter more fully into the prayer of the Church. Cantors lead the congregation in singing the Sunday Mass and certain other events; participation is by invitation only. We welcome new members to sing at our liturgies, which incorporate traditional and contemporary chant, hymnody, and choral pieces.