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First impressions – we have only a matter of moments to make a first impression. As greeters, ministers of hospitality know that good liturgy thrives in a climate of hospitality, and so they try to set the tone for every liturgy. They arrive 35 before each Mass to begin the work of gathering the assembly, predisposing the people to good worship by the warmth of their welcome. They are the first face of Christ that people encounter when they enter the church.
These ministers also say good bye to people as they leave, and hand out the bulletins at all entrances. These ministers can be a variety of ages and family situations.
These ministers of hospitality arrive 20 minutes before Mass. They smile and greet people as soon as they walk in the church. They offer assistance when needed. They usher people directly to seats when the church is getting full. They treat everyone kindly. The ministers are on the lookout for strangers and ensure they are especially welcomed. An usher seats latecomers at points when the Liturgy of the Word will not be disturbed. Ushers take up the collection efficiently, from front to back. An usher will help the family selected to bring the gifts forward and they will bring the collection forward. Ushers may need to facilitate the communion procession.
They tidy up the worship space and church entry, but do not rush people out of the church.
Hospitality is one of the simplest ministries to lead but it is important. It requires ministers who will have a genuine concern for all who enter the church doors, people ready to offer the welcome of Christ.
Am I able to share a friendly smile?
Am I willing to come a bit early and stay a bit later for the sake of our community?