Ushers & Greeters

“Whoever receives me you, receives me, and whoever receives me receives the One who sent me”.    - Matthew 10:40

The Ushers and Greeters are the frontline representatives of our parish.

These volunteers open the Narthex doors for weekend masses, greet the incoming worshipers and invite them into our House of the Lord.  Their friendly faces are the first impression people will get of our church.  This invaluable ministry serves on a volunteer basis and rotates weekends to serve.

The ushers and greeters are essential to the Ministry of Hospitality in creating a welcoming atmosphere to prayerfully worship God at Mass. The ministers of hospitality serve the Body of Christ in the following ways:

  • Being friendly and welcoming to those entering the church and sanctuary prior to Mass

  • Proving assistance to the elderly, disabled, and ill during Mass as necessary.

  • Helping seat people, collect the offerings, and providing orderly direction to receive the Eucharist.

  • Being a friendly, spiritual presence to those exiting Mass so they can “Glorify God with their lives” throughout the week at work, home, and play.

  • Tidy up the church after the Mass to get it ready for the next service.

If you are a welcoming, engaging person who would like to humbly serve the Body of Christ the Hospitality Ministry welcomes your help as an usher or greeter. If interested in joining or need more information please contact Harold Ducote or John McCullen at hospitality@ss-fc.org.

Goals of the Usher Ministry

Goals of the Usher Ministry:

1)    To provide a prayerful environment for the people attending Mass as well as for the preside and assisting ministers by taking care of needs of people as who are in attendance.

2)    To provide calm orderly direction at times when movement of people is required such as communion, entering/exiting church, or during an emergency situation.

3)    To collect and secure the gifts of the people.

4)    To restore worship space to order following departure of the assembly.

Usher Attire

Usher Attire

Ushers are viewed as persons of authority who can provide assistance and direction to the assembly. Those serving in the usher ministry should be identifiable by distinctive attire. The parish will provide a sport coat/blazer to be worn by the ushers. Ushers should wear a light colored shirt and dress slacks for volunteers serving in the ministry.   It would be appreciated if ushers who are not scheduled to serve could wear appropriate attire in the event they are needed to serve.

Attendance for Assigned Mass

Please Show Up for Assigned Mass

If you cannot make the assigned Mass it is your responsibility to find a substitute. The schedule has a list of all ushers indicating the Mass they normally attend and their phone numbers and email addresses.

If you make an attempt to find a substitute but are unsuccessful please notify the lead usher or usher coordinator.

If you need to change to a different Mass time please contact the ministry scheduler, Shelley Kehres, skehres@ss-fc.org, at least one month prior to the start of the quarter to accommodate the schedule change.

What to do Before and at the Start of the Mass

Before and at the Start of the Mass

  • Arrive at the church at least 20 minutes prior to the start of Mass and sign in on Liturgical minister check-in sheet in the Sacristy. If there is not four ushers 15 minutes prior to start of Mass recruit some more ushers. If you are an usher but are not assigned please check in to see if your help is needed.

  • A wooden fish is placed on the table with the gifts of bread and wine and is used as a symbol to indicate if a family will be the gift bearers. Please ask the family to come up for presentation of the gifts when the song starts after the prayers of the faithful. If the wooden fish has not been taken 10 minutes before Mass please select a family to present the gifts. Try to select a different family every week.

  • Please pay close attention to the people as they arrive into the church to see if they need assistance. Any parishioners who are disabled or sick and may need to have communion brought to them. Notify Eucharistic Ministers to bring Communion to these parishioners after the entire assembly has received Communion.   If a parish member is in need of a wheel chair there are several located at the door #1 on the North facing entrance to the handicap lot.

  • Also be vigilant of people as they arrive in the church. If you notice someone entering the church that seems out of sorts or needs attention please get another usher and both go to offer assistance to them. Sometimes people may come to church during or after a crisis and may be looking for some peace. Notify a staff member after Mass so they can be helped.

  • If a parishioner needs sound amplifiers these are available in the sound console at the back of the church.

  • Before Mass starts, determine who will be taking the south, center (2) and north sections. Ushers should be at their positions by the doors not less than 15 minutes before Mass starts.

  • Ushers should be greeting people when they arrive and assisting them to find seats.  

  • When the opening hymn starts, the center ushers should stand on either side of the main doors (inside the church) until the procession is started and Father has passed.

  • When Father gives the opening blessing, all doors except the center doors should be closed. The center doors should be closed before the first reading. The doors should not be propped open again until after the final blessing.

  • Ushers are to remain at their stations and help people find seating until the Father stands for the reading of the Gospel.   Please try to move people to the center of the pews to accommodate more people in each row.

