Powerful Points for Liturgical Ministers

Powerful Points for Liturgical Ministers

On Monday 4th June, an important new liturgy resource for Australia will be launched in Sydney by Bishop Kevin Manning, chair of the Bishops’ Liturgy Council.

The resource is entitled ‘Powerful Points for Liturgical Ministers’. It is a resource for the formation of liturgical ministers which covers: Introduction for Liturgical Ministers, Ministers of the Word, Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, Ministers of Music, Ministers of the Sick and Dying, Ministers of Hospitality, Altar Servers (plus Junior Servers), Lay Leaders of the Liturgy, Ministers for Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy Preparation Teams.
There are two 90 minutes sessions for each topic, the first offering a theological introduction to the ministry and the second addressing practical and pastoral issues. Altar Servers and Music Minsters both have two sessions on the practical and pastoral issues. The resource includes a PowerPoint presentation and complete set of teacher’s notes for each of the 22 sessions as well as instructions on running the sessions, an extensive bibliography and a useful glossary of liturgical terms.

This project was commenced in response to pastoral need. Liturgy educators in various parts of Australia were experiencing increasing demand to be engaged in the formation of liturgical ministers at diocesan and parish level. Running such courses is time consuming and there are never sufficient personnel to satisfy the demand. While there are a number of print series that focus on liturgical ministries, it was felt that a PowerPoint based resource with comprehensive teacher’s notes would better meet the need for good quality, accessible and engaging material.

‘Powerful Points for Liturgical Ministers’ is unique. It will not only assist parishes in the formation of liturgical ministers but also serve as a resource for the implementation of the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal 2002. It will be a particularly valuable resource for use in isolated communities and dioceses. The program is endorsed by the Australian Bishops’ Liturgy Council.

While the sessions are intended for Catholics who serve the assembly in a particular liturgical ministry, the material could also be used for the liturgical renewal of a whole parish or diocese. Aspects would be useful for catechumens and candidates in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Parish staffs could use these courses as a refresher in their own formation. They would also be useful in youth programs and for Catholic school and parish Religious Education teachers. While the audience is generally adult, one session has been provided to assist in training children to be servers.

Instructors are provided with a set of slides for each session and separate step by step teaching notes. An introductory guide, comprehensive glossary and substantial list of reference material are also included to assist instructors. It is envisaged that instructors might be pastors, other parish staff or teachers.
Ten liturgists from four States have worked for several years to prepare the resource: Dr Carmel Pilcher, Sr Judy Foster sgs and Rev David Orr osb from Sydney, Paul Taylor and Rev Thomas Knowles sss from Melbourne, Cathy Murrowood and Rev Brian Nichols from Hobart, and Dr Tom Elich, Rev John Fitz-Herbert and myself from Brisbane. Dr Jenny Close from Brisbane designed the slides.

The price of the resource has been set at a very reasonable $47.50 (GST free) in order to make it affordable to every Catholic parish in Australia. Powerful Points for Liturgical Ministers is published by The Liturgical Commission, Brisbane.

Elizabeth Harrington