A. Guide the Movement of the Community
There should be at least three ushers to guide the community in an awareness of the reverent nature of movement in the church.
- Arrive 30 minutes before Mass starts, sign in and get a nametag. Find out who are the other ushers. Designate one to be the lead usher, usher #1.
- Greet people as they arrive. Smile. Usher #2 in the side aisle, usher #3 at the rear door, usher #1 assist in seating.
- When the entrance hymn and procession starts, usher #1 should block traffic at the end of the center aisle.
- Guide late people to empty seats, but do not be moving in the aisles during the readings, the gospel, or the homily.
- Ushers and their families should sit near the sections they are managing to be of further assistance during Mass (i.e., someone fainting, or sick.)
- If time permits, pass out bulletins after Mass (not before) at the doors and smile at people.
B. Collect the Offering
The collection plan is designed to minimize the necessity of ushers moving in the aisles during Mass, which can be a distraction.
- Put all eleven baskets in the pews and chapel. See the diagram below for basket starting positions and pickup positions.
- Meet with the other ushers and decide who is #1, #2, and #3. Make sure all are familiar with the pickup plan. Be flexible, the baskets can end up anywhere, but they’re usually at the rear of the sections. Even baskets 1A and 2A sometimes get to the rear.
- At 5 minutes before Mass, confirm that the person sitting next to each basket is someone who knows when to start passing it, or go and gently explain, before Mass starts. Recruit and deputize one or more helpers if there are not three ushers. Give the helper a nametag and explain what help is needed to collect the baskets.
- The baskets should start moving when the petitions start. Go to your assigned basket collection spot.
- Put all the collections into a big basket and hand it to the offertory people in time for them to take it to the altar. Be sure all eleven baskets are accounted for. If all baskets are not collected in time, two ushers take the remainder to the locker immediately.
- After Mass, two people must go to the altar and take the big basket to the locker. Sometimes the counting people help with this.
C. Assist in Emergencies
- Guide those who need it to designated wheelchair areas or who need to be up front where Communion can be brought to them.
- Make a mental note of any doctors or nurses who are in the congregation in case of a medical emergency.
- In case someone gets sick during Mass, the janitor’s closet is at the rear of the church, in the music room.
- In case of fire, be ready to usher all in church out safely.
- Try to anticipate people’s needs and questions. For example, if a person seems to be looking for something, ask, “May I help you?”