What is the job description and can the position be open to laity or clergy?
the job description coincides with that of “priest”
I assumed so but was unsure. Just overheard someone discussing the parish needing a liturgist and it got me wondering.
One definition I have seen is that the liturgist is there to provide the benefits of martyrdom to those not fortunate enough to live in a time of active persecution.
Parish liturgy happens to be one of my job responsibilities so I may be able to answer. A parish liturgist coordinates all the parish liturgies. There is responsibility for the ongoing formation of EMs and Lectors and I oversee the music director. I write the prayers of the faithful and if there is anything special going on at mass, the pastor expects me to look up and print up the proper blessing or other directions for the priest who will be celebrating. I organize an special liturgies whether they be Eucharistic celebrations or prayer services ad also assist the school and religious ed with any masses or prayer services they have. Parish baptism preparation and the communal celebrations are my responsibility to prepare (except for one priest who does his own thing - not really following the rite but the pastor doesn’t say anything). I also am responsible for catechesis on the mass in the parish and am especially working on catechesis for the revised texts which I will be starting in earnest next month beginning with a parish and school staff meeting for 80 faculty and staff members. I also order flowers, make sure we have enough volunteers for Christmas and Easter decorating, make sure there are no conflicts in the church book (the schedule of use of the church building). I advise the pastor with any new directives that may come out. Over the next few weeks we will be deciding on which publisher to order our new missals.
I am sure most parishes have the priests do much of this work, but since our associate has no sense of good liturgy and the pastor has so much on his plate, he is very happy to have me do this. It is not the full extent of my job (although during Lent approaching Easter it takes up most of my time). It also helps that I have a degree in liturgy and am on the diocesan liturgy commission. In some parishes the music director/liturgist handles some of this work. I also do adult faith formation, RCIA and other sacramental preparation and spent most of the afternoon today interviewing kids preparing for Confirmation.
While any final say comes from the pastor, most of the priests I have worked with have very much appreciated what I do. The only ones who really went up against me were those who don’t like to follow the rubrics…some liberal and some very conservative. I do find it interesting that a priest who presents himself as very conservative takes liberties with the liturgy. So abuses do occur on either end of the spectrum.
What should you do if the parish liturgist changes the Psalm or modifies the responses to remove masculine references to God?
Is this liturgical abuse?
Wow. Thank you so much for the answer. I could see where that job is can be very rewarding but very frustrating at the same time.
No one has the right to change anything in the Mass. However with regard to the psalm, a seasonal psalm can be sung, but I have hardly ever seen it done. It still has to follow the text in the Lectionary.