Have you ever connected the word “prayer” with the word “work”? Maybe you've said a prayer at your place of work like, “Please God, help me get through this day!” Other than that situation it doesn't seem like these two words go together. However, it may surprise you to know that the Church connects these two words in the word “Liturgy”. Liturgy is what we do when we come to Mass. It is the form of our community prayer and ritual. But did you know that the word “liturgy”, translated from the Greek, means “the work of the people”? From the earliest days of the Christian Church the community gathered to tell the stories of Jesus, break bread, and give thanks for their life in the resurrected Christ. Everyone participated in and contributed to the prayer celebration. This community prayer was, literally, “the work of the people”!
This tradition continues at St. John with the many liturgical ministers of prayer who you see serving at our weekend liturgies. Their service helps lead us in prayer and song, gathers our offering to God, helps us feel welcome, makes Christ present in the proclamation of the Word, and serves us the Bread of Life.
Other ministries of prayer are less visible at our Eucharistic celebrations but of great importance to our liturgical work and our experience of community prayer. The Art and Environment group and the Altar Society prepare and decorate the Church for the various seasons of the Liturgical Year – Advent and Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent and Easter – as well as particular feast day celebrations.
This parish is blessed as well with many Liturgy & Sacrament ministries that take place outside of our Sunday celebrations. They continue this prayer work by gathering together to practice forms of prayer that have been a part of our Church from the earliest times. Some also take the community blessing and the Eucharist we share to those unable to join in our celebrations. They include:
You are invited to share your gifts with the praying community. How is God calling you to become a part of this important work of the people of God?