Liturgical Ministries

Nothing Catholics do is more important than celebrating the liturgy.

Introduction to Liturgical Ministries

Liturgical ministry is an excellent opportunity to fulfill your baptismal call of service to one another. Our liturgies utilize the talents and gifts that God has given this community to the fullest extent. Whether participation is through “behind the scenes” preparation and planning or through a public role of service within the Mass, Parishioner contributions help our liturgies to be truly life-giving celebrations. Please prayerfully consider joining one of these ministries.

Visits: 1145

Altar Servers

The greatest among you must be your servant

Altar servers have the privilege of assisting the priest in the Sanctuary during the Mass and other liturgical functions.  
A prospective altar server must be in or above 5th grade and must be able to receive Communion. They must complete 4 out of 5 training sessions. These sessions are usually held once per year.  
There are guidelines to follow which are gone over in the first training session.  The guidelines include a dress code and a code of behavior which are read and agreed upon by both server and parents.  
A schedule for each server is provided monthly via email. Three servers are scheduled per Mass. 

If anyone is interested in serving some or all of the Fridays of Lent for Stations of the Cross, please let me know. Thanks.

Christian and Nadia join Altar Server Emily Shapeero for a team portrait after a Saturday afternoon Mass.

Looking for servers grade 5 and up. Specifically looking for young people who can serve the Saturday 5pm Mass. If interested, please call or text Karen Konkolics at 570-441-3459 or by email.

Anyone interested in becoming an altar server may apply by calling Karen Konkolics at 570-441-3459 or by email at

Current Schedule:


Karen Konkolics

Shannon altar servers

All four children of Jonathan and Samantha Shannon served at Sunday Mass on May 8. From left: Alina (Central Columbia High School), Saleah (St. Columba School), Tyus (St. Columba School), and Calyssa (Central Columbia High School) with Father Richard Mowery, St. Columba Church Pastor.

Visits: 965

Children’s Liturgy of the Word

Nothing we can do for our children is more important than prayer.

We aim to share the inspired Word of God with children so they can understand and grow to love the scriptures.

We have a small but dedicated group, and you are welcome to attend a Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sunday mornings to see if God is calling you to this ministry.

Youth Protections Clearances are required for this ministry which is offered during the Sunday morning masses at 10:30am.

We are recruiting! You are invited to join us as we share God’s word with children in Kindergarten through grade 6. Training, clearance application and assistance, and liturgy guidance (book guide) are provided. Please call Peggy Dimmick or the Parish Office if you are interested. 


Peggy Dimmick

Visits: 603

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

The Eucharist is Jesus who gives himself entirely to us, feeding on Him and abiding in Him through Eucharistic communion – if we do so in faith – transforms our lives into a gift to God and to our brothers and sisters.

Since Vatican II, lay members of the church are asked to serve the body and blood of Jesus to Parishioners attending Mass and the homebound, infirm, and incarcerated.

Parishioners assist with the distribution of the Eucharist (Body) at weekday, weekend, and Holy Day Masses. You must be 18 years of age, have received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church, and must be recognized by the Church if married. Training is ongoing.

If you are currently an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and you need to renew your Mandate, please contact the parish office to verify if you are due and/or to register. If you received a Mandate prior to 2019, the Mandate is only valid for three years. If you received a Mandate in 2019 or thereafter, the Mandate is valid for five years or until it is decided otherwise by the Pastor, Priest Chaplain, or the Extraordinary Minister. There are training sessions for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion coming up locally.


Michael Howe


Michael Howe

Visits: 900

Funeral Planning: a guide

Respect for the Body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit

We, body and soul, are destined to live with God forever. In our creed, we profess that we believe “in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” Since the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, was once washed clean in Baptism, was anointed with holy oil, and received the Body of Christ and since the body will rise again, we show great respect for the body in death. We bless the body with holy water and incense it at a funeral Mass.

Because of our belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but also in the resurrection of the body, the Church professes hope in the face of death, and acts with charity in the funeral rites. The Church provides a number of prayers for the faithful to offer both to accompany the dying of a loved one and to strengthen our faith upon their death. Through private prayer and public funeral rites, we strengthen our faith and hope, comfort those who mourn, and bury the bodily remains of the deceased with care befitting what was the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

The following is the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning funeral rites

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that all of the sacraments have as their goal the Passover of the child of God, through death, into Eternal Life. For the Christian, the day of death inaugurates the fulfillment of the new birth begun at Baptism. “The Church who, as Mother, has borne the Christian sacramentally in her womb during his earthly pilgrimage, accompanies him at his journey’s end, in order to surrender him ‘into the Father’s hands.’ She offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of His grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory” (Par. 1683, Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine. (canon 1176.3)

While the Church continues to hold a preference for corporeal burial, cremation has become part of Catholic practice in the United States and the around the world.

The Church’s reverence and care for the body grows out of a reverence and concern for the person whom the Church now commends to the care of God. This is the body once washed in baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed with the bread of life. This is the body whose hands clothed the poor and embraced the sorrowing. The human body is so inextricably associated with the human person that it is hard to think of a human person apart from his or her body.

In April 1997, the Holy See granted an indult for the United States to allow the diocesan bishop to permit the presence of the cremated remains of a body at a Funeral Mass. Later that year, they confirmed the special texts and ritual directives, which were then published as an appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals.

However, the Order of Christian Funerals’ Appendix on Cremation states: “Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites” (no. 413).

The Order of Christian Funerals

The Order of Christian Funerals provides three types of liturgical celebrations that correspond to where they are celebrated (the home, the Church and the cemetery).

  • The Vigil
    The Vigil is the first gathering of family and friends after the death of a loved one. Historically this gathering occurred in the home. Relatives and friends kept vigil by the deathbed, prepared the body for burial and kept watch until time of the funeral. In more recent times, the vigil has taken place at a funeral home or the Church.
    At the visitation, mourners gather to pay respects, pray, share stories and memories, and support the surviving family. Often, photos and other meaningful items from significant moments in life are put on display. The vigil prayer takes place within the visitation. It can take the form of a liturgy of the Word or evening prayer, and can be simple or elaborate.

  • The Mass of Christian Burial
    This liturgy is the central celebration of the Christian community for the deceased and the mourners. In the funeral liturgy, the Church’s love and care for the deceased – as well as its trust and belief in the resurrection – are acted out. The funeral liturgy focuses on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, through the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist.

    The Mass of Christian Burial includes a procession of the body, blessing with holy water and covering the casket with a white funeral pall. This is followed by the liturgies of the Word and Eucharist, and concluding prayers and song. In the liturgy we move from our physical relationship with the deceased to a spiritual one, as our loved one is committed into the Lord’s care.

  • The Rite of Committal
    This rite is the community’s final farewell to the deceased, where we commit our loved one to burial or entombment in the hope of the resurrection. The Rite of Committal makes use of Scripture, intercessions and prayers. “Through this act the community of faith proclaims that the grave, or place of interment, once a sign of futility and despair, has been transformed by means of Christ’s own death and resurrection into a sign of hope and promise” (Order of Christian Funerals 209). The blessed ground of a Catholic cemetery is a most fitting resting place for someone whose body was a Temple of the Holy Spirit. To be laid to rest in a holy place with fellow believers is a powerful statement of faith in Christ and His Resurrection.

To access the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Bereavement and Funerals site, please click the box below

Readings for Funerals

In this section, we provide links to the commonly suggested readings for a Catholic Funeral. We extend our sympathy to you and yours as you take a look at the following list. It is provided so that after you contact us about your loved one’s funeral, you can begin to consider the readings which will be proclaimed at the funeral. You do not need to do this; but if you would like to choose readings, we encourage you to spend time with the Scriptures.

We can also provide you with a book of these same readings to take home from the office. There may also be Bible passages or specific themes that you are not finding in this list; feel free to discuss this with Fr. Mowery.

We encourage everyone who is preparing for a loved one’s funeral to call the office and schedule a meeting with Fr. Mowery to discuss the liturgy, your loss, and anything you would like to share. If you choose readings prior to the meeting, please jot down your selections and bring them with you.

Please consider an
1. Old Testament Reading
2. New Testament Reading

3. Gospel Reading

Commonly, we use Responsorial Psalm D-1, “the Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”
The psalm is usually sung by our Music Director Catherine Chayko. If you choose another psalm, it may be read if we do not have a suitable musical setting for it. Musical selections can be discussed when you are in touch with the office. You can also call Ms. Chayko directly at (570) 784-0801 x 5. There are many interesting and beautiful songs in our missal that are suitable for a funeral.

Suggested Funeral Readings

​The following are links to Scriptures appropriate for use at Catholic Funeral Liturgies. One reading is chosen from each the Old Testament, the New Testament, and a Gospel . Please note that these are the readings for adults. Links for recommended readings for children can be found on those pages.

Readings from the Old Testament

Readings from the New Testament

Readings from the New Testament during Easter Time

(During the Easter season one of the following readings is used as a first reading instead of a passage from the Old Testament.)

Gospel Readings (click picture for link)

Sacred Heart

These links are also a good starting point for those wishing to consider readings for their own funerals, which people are doing more and more.

Visits: 367


Gathering requires that we acknowledge the presence of one another as Christ among us.

Greeters make all feel welcome to our Parish services by greeting them warmly at the doors of our church. It is especially important for greeters to welcome visitors and those new to our church.

We are looking for greeters to help make all of our liturgies special, especially our upcoming Holiday celebrations. Please consider helping us out. A friendly face at the doors of the church can be life-changing. Beyond the Christmas season, we are looking for more greeters for Sunday Masses. It does not take a lot of time, nor are you asked to volunteer every Sunday. If you would be willing to stand at one of the church doors before Mass and simply wave or say “Welcome” or “Hello,” please email or call the parish office. We would love to have you join us.

Like with any first impression, greeters can help assure everyone feels they are part of our Parish community.

Greeters are asked to greet at least one time every 4-6 weeks depending on the number of greeters at each Mass.

A greeter is typically assigned to greet at one, and on some occasions, two Masses a month. The only qualification to be a greeter is the ability to provide kind greetings to our parishioners. If you are interested in becoming a greeter, please contact Nancy Edwards.

Greeters’ Schedules:


Nancy Edwards

I will be sending a separate email in regard to the Christmas 2022 schedule. I am going to list the Mass schedule here so you will be able to check it out before I contact you to see when you will be able to greet for Christmas.

I am very thankful for the time you dedicate to greeting. I know many of our parishioners are very thankful for your greetings too. If you know anyone who would like to join this IMPORTANT ministry, please have them contact the parish office. They will get the names to me.

Visits: 671


The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken them. – Isaiah 50:4

Lectors proclaim the Parish’s General Intentions and the Word of God at Sunday Liturgy from the Lectionary. The Lectionary is an ordered presentation of scripture selections from both the Old and New Testaments and extends across a cycle of three years.

Lectors receive training and a handbook of readings.

Depending on the Mass time preference, Lectors are scheduled 1-2 times a month. Lectors do not have to be confirmed but must be practicing Catholics.

Current 2024 Schedule


Lucille Lukas

Visits: 723


You are welcome, be seated, be comfortable

Ushers assist those who may need help finding a seat, directions to the washrooms, answer any questions they may have or direct them to who can answer their questions.

We need ushers. Please call the office if you can join/resume this ministry.

The ushers help bring the gifts up during Mass and let the Special Ministers of the Eucharist know who needs communion brought to them.

They also take up the collection and gifts during the Mass. If someone gets ill or needs medical care, they do what is needed in those circumstances.

Ushers in action
Ministry leader


Robert Marande

Visits: 544

St. Columba Catholic Church