Ministry of Welcome

“Lord Jesus, you welcomed all who came into your presence. May I reflect that same spirit through this ministry of welcome.  May your light shine in my heart this day.

Remove from me anything that would stand in the way of radiating your presence.

As people enter our Church to worship and praise You, may they hear your voice in my words and see your love in my actions. May my “welcome” reflect our joy at their presence and my “good bye” encourage them to return soon.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and ask your blessing upon all my efforts. Amen”



St Mary’s Lanark - Guidelines for Passkeepers (November 2021)



1. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass starts and say a short prayer before commencing duties. The first row at the side of the Church is reserved for passkeepers and the last row at the back.

2. Four passkeepers are to be available for each weekend Mass (two stationed at the back of the Church, two stationed at the front of the Church).

3. Each Mass will have a Head Passkeeper. Please check with your Head Passkeeper what your duties will be during that Mass.

4. If a passkeeper is on Track & Trace duties they will join the passkeeping team as a passkeeper for that Mass once their Track & Trace duties have been completed. Please remember that Track & Trace duties are continuing as normal.

5. As a passkeeper you will deal with:

a. any issue in the Church

b. any requirement that the Children’s' liturgy team or the Choir have

c. and also ensure that the requirements of the Parish Priest are met.

6. You should always be ready for emergencies and follow all Health and Safety procedures and as instructed by your Head Passkeeper. Also:

· be aware of any parishioners attending the Mass with suitable training to assist in an emergency.

· carry out all Health and Safety checks as detailed below especially checking all entrances and exits are not obstructed and the ramp is available.

· check that sealed bottled water is in the cupboard at the back of the church and that first aid kit is in place.

7. Check that the bulletins are in place and hymn sheets are placed inside.

8. Check that Holy Water bowls are full and placed in the fonts. These should be removed at the end of Mass. The Holy Water must be poured away onto earth in the garden. Please do not refill the bowls. They will be refilled before the next Mass.

9. Check that the choir loft door is unlocked.

10. Confirm that the appropriate lights are on.

11. Normally the sound system/ live stream will be switched on by the Priest but confirm with him that everything is in order.

12. The Head Passkeeper should check with the Priest for any special instructions


Before Mass:

· As passkeepers our main role is to welcome and care for parishioners.

· Two passkeepers to be in the porch to welcome the congregation as they come in and distribute bulletins and hymn sheets. This should be done appropriately while ensuring that everyone goes to Track and Trace as quickly as possible. Track and Trace is a legal requirement and will remain in place seven days per week as long as Government guidelines require. Current rotas and processes for Track and Trace will remain.

· It is important we offer everyone a warm welcome while keeping noise levels as low as possible, in the porch, the narthex and in the church itself. This includes those at the Piety stall, anyone selling tickets for events/ fundraising and parishioners going to their seats.

· Please make a point of speaking to strangers and arrange to have their details taken by Track and Trace and ensure that they are shown to a seat.

· Take special care with elderly parishioners or those with special needs, ensuring they are assisted if required to Track and Trace. Show them to a suitable seat if required.

· Notice the families with young children and make them aware of the Childrens’ Liturgy.

· Collection envelopes are to be placed in the basket on the Track and Trace Desk. Just prior to Mass beginning place the envelopes in Collection bags (closed and zipped) and place them in the Pass keepers cupboard, along with the Money Box for the Piety Stall. Use the baskets to collect any further envelopes at the end of Mass, place in bags and two pass keepers to take all Collection Bags to the locked cupboard in the Sacristy corridor.

· Check that the choir mistress and organist have arrived and if they have any special requirements for the Mass.

· Confirm that altar candles are lit prior to Mass.

· Check the Ministers of the Eucharist Rota and Readers Rota ensure that the individuals are in place. Check with rota organiser and offer to assist in finding a stand in as appropriate.

· Keep glass doors closed as much as possible to retain heat.

· Toilets should be accessed from outside the Church.


During Mass:

· One passkeeper remains at the back door to greet latecomers. In the immediate term this will ideally be a Passkeeper on Track and Trace who can also take the details required. Be courteous to anyone who is late and persuade them to wait for the right moment to go in: ie not during a prayer, or a reading. Appropriate moments could be the opening prayer and before the first reading. Show them, if possible, to the nearest possible seats.

· The two passkeepers who are assisting during Holy Communion should sit on either side at the front of the church. They will also be Fire Marshalls and should have a yellow vest folded on the bench next to them.

· As a passkeeper you should participate fully in the Mass. Please try to be “invisible” when going about your duties and not cause a distraction in any way.

· At the present time there is no Collection during Mass or Offertory procession.

· At Communion the passkeepers should ensure that two ministers of the Eucharist are in place or quickly ask for a stand in.

· During Holy Communion the two passkeepers at the front should direct parishioners in the first side aisle to the centre of the church to approach the Priest / Minister of the Eucharist by the main aisle. They should then direct parishioners from the back side aisle to the centre of the church to do the same. The passkeepers at the rear of the church should assist by directing parishioners from the back centre pew to go down the centre aisle when those from the side aisles have cleared.

· A passkeeper from the rear of the church will then accompany the Minister of the Eucharist who has been to the choir who will then distribute Holy Communion to those who cannot go forward.

· After Holy Communion all passkeepers should return to their stations at the front and back of the church.


At the end of Mass and Afterwards:

· Two passkeepers to be at the doors as the congregation go out. Be aware of anyone who may need assistance.

· If there is anything on after Mass, e.g. coffee morning, barbeque, tickets on sale, draw the congregation’s attention to it.

· Ensure the collection envelopes are safely locked away and the Piety Stall money box has been returned to the Sacristy.

· Tidy up the Church - remove litter, gather extra bulletins and hymn sheets.


Health and Safety (including Fire Officer responsibilities):

· Special duties and care of our congregation including awareness of the procedures in case of a fire alarm or evacuation.

· If any alarm activates within the Church or Presbytery, a full evacuation of the building is required and passkeepers are the Fire Marshalls.

· If the Fire Alarm activates a siren will sound with a strobe light in the Choir loft activating, all organists have been informed if the strobe light operates they must stop the music and evacuate the building.

· As the capacity of the Church is more than 600 we must have available at least two exits. Exit one is the main door to the Church and the second is via Our Lady's altar. These exits must not be used for any storage.

· Before Mass passkeepers must ensure exits are clear of any obstruction.

· Ensure that the second exit (the final exit door from Our Lady Altar) is unlocked before Mass and held securely closed by the slip bolt only and locked after Mass.

· The wheel chair should be checked and available it is located at the bottom of the bell tower a key will be available from the sacristy the door should be unlocked before Mass and locked after Mass with the key returned to the Sacristy

· To allow all persons the availability of two exits a ramp is required to be placed onto the sanctuary allowing persons relying on a wheelchair who are often at the front of the Church a route to exit the church. The ramp will only be put in place as and when required by the passkeepers. Passkeepers must familiarise themselves with the ramp which is stored at the vestibule at the final exit door from Our Lady's altar.