Liturgical Ministries

The Mass is at the heart of the Catholic Church. It conveys the depth of Catholic theology, especially in the Eucharist, which is at its center. Rich in symbolism, the Mass provides a deeply sacred moment for those who participate in it, and even sometimes for those who merely observe it.”  (USCCB, 2018)

The Liturgy is the “source and summit” for us to encounter God’s Divine Presence. We rely on several individuals prior to, during, and after the Mass to help create a meaningful environment that encourages full, conscious, and active participation.

Here at St. Patrick’s Church of Merna, our Liturgical Ministries provide an excellent opportunity to fulfill our baptismal call of service to one another. Listed below are the various ministries and descriptions our Parishioners can be involved in: 


The Lector proclaims the Word of God during Mass, allowing all to hear and absorb the Holy Scriptures. Lectors proclaim the Scriptures so that they command the rightful attention and reverence of all gathered. A lector must have the skills to interpret and understand Scripture and sufficient public speaking skills.

We invite all parishioners high school age and older to help proclaim the Word of God for each Mass [4:00 PM, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM]. Those interested must go through a required training where they will receive a workbook and more information regarding responsibilities, scheduling, and expectations. 

Peoria Diocese Lector Handbook

Enroll here!


Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC)

 Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist with the distribution of the Eucharist at daily, weekend, and Holy Day Masses. These individuals also provide great assistance to bringing the Eucharist to the sick and elderly.

We invite parishioners 18 years of age and older to consider becoming and EMHC for each Mass [4:00 PM, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM]. Those interested must attend a required training and be commissioned by the Diocese of Peoria before participating in this ministry.


Peoria Diocese EMHC Handbook

Enroll here!

Ministers of Hospitality

Ministers of Hospitality serve as ushers and greeters each Sunday Mass, Holy Day Mass, and other special liturgies as needed. Ushers and Greeters are often the first contact parishioners have upon enter the church. Their warmth and friendliness are crucial to a parishioner’s experience of the church.

Responsibilities include: greeting people as they arrive, helping people find a seat, finding gift bearers, passing the collection baskets, distributing bulletins, and straightening the worship space to prepare for the next liturgy. This ministry provides a great opportunity for families to serve their parish communities together.

We invite all our families along with each of our parishioners to consider being a friendly face as our Parish family comes together for Mass [4:00 PM, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM].

Enroll here!

Altar Servers

Altar servers assist the priest and deacon during Mass. Responsibilities include carrying the cross during the procession, assist preparing the altar, and various other important tasks before, during, and after Mass.

We invite all our young parishioners, 5th grade and older to consider becoming an Altar Server for each Mass [4:00 PM, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM]. Those interested must attend a required training before participating in this ministry.

Enroll here!

Gift Bearers

It is a praiseworthy practice for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful.  They are then accepted at an appropriate place by the Priest or the Deacon to be carried to the altar.  Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy as was once the case, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual significance.  Even money or other gifts for the poor or for the Church, brought by the faithful or collected in the church, are acceptable; given their purpose, they are to be put in a suitable place away from the Eucharist table.

-General Instruction of the Roman Missal No. 73

Gift Bearers bring forward the unleavened bread and wine, which will become Christ’s Body and Blood, at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist during the Offertory Hymn. Serving in this ministry requires no special training or long commitment to service. This is a beautiful was for the faithful to exercise a significant role in the liturgical celebration. It is especially a wonderful way for family members to serve together.

We invite all our parishioners to consider being gift bearers for our Masses [4:00 PM, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 11:00 AM]. Sign-Ups can be found in the Gathering space or online.

Sign-Up here!

For questions or concerns please contact Rachel Pinto, Music Director/Liturgical Coordinator, at 309-662-7361 ext. 230 or through email at


St. Patrick Catholic Church of Merna, 1001 North Towanda Barnes Road, Bloomington, IL 61705
Parish Office: (309)662-7361    Parish Fax: (309)664-6167
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