When the people are gathered, and as the Priest enters with the Deacon and ministers

Anon. 2011. The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II. Third Typical Edition. Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In the Catholic Church, the term minister enjoys a variety of usages. It most commonly refers to the person, whether lay or ordained, who is commissioned to perform some act on behalf of the Catholic Church. It is not a particular office or rank of clergy, as is the case in some other Christian organizations; rather, the minister may be used as a collective term for vocational or professional pastoral leaders including clergy (bishops, deacons, priests) and non-clergy (theologians and lay ecclesial ministers). It is also used in reference to the canonical and liturgical administration of sacraments, as part of some offices, and with reference to the exercise of the lay apostolate.

The other kind of minister in Catholic parlance is a person who administers a sacrament, meaning that he or she is a conduit of sacramental grace. This is not an office or position but instead a function that different kinds of people may perform, depending on the sacrament. There are two kinds of ministers in this sense. The ordinary minister of a sacrament, who is the standard or normal minister of that sacrament, has the spiritual power to administer it (i.e., the person's sacrament is valid), but not necessarily the canonical authority to administer it (i.e., a licit sacrament). Thus, a bishop who consecrates another bishop without a pontifical mandate exercises illicitly the spiritual power to consecrate him. While bishops, priests and deacons are ordinary ministers of holy communion, only someone who has been validly ordained as a priest is a minister of the Eucharist. If a priest is, for some reason, debarred and yet celebrates the Eucharist, he does so illicitly (i.e. against canon law), but the Eucharist is still valid. However, in the case of the sacrament of Reconciliation (the Sacrament of Penance), although the priest is the minister, the only minister, since there are no extraordinary ministers of this sacrament, he must have been granted by the law itself or by a competent authority the faculty to celebrate this sacrament validly for the person to whom he imparts absolution.

An extraordinary minister of a sacrament is someone, other than an ordinary minister, officially authorized to administer a sacrament by the law itself (as an instituted acolyte is an extraordinary minister of holy communion) or by being deputed for this purpose.

Frequently in Christianity, a distinction is made between "liturgical" and "non-liturgical" churches based on how elaborate or formal the worship; in this usage, churches whose services are unscripted or improvised are called "non-liturgical". Others object to this distinction, arguing that this terminology obscures the universality of public worship as a religious phenomenon. Thus, even the open or waiting worship of Quakers is liturgical, since the waiting itself until the Holy Spirit moves individuals to speak is a prescribed form of Quaker worship, sometimes referred to as "the liturgy of silence". Typically in Christianity, however, the term "the liturgy" normally refers to a standardized order of events observed during a religious service, be it a sacramental service or a service of public prayer; usually the former is the referent. In the ancient tradition, sacramental liturgy especially is the participation of the people in the work of God, which is primarily the saving work of Jesus Christ; in this liturgy, Christ continues the work of redemption.

The term  "liturgy" in Greek literally means "work for the people", but a better translation is "public service" or "public work", as made clear from the origin of the term as described above. The early Christians adopted the word to describe their principal act of worship, the Sunday service (referred to by various terms, including Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion, Mass or Divine Liturgy), which they considered to be a sacrifice. This service, liturgy, or ministry (from the Latin "ministerium") is a duty for Christians as priestly people by their baptism into Christ and participation in His high priestly ministry. It is also God's ministry or service to the worshippers. It is a reciprocal service. As such, many Christian churches designate one person who participates in the worship service as the liturgist. The liturgist may read announcements, scriptures, and calls to worship, while the minister preaches the sermon, offers prayers, and blesses sacraments. The liturgist may be either an ordained minister or a lay erson. The entire congregation participates in and offers the liturgy to God.

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition.

The sacraments are often classified into three categories: the sacraments of initiation (into the Church, the body of Christ), consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of the Sacrament of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony

The list of seven sacraments already given by the Council of Florence (1439) was reaffirmed by the Council of Trent (1545–1563), which stated:

CANON I.- If anyone saith, that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord; or that they are more, or less than seven, to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony; or even that any one of these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament; let him be anathema.

CANON IV.- If anyone saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification; though all (the sacraments) are not necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.

Within Anglican theology and Catholic theology, "ministry" pertains to the administration of a sacrament; or the celebration of the liturgy and all that pertains to the liturgical functioning of the Church; as such it is specific to those with Holy Orders. Laity has a different role, namely, to spread the truth of Christianity in the world through whatever means they can, this is properly called an apostolate. An example of a Catholic apostolate is Catholic Answers, run by a laity whose mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Catholicism worldwide. Similarly, an example of an Anglican apostolate is The Saint Martin Apostolate of Prayer, whose aim is the "sanctification of all priests through the continual offering of prayers on their behalf by the faithful."



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