What is an Usher?
The word "Usher" comes from the Latin word "doorkeeper," but the church ushers are much more. "Ministers of Hospitality" better describes them. They are vital in helping the assembly do what it must do first; to gather.
Ushers must be congenial, making everyone feel welcome. Ushers who greet people with a sincere and friendly smile can do much to put people into a happy mood for the celebration. Ushers should graciously but firmly encourage people to sit near the altar, for physical proximity helps to induce spiritual involvemet.
The usher also has the functions of opening and closing doors and windows as necessary and insuring that hymnals and missalettes are available to all. During the Eucharistic liturgy, the ushers take up the collection efficiently, but quietly. They should be alert to those that are slow to have their envelope ready or for children shy to drop their coins into the basket.
Those scheduled (or selected by the ushers) to carry the gifts to the altar will look to the usher for guidance as to the proper time. The ushers also graciously guide communicants into the proper lines so that the distribution of the Eucharist is accomplished smoothly but not hastily.
Throughout the liturgy, the usher must be aware that he is first and foremost a member of the assembly, united with it in the love of Jesus and worship of God. He must, therefore, listen, pray and sing as the rest of the assembly does. As the people leave, the ushers distribute the bulletin and any other material the people are to receive. They then straighten up the church, picking up the trash and retrieving lost articles for safekeeping. Close all windows and doors if appropriate.
Interested in being an Usher?