Our deepening awareness of the need to create a climate of hospitality at our Eucharistic celebrations have given a new importance to the task of ushers. The two basic services they render have remained constant: they show people to their seats and take up the collections. Ushers deserve better.

Ushers have a ministry deeply rooted in scripture and tradition.

In the old testament, they guarded ‘the threshold of the tent’ (I Chr. 9:19). They were also assigned the task of receiving the offerings of the faithful. (2 Kings 22:4). They had rooms in the temple where they stayed when no one was on duty, since  “day and night they had to be ready for service.” Ushers are signs pointing to the Way. They are doors offering ready access to the living Temple of God. Ushers must become in their persons a joyous invitation to worship.


The General Instructions of the Roman Missal had acknowledged the special ministry of lay ushers at Mass and had opened this ministry to women. The key word here is ministry. They are ministers of the church and servants of the faith-community.

Because of the nature of their service, ushers should bring to their ministry a strong sense of community. They have to be people-oriented. Strangers need to be put at ease, visitors need to be welcomed, the physically and mentally handicapped need to experience the love of the community and to realize  their importance to its christian integrity.

An usher’s warm welcome and gently courtesy can set the whole tone for anything that might happen within the hearts of those who gather.

Ushers are more than doorkeepers, they are doors giving open access to the warmth of holy fellowship in the Spirit of Jesus.

Practical Suggestions:

Be there. God’s people need you and are depending on you. Arrive early. Give a moment to silent prayerful preparation for your ministry.

Be at your best. Look pleasant. Check your attire.

Take place at the entrance of the church. Keep on the lookout for new members, or the aged, they may need special attention. Invite newcomers to meet some of those present. Introduce them, help them feel at home.

Minister with joy. Be dependable. Kind and try to make directives positive. Reverence is a great quality for an user.

It is absolutely crucial for good worship that people be seated together and not at the ends of all pews with large gaps between.

The Sunday Collection is a most venerable tradition among Christians, going back to the apostolic Church (Gal. 2:10).

After the Creed, gather in the rear of the church and there participate in the general intercessions.

Make sure there are sufficient ushers so that undue delay may be avoided as people are being seated begin the collection immediately. Never embarrass anyone. Make sure the gift bearers are ready for the procession.

At Communion time the usher’s role is minimal. Keep alert for possible snags, for a lost child or an elderly who is confused. With the beginning of the final hymn, go to the doors see that they are propped open to provide easy exit for the assembly.

See that all is in good order for the next service.

Interested in becoming an Usher at St. Dominic’s contact Richard Montgomery, Sr. 745-9256.