The liturgical committee (or more affectionately referred to as the “lit com” for short) is the umbrella body of the parish that coordinates the various liturgical ministries and aims to ensure that liturgy is meaningful to every parishioner while staying faithful to the teachings of the church and its apostolic traditions as handed down by Christ. It strives to ensure the faithful follow the liturgical and sacramental life of the church, and to experience it richly, powerfully and personally.
In this, we take seriously our mission call to “promote and enhance the liturgical life of the parish”.
What are the Liturgical Ministries?
The committee is made up of the leaders of the various liturgical ministries. The liturgical ministries are the collective groups that have for their primary existence functions that are directly concerned with the liturgical life of the parish. The obvious groups are those we observe at Mass day in and out: our Altar Servers, Lectors, Choirs, Cantors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and the Ministers of Hospitality. Behind the scenes, we have groups such as the Sacristans (who are under the employ of the parish), the Art and Environment Ministry, the parish photographers, and the RCIA team, whom we work closely with in their catechesis of those who journey together with us, mindful of their inclusion in our community during their inquiry process.
In addition to these groups, we have constant collaboration with those who are involved in the sacramental life of the church, as these are usually integrated deeply within the Eucharist (itself one of the sacraments). With the Catechists, we work closely with them to prepare our own children and teenagers for the reception of their sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion; with the Family Life Ministry, the sacraments of Holy Matrimony and Baptism; with the Ministry of the Sick and the parish office, the sacrament of the Anointing. Especially in the past decade, we have had the privilege of working with the four transitional Deacons, sons of our very own, who received Holy Orders and were ordained Priests in our parish. Indeed, one of these sons has been posted back and is now serving in our parish!
Why the need for a liturgical committee?
As taught in the tradition of the Church, there are three fundamental acts of a Christian:
1) Kerygma-Martyria, or “witnessing to the Word of God after a personal encounter with the Lord.”
2) Leitourgia, from where we get the word “Liturgy” meaning “public worship” or “living and celebrating the sacraments,” and
3) Diakonia, or “works at the service of Charity.”
These duties are inherent to one another and cannot be taken as separate, but must be viewed as an integral whole.
Our worship as such is crucial to our being and identity as Catholics: we believe that our life flows from the Eucharist back to the Eucharist in a cycle, so all our daily works flow from the Mass and returns to the Mass. As we know, the word “Mass” comes from the mission call that we receive at the end of the Mass “Ite Missa est”, meaning “The Mass is (ended)”, and so we are fed at the table to have the strength to do our work and live out our daily lives in the midst of our challenges and struggles, and to be a witness to Jesus by reflecting him to all we encounter. From this flows our vision statement, “A worshipping community which experiences and shares God’s love with all.”
We become powerful witnesses to the world not by being “happy-clappy Christians”, but simply because we can smile and go on in spite of our difficulties. This is why it is important to have an intimate personal life with Jesus, nourished by the Eucharist and the Word of God. We come as we are, and we leave strengthened. Over time, we hope to grow to become what we should be; a better human person modelled after Christ, the perfect Man.
What do we do?
Given such an important mandate, the Liturgical Committee takes its role very seriously. By the illumination and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, all groups within the ministry meet faithfully every month to look at how we can better improve the life of each one of our parish members, within the context of today’s reality. Each month, two or three members of each group come together to represent their individual ministries and share their experiences and reflections.
Other than planning for the Masses and various celebrations in the parish, we organise various programmes for parishioners to deepen their faith and understanding of the Mass, and in collaboration with other groups like the Bible Apostolate Team and the Charismatic Prayer Group, have been constantly rolling out various faith-formation initiatives relevant to the liturgical life of the parish.
In the past, we were graced with the chance to organise the Funeral Mass of a beloved former pastor of our parish, the Chrism Mass, the Rites of Election, the opening of the Jubilee Year in 1999, and other archdiocesan-wide events that we have been asked to host in our parish.
Challenges faced by the committee
These are challenges that are common to all groups: members who seem to do their work not from a living relationship with Jesus, but out of obligation and a need to be seen doing something. Even as we have marked off regular dates for our meetings, regular attendance is a struggle at times.
Who we are
The current office bearers for the term 2014-2015 are:
1) Chairperson: Jacqueline Paul
2) Vice-Chairperson: Daniel Tham
3) Secretary: Bernadette Tay
4) Vice-Secretary: Michael Seow
Elections are held biennially and executive committee (“exco”) members may not be elected for more than two consecutive terms. The exco members are elected from the representatives of the various groups.
Let us pray for the work of the parish, that we may always keep our eyes on Jesus and grow as one holy, loving family.
Per Mariam ad Iesum,