Ushers Practical Guidelines


1. Duty Ushers aim to arrive at 10.30

  • One (A - to be decided by ushering pair) to join presiding Priest (ie. Fr.Ron) in sacristy - entry via rear of pews or small chapel
    • Remove gold chalice and dish and the fourwine cups from our cupboard, remove three additional ciboria from the other closet - the gold chalice and dish are in Fr. Ron's box.
    • Prepare host, wine, water (50/60 standard wafers in each of four ciboria, one large wafer plus 50/60 standard in the dish - host are kept in cupboard to left of sacristy mirror). Wine is kept in cupboard to the left of sacristy desk, adjacent to door leading to patio.
    • Usher A to take chalices and patens to altar with 5 cloths (purificators) and 2 corporals (mini folded table cloths) - from right hand drawer of table below sacristy mirror. Place all on marble shelf at rear of altar. Ensure that full water jug is on this shelf.
  • Other (B) to
    • (On designated name tag day) also enter sacristy to collect name tags and deliver to organiser.
    • Ensure smooth running in vestibule.

2. 10.00 Mass concludes at around 10.35

  • Once Church is clear of main body of 10.00 congregation, Usher B to set up table against wall at rear of centre aisle (to be moved from left hand side (facing altar) rear of Church).
  • Usher B to identify hymn numbers with Musical Director and confirm day in liturgical cycle with presiding Priest.
    • To insert hymn numbers (in box in sacristy cupboard) on hymn board (permanently on wall tapering from left hand side of altar), but commencing with page in brown hymnal covering readings ordered for individual Sundays.
  • Usher B to ensure presiding Priest (and supporting clergy, if any) have hymnals in sacristy.

3. Immediately before Mass (approximately 5-10 minutes before)

  • Usher A to take offertory (4 ciboria with bread and small glass pitcher of wine) to table at rear of centre aisle - use tray from cupboard in sacristy and ensuring wine jug covered by pall - the cloth faced board (also from cupboard). Fill wine jug completely.
  • Usher A to take 4 gold cups and patens to altar with five clean cloths (from right hand drawer of table below sacrity mirror). Place chalice, patens and cloths on marble shelf at rear of altar. Ensure that full water jug is on this shelf.
  • Usher A to check altar candles are lit and ensure bell is on altar steps.
  • Usher A to request family (when no CCD classes that day) to take up offering (on a normal CCD Sunday the FHC teacher will choose students to bring up gifts, Children's Mass - liase with teacher for that month). Advise them where to go to collect offertory.
  • Usher B to check microphones working correctly (lectern, altar and for choir). Switch on lectern light. Microphone button is in recess to right of altar above audio console. This should be on already.
  • Usher B to remove Spanish bible/missal from lectern and altar respectively (if not already done by our St Maria Magdalena colleagues) and put English sacramentary (missal) on stand at rear of altar. Place Spanish books on seat at rear of altar. Nb the English bible for the lectern (children's version if children's mass) is carried by the first reader.
  • Usher B to request three long-standing parishioners (preferably off-duty ushers), to assist with collection of gifts, distributing baskets at this point. To advise of time in Mass to begin collecting gifts and where to take baskets. Usher B to retain large "original" basket. Baskets to be found on altar steps and to use both original OLM baskets from sacristy cupboard.
  • Ushers to identify four long standing parishioners (ie. off-duty ushers), excluding themselves, to organise distribution of communion.
  • Ushers A and B to check with greeters (and using own observation) whether or not there are any unexpected factors that may impact on the Mass and advise presiding Priest. To take on board any last minute instructions from presiding Priest.

4. Mass Underway

  • When Mass underway: usher signal family or children taking up offering to move to table at rear of centre aisle at conclusion of bidding prayers.
  • Usher B to begin taking up of gift collection with other three helpers. Facing the altar and beginning with row nearest the altar:
    • The first collector collects from left hand (Sector A2) block of pews, collecting from left hand side front. Once this is completed, to collect from those sitting in seats backing onto wall in this area.
    • The second collects from the left block of pews (Sector A), collecting from the left hand side front of the left aisle.
    • The third collects from the left centre block of pews (Sector B), collecting from the left hand side front of the centre aisle.
    • The fourth collects from the right centre block of pews (Sector C), collecting from the right hand side front of the centre aisle.
    • The fifth collects from right hand block of pews, collecting from right hand side (Sector D).
    • The sixth collects from the small sector (D2 in diagram below) and seats backing onto wall in this area.
    • All six should ensure that the congregation standing at the rear of their respective sectors have the opportunity to give and then gather at the rear of the centre aisle. Use initiative, if opportunity arises) to complement those responsible for A and D once sectors B and C completed.
    • Usher B to consolidate contents of all six baskets and place on altar.

  • For the Communion (see diagram below)
    • The four inidviduals designated then go to front row of respective allocated main pew blocks (A,B,C and D).
    • The congregation should be asked to go to the altar on a row by row basis beginning with the front. The aim should be to keep a continual flow moving without overlong/unseemly queues. Ushers should direct the congregation to the appropriate pair of Eucharistic ministers.
    • The congregation from Sectors C and D should be asked to leave their pews via the left hand side aisle and return to the right hand side aisle for their respective blocks. Conversely, the congregation from the Sectors A and B should be asked to leave their pews on the right hand side and return to the left hand side of their respective blocks. In other words, the congregation leave their pews via the aisle in which their respective Usher is standing and return via the other ailse bordering their pew.
    • Those "ushering" Sectors A and D should invite those in blocks A2 and D2 and those seated against the walls to take Communion once congregants in the main pew blocks have done se. They can be directed to either centre or side aisles depending on length of the volume of communicants at respective stations (as shown on diagram "host/wine". ALL should ensure that any congregants standing in their sectors are invited to take Communion, once the main body have done so.
    • The routes to be followed are indicated in the following diagram, with the aim that communicants should return to their pews at the side opposite to where they exited the pew.

5. Mass concludes

  • Once procession has left main body of CHurch, Usher A removes all articles associated with Communion from the altar and takes to sacristy
  • Usher A cleans all objects as required and places in designated cupboard and puts cloths for washing (in bag at right side of cupboard positioned to right of sacristy mirror. To put tray in storage cupboard also
  • Usher B removes English bible and sacrimentary (replacing Spanish books if necessary) and puts in sacristy cupboard along with OLM collection baskets. Moves table on which offertory initially placed to its original position.
  • Usher B removes numbers from hymn board, putting in designated box and storing in cupboard.
  • Ushers A and B ensure lingeres are steered from Church and in direction of terrace! Please!
  • Ushers A and B check with presiding Priest for any ad hoc issues that need to be taken on board - "debrief"