Liturgy

Adult Choir

A non-audition volunteer group, the St. Matthew Adult Choir sings mainly at the 9:30am Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month from September through May, Christmas Eve, the Triduum, Confirmation, Advent Vespers and other major events of the liturgical year. The repertoire of the Adult Choir includes Gregorian chant, great masters as well as contemporary composers. Some music is simple two-part while other selections are more academic and sophisticated. The Adult Choir meets Thursday evenings in the choir loft from 7:00-8:15pm. These rehearsals not only improve basic music skills but also provide an opportunity for camaraderie with fellow parishioners who enjoy using their musical gifts to enhance the worship of the entire community.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Altar Servers

Boys and girls from sixth through high school have the opportunity at St. Matthew to assist the priests at parish liturgies as altar servers. A reverent demeanor and a conscientious commitment to serving assignments are essential attributes of a server.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Cantors

The function of a cantor is to promote singing on the part of the congregation during liturgies. A cantor needs a strong voice, but need not be a soloist. This ministry requires competence with reading music, clear enunciation, and singing on pitch.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Children’s Choir

The St. Matthew Children’s Choir includes students from St. Matthew School as well as other school-age children of the parish from grades two to six. This choir routinely sings at the 9:30am Mass on the second and fourth Sundays of the month from September through May, Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday and First Communion. Participation in this choir at an early age teaches proper church etiquette and familiarizes the children with the Order of the Mass. The philosophy of this choral group is that the musical contributions, although secondary, do improve and expand with maturity and time. What is important is that the children take pride in having made a special contribution to the sacred liturgies and prayer life of their parish family. The Children’s Choir rehearses in the choir loft on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist (EME’s) have the sacred privilege and responsibility of assisting the priests of St. Matthew Parish in the distribution of Holy Communion. Those who serve in this ministry do so upon invitation of the pastor. After completing the training, extra-ordinary ministers are commissioned and generally serve twice a month.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Handbell Choir

A subset of the Children’s Choir, the St. Matthew Handbell Choir consists of fifth and sixth graders of the parish school who meet during the school day at a time commensurate with their regular school curriculum AND Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 8:00pm. The members of this choir are members of the Children’s Choir who have the added challenge of ensemble work. The bells are enjoyed by everyone, giving the players a new dimension in reading music and an opportunity to produce a new and unique sound. Handbell players follow the same Sunday Mass schedule as the other children of the Choir.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Instrumentalists

The primary instrument in leading the congregation of St. Matthew in song is the organ. However, there are opportunities to utilize other instruments in enhancing the liturgies. String, brass, woodwind players are invited to share their talents.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Lectors

The Sacred Scriptures are an essential part of the liturgy. Therefore, the ministry of lector requires not only good public speaking skills, but a desire to proclaim the Word of God with reverence and conviction. Lectors must be confirmed Catholics living in communion with the Church. At St. Matthew, two separate schedules of lectors provide service to the weekend and weekday Masses.

For information contact Loretta Oakley; 217-359-4224; loakley@stmatt.net

Sacristans

Sacristans are asked to assist the priest in the care of the sacristy, the altar, the sacred vessels and other items used at each weekend Mass. They make a commitment to be at their assigned Mass on a regular basis to assist the priest in setting up and preparing for each Mass. It is a way of increasing one’s knowledge, love and devotion of the Mass and to make sure that all weekend Masses lift the hearts and minds of the people to God.

For information contact Fr. Robert Rayson; 217-359-4224; frrayson@stmatt.net

Ushers

The ushers provide an invaluable service in maintaining order and direction as well as welcoming visitors and newcomers to Mass on Sundays and Holydays. They also collect the offerings of the congregation during Mass and lend a helping hand as needed. Ushers generally volunteer for a consistent Mass time from week to week and their service at each Mass is coordinated by a head usher.

For information contact Dave Sur; 217-355-3584; dsur@comcast.net