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Cookeville, TN




“Liturgy is an “action” of the whole Christ (Christus totus). Those who even now celebrate it without signs are already in the heavenly liturgy, where celebration is wholly communion and feast.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1136.

“It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1139.

Below you will find several opportunities to serve the liturgical needs of the St. Thomas Aquinas parish community.



The duties of an altar server are varied, but the role can be extremely fulfilling. On special occasions, altar servers will learn to assist at special liturgical celebrations, as at the Easter Vigil and at Confirmation when the Bishop presides. The primary focus of the altar server is to assist the Priest Celebrant during the Masses. This assistance by the Altar Servers allows the congregation to concentrate and participate better in the music, the prayers, the proclamation of Scripture, and most especially, the beautiful Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Guidelines on the Ministry of Altar Servers

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, June 16, 1994

Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. They should have already received Holy Communion for the first time and normally receive the Eucharist whenever they participate in the liturgy.

Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant as necessary.

Servers respond to the prayers and dialogues of the priest along with the congregation. They also join in singing the hymns and other chants of the liturgy.

Servers should be seated in a place from which they can easily assist the priest celebrant.

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Deeper awareness of Catholic worship
  • Build Self-Esteem
  • Serve Community
  • Growth in their own Christian faith
  • Interactions with our priests in a positive environment

Basic Rules

Please be neat and dress appropriately. Avoid wearing shirts with logos or other symbols that may show through the alb you wear.

It is your responsibility to review the schedule and be aware of the dates you are scheduled to serve.
In the event you are unable to serve you should make a reasonable effort to contact the coordinator to find a replacement. Try not to wait until the last minute.

Servers are to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the time of the scheduled Mass. If you are late an alternate server may be picked to take your place. Report to the Master of Ceremonies, put on your cassock and check with the sacristan, master of ceremonies or priest for any special instructions. The Master of ceremonies will assign which duties each of you will be responsible for.

Your conduct during Mass is very important. Please pay close attention to what the Priest is doing during Mass. Be mindful of your posture and hand position while standing and sitting. Every server should be familiar with the prayers and responses that are said during Mass. Of all the things that altar servers do during the Mass, perhaps none is more important than the good example they give to the assembly of how to pray with dignity and grace.

Please make sure the cassocks are hung neatly in the closet. Tell someone if you notice something wrong with one of the garments.

Lastly, stay calm. If you are not sure what to do, simply ask the master of ceremonies t for directions.

Your role is very important and there is a lot to remember. You will learn by observing others while they are serving. Please do not hesitate to ask questions. If you feel you need additional training contact us and we will be happy to schedule a session.

To learn about becoming an altar server, contact:

Luis Gaspar
(931) 526-2575 ext 304


Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion prayerfully serve the people of our parish by distributing the Body and Blood of Christ during Eucharistic Celebrations. Those called to this ministry will be a fully initiated Catholic, having celebrated the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. 

Those who serve in this special ministry have an important role as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion since their whole work involves taking in hand the vessels of the Body of Christ and of the Blood of Christ and sharing Jesus with everyone.

Sharing Jesus under the species of the Body and Blood with one another is a special gift, for in that moment of communion between the minister and the communicant is so unique because it is both personal and much bigger than the two people.

To learn about becoming an EMHC, contact:

Helen Dainty
(931) 526-2575 ext 304


The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from the Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. He/She may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings.

Activities and Responsibilities

  • Prepares for her/his role by rehearsing, praying over and coming to understand the biblical text assigned her/him for a particular liturgical celebration.
  • Participates fully in the liturgy as an exemplary member of the assembly. Proclaims the biblical text with clarity, conviction, dignity and understanding.
  • Expresses reverence and decorum in carrying out this and other aspects of her/his role according to the general liturgical norms (procession, handling the book, etc).
  • Is faithful to the schedule of assignments and helpful in assuring that all the local community’s liturgical assemblies are adequately served with this ministry.


  • Confirmed Catholic and registered member of the parish and at least 16 years old.
  • To feel called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim God’s Word.
  • Be responsible for finding a substitute lector when can’t read on assigned date.
  • Be expressive and learn to project your voice with or without a microphone.
  • A willingness to grow in understanding the scriptures through study, prayer and reflections. Enthusiastic and good public speaking skills. A spirit of generosity.

Time Commitment

  • At least an 2-3 hours throughout the week prior to your assigned reading to read and reread the assigned passage in the Lector Workbook (and/or Bible) and any surrounding text to help get a fuller understanding of the assigned reading.
  • Suggestion: read each Sunday’s readings (whether you are scheduled or not) sometime prior to coming to Mass in order to get more out of the liturgy.

We are blessed to have so many wonderful members of our parish community as lectors who share their ministry with our community.

We will be honored to welcome you if you are interested in becoming a Lector. We have training scheduled throughout the next year.


Laila Gonzalez
(931) 526-2575 ext 305


Music is an integral part of Catholic worship. It draws us closer to God and enables us to praise and thank God for all our many blessings.

The Music Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Church consists of English and Spanish speaking parishioners who provide music for our Eucharistic Celebration and other liturgical events. There are cantors, choir and ensemble members and instrumentalists. The music ministry welcomes singers and musicians to become a part of the worship experience.

If you are new to our parish and interested in joining, please reach out to us.


English: Colleen Sutton
(931) 526-2575 ext. 306

Español: Martin Miguel
(931) 526-2575 ext. 314


Ushers and greeters welcome all people who attend Masses and other events at our Church. We offer a smile, provide directions, assistance upon request, and make everyone attending events feel at home. We attend to the care and comfort of the members of our parish before, during and after Liturgical celebrations. We assist with seating and passing out materials, collecting the offertory, and ensure that the Communion procession is conducted in an orderly manner.

There is always a need of new Ushers and Greeters, for more information please contact:

English: Rex Bennett
(931)526-2575 ext. 225

Español: Mateo / Norma
(931) 526-2575 ext. 226