If you would like to volunteer as an usher or would like to learn more about the role and responsibilities please contact George Thorne at georgethorneottawa@gmail.com.

GENERAL

  • Ushers need to be aware of the location of washrooms, the Lost and Found, library, exits and stairs, and equipment i.e. first aid kits and fire extinguishers and controls for heating, lights and fans. A fire extinguisher is located near the votive candles in the church and there is a first aid kit in the sacristy.
  • The fundamental principle for the control of collection receipts is that they must be handled by no less than two persons (who are not related) from the time of collection until the time of deposit in the parish bank account. As soon as possible – preferably from the time before the collection proceeds are brought up in the Procession of Offerings in the church, or before they are sent directly from the church for counting; collection proceeds must be put in a sealed, tamper-proof collection bag.

PRIOR TO THE MASS

  • The Usher–in–charge for the particular Mass is identified in bold print in the schedule. Arrive early and identify the other scheduled ushers and if necessary ask for back-up replacements. Also check if there are any special considerations e.g. a special collection or the need to distribute material such as financial reports or song sheets.
  • If you do not carry a cell phone, identify another usher or parishioner in attendance who has one in case it is needed to phone for emergency assistance.
  • The Usher-in-charge is to take out the tamper-proof bag(s) for the collection and the seal(s) which will be used. The bags and seals are located in the cupboard in the vestry (the ushers’ room). The Usher-in-charge records the identification number of the seal(s) on the control sheet posted on the wall. The seal number follows the information on the control sheet recording the date and the time of the Mass.
  • Check whether additional pink visitor envelopes need to be placed in the pews.
  • Distribute and wear the badges that identify you as “Ushers” (they are on the counter near the collection baskets). Greet parishioners and visitor as they enter the church.

COLLECTION

Ushers are to take up the offering as follows:

  • Proceed to the back of the church after the Creed (during the intercession prayers), pick up the collection baskets and wait at the back of the aisles until the completion of the prayers.
  • The ushers walk together to the front of the church and bow. Take up the offering starting with the left-hand side as you are facing the front of the church. Go down the aisle to the back of the church. Wait for the other ushers and repeat the procedure, walking to the front of the church and taking up the offering from the congregation on your right-hand side.
  • At the back of the church, the ushers consolidate the collection. Normally, this means putting the collection receipts into the tamper-proof bag and sealing it. However, if this will take too much time the ushers may choose to consolidate the collection receipts in the baskets and delay the emptying of the receipts into the tamper-proof bag to the end of the Mass.
  • Following the consolidation step, the usher in the middle aisle or the Usher–in-charge meets the gift bearers and altar server(s) in the middle aisle and proceeds to the front of the Church. The usher follows the altar server with the Cross and places the collection bag (or baskets) on the small table at the right front side of the altar. The gift bearers then present the Host and Wine to the Priest. All bow and return to their seats. Meanwhile, an usher removes the small table from the middle aisle and puts it at the back of the church.

Note: If gift bearers are not present, 2 ushers must take on this role.


CONCLUSION OF THE MASS

  • At the end of Mass, the Usher-in-charge takes the collection basket from the table next to the altar and processes out following the altar server with the cross and preceding the Deacon and Priest.
  • If the collection has not already been put into the tamper-proof bag before the procession, the following procedure is completed immediately following the Mass. The Usher-in-charge takes the collection into the vestry and empties the collection into the tamper-proof bag and seals it in the presence of another usher (who is not related). The Usher-in-charge then gives the tamper-proof bag to the designated Counters or to the Priest or Deacon.
  • The 2 other ushers hand out the bulletins at the back of the church as the congregation leaves the pews.