The Altar Society
The Altar Society is a voluntary group of people from the Parish, dedicated to looking after the Sanctuary, who work a rota system doing a month at a time. The members are responsible for ensuring that the area within the Sanctuary is at all times in a state of immaculate order as befits this most sacred part of the Church but also decorated with fresh flowers during the week and floral arrangements prepared for Christmas, Easter, First Communion and Confirmation. The Tabernacle and surrounding area are cleaned and polished. Altar cloths are ordered as and when necessary.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
The primary function of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion is to assist at Mass in the distribution of Holy Communion so that the distribution might not be unduly prolonged. Those who undertake this service on behalf of God’s people are to be always aware of their important office. They are to be, by their exercise of this ministry, an example to others of the reverence due to the Holy Eucharist. Just as they distribute the Eucharist in the Church so are they to distribute the love of Christ in the world.
The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, by arrangement with the Parish Priest and with due regard to Parish Safeguarding Procedures, bring Holy Communion to the homebound and sick of the Parish. They are only free to do so within the Parish.
As with Ministers of the Word, each year the Parish seeks new volunteers as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and provides the necessary training.
The Ministry of the Word
Reading the Word of God in the Assembly is in fact a ministry which is very ancient. St. Luke tells us that Jesus himself read the Word of God in the synagogue in Nazareth: “He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah” (Luke 4:16)
The Word proclaimed is the “Word of the Lord”. The reader speaks God’s Word. The great dignity of proclamation, compared to mere reading and which makes the reading of Scripture in church special, is that God is speaking to his people. Therefore, prayerful preparation before proclaiming God’s Word enables the reader to first take the Word to his or her heart. Only then can that Word be proclaimed with faith and conviction to the gathered people of God. The person who volunteers for a time to be a reader in the Church provides a life-giving service to the community.
Each year the Parish seeks new volunteers and provides them with the necessary training.
The church sacristans primary duties are to prepare the Church and altar for all services from daily Mass to weddings and funerals. The sacristan also maintains the Church building and grounds, deals with any health and safety issues and works with all involved in the planning and preparation of special services and celebrations. A number of assistants provide cover when the sacristan is on leave.
St. Brigid’s Choir
St. Brigid’s Choir provides sung Liturgy each Sunday at 12 noon Mass. The choir meets for rehearsal every Wednesday at 8.00pm – 9.00pm and prior to Mass on Sunday at 11.15 –11.45am in St. Bride’s Parish Hall. The choir’s repertoire extends from Renaissance to Contemporary Sacred Music, with special focus on plainchant.
It provides the music for the Ceremonies at Easter and Christmas as well as hosting a candlelit Advent Carol Service. In addition it hosts a series of recitals. Niall Leonard, organist and choir director has studied with Nigel McClintock, director of music at St. Peter’s Cathedral, and represents the Parish on the Royal Society of Church Music Board.
We are most fortunate in this Parish to have a four part choir, and a wonderful organ constructed in 1999 by Wells Kennedy Partnership. Visiting organists have included James O’Donnell, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey and David Briggs, Gloucester Cathedral.
The choir is open to all parishioners and welcomes new members.