adult altar servers
IHM does not have a grammar school, so we do not have altar boys and girls available to us during the week. We rely on our adult parishioners to serve at Funeral Masses and other services during the week or on Saturdays. Training is simple, it takes a 15 minutes brush up (if you were once an altar boy) or 30 minutes if you have never served before. Don't worry, adult servers with bad knees are exempt from kneeling. Most adult servers are asked once every month or two to serve at a Funeral Mass. This is a great opportunity to regularly perform a Corporal Work of Mercy. If you are interested contact the Parish Office at (908)889-2100.
The Baptism preparation program provides the parents of newborns both the liturgical background of the sacrament as well as an introduction to the parish family of Immaculate Heart of Mary. The team consists of couples who, as parents of young children, have gone through the process themselves and share their experience, as well as the priests and members of the staff. Preparation classes are held the first Sunday of each month.
children's liturgy of the word
Children's Liturgy of the Word, or CLOW, is offered on most Sunday’s at the 10:30 am Mass. CLOW is a liturgical experience of God's presence in the ritual proclamation of the Word. During Mass, after the opening prayer, the children and their leader are excused from the assembly to gather in a separate worship space where the scriptures are proclaimed in language they can understand. The children return to sit with their parents for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Decorations and vestments
Members maintain the sacred liturgical space of the church by watering altar flowers, maintaining altar linens and priest and altar server vestments. They help to decorate and clean for holy days.
The Ministry of Extraordinary Ministers provides special and unique opportunities for its members to assist our priests and serve the people of our parish. Our most obvious activity is at Mass when we help to distribute the Sacred Eucharist in the form of bread and wine. Perhaps even more rewarding are our visits to the sick and homebound at the Seniors Housing Center and Ashbrook Nursing Home when we share the Eucharist with those unable to celebrate Mass with us in person.
Proclaiming the Word of God is an important part of the liturgical celebration. The connection between the Word and the liturgy is enhanced by the lector who brings the Word of God to fellow parishioners. Lectors must have received the sacrament of Confirmation. Public speaking experience is a plus but not required. Training sessions are required which include background, lector procedures and techniques for proclaiming scripture.
The music ministry has two main purposes: to praise and glorify God and to inspire the congregation to do the same. Our choral groups include a children's choir, an adult choir and a contemporary ensemble. Each group rehearses on Wednesday evenings in the church and provides the music for the 10:30am Mass from September to June. Our cantors lead the congregation in song at all other masses and at the 10:30am Mass during the summer. We are always looking for new members to enrich our ministry. No prior experience is necessary.
The hospitality minister's role is to greet parishoners as they enter the church to make them feel welcome, and to assist with seating with particular attention paid to the needs of the disabled. The ushers also assist with the weekly collection, distribution of the parish bulletin, and in the straightening up of the church before and after Mass.
youth altar servers
Youth Altar serving is one of the greatest honors available to the youth of our parish and a great way to experience Mass by playing an integral role in the celebration. Masses are held on Saturday at 5:30 pm and Sundays at 7:45 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am and 12 noon. We usually have anywhere from 2-4 servers at each Mass, 3-4 are preferred. A schedule is prepared and posted outside the altar server sacristy. Any youth parishioner is eligible to serve after their first communion and after attending the youth altar server training which is usually held twice a year