Collection Procedure

Collection Procedure

After the Homily, the ushers should get their collection baskets and take their positions. The “south” usher is responsible for collecting both sides of the aisle, but not the choir (if the choir is present).

Be prepared that if “Gift Bearers” are not at the back of the church by the time the collection is completed, that you have an alternate party already in mind. Also, be sure that the Gift Bearers do not start down the aisle until Father walks down to the bottom of the steps.

If there is to be a second collection, it is to be done AFTER the gifts are taken up to Father.

Communion Procedure

Communion

After the “Sign of Peace,” all ushers should take their positions at the back of the church. When the Blood of Christ is being distributed to the Eucharist Ministers, the ushers should proceed to the front of the church. All ushers should proceed down their aisles at the same time. Normally, the north and south will key off the center ushers. When communion is being distributed to the Eucharistic Ministers the people should be directed to stand in line to receive communion at the respective place where Eucharistic Ministers (for that position) are located. The people should be in line waiting for the ministers to come down to bring them communion. Also direct following row to stand up and get ready to enter line when the flow permits.

Ushers should be the last to receive communion (if at all possible). For the center aisles, if the left or right has a longer line, the ushers should direct parishioners to switch to the other line.

If there are any parishioners who need Communion brought to them please direct the Eucharistic Ministers accordingly after the rest of the assembly has received.

After Communion / End of Mass Procedure

After Communion / End of Mass Procedure

Four ushers are needed to hand out bulletins (one for each door).

Ushers should proceed to the doors in the back at the end of communion before the communion hymn ends. The doors are to remain closed until Father has completed the final blessing. All doors should then be propped open.

When most of the parishioners are out of church, the ushers should walk the entire church picking up any thing left behind, returning song books to their correct places and do general housekeeping. A battery-powered vacuum cleaner is located in the sacristy if needed to clean up messes.

After each Mass the contents of the collection should be put in the safe located in the office in the southeast corner of the church.   The finance council has requested that two people be present when money is put into the safe. Put the collection proceeds in the plastic bags and use the stickers to seal the bag shut.   Write your initials on the sticker after sealing.

Emergency Situations

Emergency Situations

Illness: If there is a situation in Mass where a person is sick or needs to be given CPR, The presider will continue celebrating. Ushers will try to keep disruption of Mass to a minimum by assisting the ill person and family members. If it’s safely possible try to move the ill individual to the Narthex. An Usher will assist with helping the sick person while the other ushers call to get help. If someone is having a heart attack it may be necessary to administer CPR (or find someone who knows CPR), and calling 911 for help. A phone has been installed next to the AED, which is near the bathrooms across from the Hospitality Room for emergency use.

Heart Attack: An AED (Automatic Electronic Defibrillator) and phone is located on the wall next to the bathrooms. Have someone call 911 immediately. The AED is a crucial device in helping to save lives in event of a heart attack. Several ushers and parish members have recently taken CPR training and instructed on use of the AED. If you are not CPR certified with AED training please contact the Care Ministry Coordinator if you would like to get trained.

Bodily fluid cleanup: Material for cleaning up vomit is located in the cabinets inside the Information booth.   This material should be sprinkled over to completely cover the area affected to control odor. There are also towels in the closet in the sacristy that can be used to assist in covering up or cleaning up.

Intruder Disruption: In the event of an outside intruder disrupting Mass, the ushers should take the lead in intervening to escort the disrupting influence from the church. The usher on the South side of the church should proceed to call 911 if the situation merits emergency response. Any other ushers who are attending Mass should come to aid ushers on duty.

Fire Alarm: Everyone should be directed to exit out of the closest door to where they are seating in the event of the fire alarm. The presider will instruct people to calmly exit to the closest doors. Ushers will take positions to direct people out to appropriate doors. See attached sanctuary evacuation plan at the end of this document showing diagram and where to direct people to exit based on seat location in the church.

Tornado Siren: In the event that the tornado siren goes off during Mass, the ushers are to direct people to walk to the safe area in the Assisi center.   The presider will make announcement that people are to walk to safe area in Assisi center. The safe area is main hallway on South end of Assisi center. It has concrete block walls reinforced with rebar. Two ushers should position themselves in hallway to point people to walk south.   Another usher should position in information area to point the direction to walk to the Assisi Center. An usher should be in position by door to parish offices to direct south down hallway to the Assisi center. Some people may elect to go home rather than go to safe area.  

If there are any people in wheelchairs or who have trouble walking far distances escort them into the office area in the southeast corner of campus and help them into the "Janitor's Closet". Close the door.  You can either stay with them, or come back after the emergency has ended and escort them out.

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