What’s this I hear about a new Missal?
It’s not a new Missal, but a new translation of the Missal we have now.

Why do we need a new translation?
Because the first one was done in a bit of a hurry, and some corners were cut. Looking back, we can now see that we need to stick more closely to the Latin original text than we have done so far.

Does that mean that our present Mass has been wrong?
No, not at all. It’s a bit like giving your car a good service. The Church now wants us to change the oil and fine-tune the performance. We’re not buying a new car. The Mass will sound different, but it will still be the same Mass. But I’m a welcomer, not a reader. Why should this affect me?

Because everyone who carries out a ministry in the church is also a member of the whole assembly. We will all be affected by new responses and other changes in texts, because we all join together in the celebration. Every ministry needs to be involved in helping us to move forward.

Will I need to change anything I do?
Probably not a great deal. However, the new Missal gives us an opportunity to look at everything we do, and how we do it. Think of it like having the tracking of the wheels on your car checked: not obvious to the naked eye, but if you don’t do it performance may be affected.

So what else do I need to know?
There will be opportunities to explore the new texts and also the way we celebrate. We’d love you to be part of this. Meanwhile, below there are some suggestions of places you could look for more information.

Things to think about
• What sort of preparation do you undertake for your ministry?

• Would you feel uncomfortable if someone suggested a different way of doing things, or would you welcome the opportunity to improve your service to the community?

• How does it feel to be involved in a ministry that is part of a network of ministries? What are the implications of this?

 Useful resources

Our national Liturgy website:

PDF of the revised Order of Mass:






• What’s it like being at Mass in your church? Think of some good points, and some that might need a bit of tweaking.
• Is there anything that particularly stands out for you at Mass? Why?
• Does being a minister help you to pray? How?
• Do you think your ministry helps others to pray? Could you explain? Is it a question of what you do, or how you do it, or both?

The Mass consists of four basic sections:

Gathering rites: we come together to celebrate, and prepare ourselves to listen to God’s Word

Liturgy of the Word: we listen to God’s Word, and we respond. The homily breaks open the readings for us, and in the intercessions we pray for needs and concerns in the light of everything we have heard.

Liturgy of the Eucharist: we bring gifts of bread and wine to the altar (they symbolise us). During the Eucharistic Prayer we give thanks and praise, and our gifts are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. At Communion, we receive back those gifts so that we too can be transformed.

Sending forth: we are commissioned to go out and change the world as we ourselves have been changed.

• How does your ministry fit into this plan of the Mass? What is your contribution to the prayer life of the community?
• How do you listen to the Word of God? How do you give thanks and praise?
• Do you feel changed by what takes place?
• How does the celebration you take part in affect your life as a Christian?

Different liturgical ministries in the Church

Ordained: Bishops, priests, deacons

‘Instituted’: Lectors, acolytes

Lay: ‘Environment’ (flowers, banners and hangings, cleaners)…
Readers, Ministers of Communion, Servers, Welcomers…
Leaders of Liturgy of the Word with Children…
Musicians (cantor, choir, instrumentalist)…Liturgy Preparation team

Any others you can think of?

Useful resources

Our national Liturgy website:
What happens at Mass
Jeremy Driscoll OSB, Gracewing, ISBN 0-85244-637-3
A discussion document on lay ministry: