Procedures for Hospitality at Mass

 2016-17 Procedures

Hospitality ministers serve on behalf of the community. They make people feel welcome and comfortable. It is a service to the community undertaken by those whose faith calls them beyond themselves to “be for others.” Be welcoming—smile!

If you are unable to serve as scheduled, please use the ministry scheduler to request a substitute before noon on Friday. If you discover you are unable to serve at the last minute, please text/call Shari Reilly, 515-509-6851.

 Before Mass:

1. Early Arrival: Arrive 30 minutes before mass begins. Save yourself a seat (use your belongings or a “seat saver” to save a spot or ask somebody to save a spot for you). Wear your nametag or a generic “Hospitality” nametag from the hospitality closet (adjacent to the south walkway staircase).

2. Lights: Make sure the Story Wall light (east balcony) and the light under the balcony (pillar near the stairwell) in the Gathering Space and under the north catwalk and south balcony are turned on at all Masses.

3. Baskets: Put them out for the collection before Mass begins: Two on the north side: one under the front chair on each side of the main aisle. Four on the south, two under each chair on each side of that main aisle. Alternatively, keep the baskets with you in the pews. Do not keep them in the Gathering Space.

4. Book Carts: Place one on the north side of the gathering space, one (empty) under the south balcony and one or more on the south side of the gathering space. Keep moving books to the tops of carts.

5. Locations: Hospitality team members are assigned to the church entrances: stations, garden, Ash, lounge, and stairs. Beyond these five, three may be assigned to the parking structure (two up and one down) and more to the book carts, if nine or more people are available.

6. Credence Cabinet: The gifts will be on top of the credence cabinet. Work together to  find people from either side of the church, north or south, to present the gifts (a family, a group, three individuals). Instruct the gift bearers to move to the gifts when the hospitality ministers begin the collection. The priest will turn to face them and receive the bread, the low gluten hosts (separately), and the wine.

7. Outside the doors: Stand outside to greet. Move inside if the weather is inclement. Be friendly and make eye contact; welcome people as if they were entering your own home. Remain in the gathering space until after the first reading begins (7pm mass – wait until after second reading) to greet late arrivals.

8. When it gets crowded inside: If the Mass is usually crowded (especially 10:30 am during the school year), one or two hospitality ministers could stand at the end of the southeast aisle to help people find seats. When the church is full, direct people to the balcony seating.

9. Be ready to help people needing special assistance:

a) For people in wheelchairs, we have removed one or two chairs from the end of the front rows on the north and south side. If people prefer alternate seating, feel free to move a chair or two and place it near the Story Wall pillars. Some people in            wheelchairs prefer to sit in the daily Mass chapel, at the end of a row there.

b) For the hearing impaired, five receptors for the sound system are on the counter in the sacristy.

c) Missalettes are available near the stairs heading to the upper pathway, and near the stairs leading into the south balcony. If we are running low, bring out more from bookshelf in sacristy.

d) Be aware of the handicapped accessible route to the restrooms (i.e. the elevator).


1. At the end of the Prayer of the Faithful, be ready at the front of the aisle. As soon as the assembly is seated at the end of the prayer, begin handing out baskets, one on each side:

  • One or two ministers walk to the center aisle. Distribute a basket to the front row on each side.
  • When the balcony is occupied, one or two HM's may use the long-handled baskets that are found in the small closet at the end of the south aisle on the left side.
  • Take the collected baskets to the back of your side of the church and quickly combine the contents into the one larger basket for presentation.
  • One minister brings the large basket to the front and places it underneath the altar. For modesty’s sake, please avoid bending over. Bend at the knees or allow someone else to bring the baskets up.
  • The other ministers return the baskets under the front seat.


1. As the final song begins, go the Gathering Space. Agree before mass as to which person will go to the location under the balcony.

2. Take a stack of bulletins from the box in the hospitality closet and position yourself to hand them out as people leave mass (the congregation will shelve the hymnals on the way out).

After most people have gone:

1. Collect leftover hymnals or other items from the pews (anything of value should be brought to the sacristy). Straighten hymnal carts, and redistribute books so that they are not be tightly packed – you should be able to wrap your fingers around a book to pull it out, rather than pulling on the top of the spine.
2. For all masses: Secure the balcony ropes and turn off the balcony step lights (except 8:30). Leave empty or partially empty book cart between balcony steps for those who leave the next mass by that exit.

3. For the 7pm Mass, put the collection baskets away in the hospitality closet, put book carts away, make sure daily mass chapel chairs have been turned.

4. Make sure Story Wall light is turned off (except 8:30).


Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:

1. Kleenex, paper towels, plastic bags, etc are in the hospitality closet.

2. A first aid kit is in the sacristy.

3. A defibrillator is mounted on the wall near the hospitality closet. Opening the device will alert the 911 system.

4. Two fire extinguishers: one is in the hospitality closet, the other in the prayer garden pathway, near the dumpster door.

5. If the garden door sticks open, check the inside and outside push buttons to make sure neither has stuck in a "bent" position.

Additional Policies:

1. Children of any appropriate age may serve with parents or in an adult-supervised peer group. Young people age 14 and older may serve independently of their families.

2. Please wear appropriate clothing for Mass. Avoid anything the draws undue attention, including political statements or rival schools.

3. If you need a nametag, please contact Shari at the parish office.


Thank you for serving in this ministry. You are helping to make STA a welcoming place for worship.