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MINISTRY ORGANIZATIONS

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC)

    “The person designated to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) is necessarily to be instructed and should distinguish himself by his Christian life, faith and morals. Let him strive to be worthy of this great office; let him cultivate a devotion to the Holy Eucharist and show himself as an example to the other faithful by his piety and reverence for this Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Let no one be chosen whose selection may cause scandal among the faithful” (Immensæ Caritatis, I VI).

    a.) Functions

          i.    The main function of the EMHC is to assist the priest in the distribution of Holy Communion at Holy Mass, particularly during Sundays and Solemnities. However, during concelebrated Masses, EMHC are to desist in distributing communion in favor of concelebrating priests.

         ii.    He can likewise be deputed by the Parish Priest, according to approved liturgical norms, to bring Holy Communion to the sick and elderly parishioners in their respective residences, in hospitals, and other institutions for the elderly.

        iii.  In the absence of a priest, and EMHC can be authorized by his Parish Priest to preside over the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word followed by the distribution of Holy Communion during Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, always in accordance with approved norms.

       iv.    In exceptional cases and for pastoral reasons, the Parish Priest may request an EMHC to officiate in Exequial (Funeral) Services.

       v.     Aside from his liturgical functions, other pastoral tasks may also be assigned to the EMHC as deemed prudent by the Parish Priest in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council.

 

b.) Recruitment and Qualifications

   An EMHC should have the following qualifications prior to his commissioning:

   i.    He should be a person of good standing in the parish, distinguished by this Christian life, faith, and morals. He is a person who demonstrates love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist, shown in his piety and reverence for the Sacrament.

   ii.    He must have attained a certain degree of human maturity so as to be able to fulfill responsibilities with regularity and consistency, such as fulfilling assigned liturgical tasks and participating in the regular meetings and the on-going formation program in the parish and vicarial levels.

  iii.   He must be physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to be able to fulfill his tasks. As such, he must be at least twenty-five (25) years old, but not over sixty-five (65) years old. The Parish Priest however may adjust the age requirement in exceptional cases, but always considering the candidate’s physical, emotional, and mental suitability.

 iv.   Inasmuch as an EMHC is authorized to exercise his liturgical functions only in the parish where he is commissioned, he must have domicile in the parish where he is to serve.

c.)  Procedure for Commissioning

     The number of EMHC in any parish is determined by the pastoral needs of the place. When pastoral need arises, the Parish Priest announces to the Parish Pastoral Council and other parish religious groups the intention of recruiting new EMHC members. After recommendations have been gathered, the Parish Priest forms a Review Committee from among existing EMHC members to screen the candidates according to the required qualifications.

The Review Committee submits to the Parish Priest the list of screened candidates for approval. The Parish Priest then relays the invitation to each candidate while obtaining from him consent and willingness to serve as an EMHC. An orientation meeting on the nature and duties of the EMHC is conducted, which includes the schedule of their formation program.

d.)  Formation Program

   The basic formation program of the EMHC is characterized both by study and prayer. It is informative as well as formative. It aims not only to enhance understanding of basic Christian doctrines particularly on the Holy Eucharist, but it is likewise an avenue to grow in Christian faith.

   The formation program consists of seven (7) courses on basic Christian doctrine and practical guidelines. Though preferably done on a vicarial level, any parish can conduct the formation program upon determination of the Parish Priest. No person is to be commissioned without undergoing this basic program. The topics of the seven courses are as follows:

        i.   Salvation History. The historical dealing of God with his people as presented in the Old Testament; Creation, Fall, Promise, Election, Covenant, Expectation, and Mission up to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament.

        ii.   Christology. Christ as the fullness of God’s revelation and the fulfillment of God’s salvific plan and as Lord and Savior. 

       iii.   Ecclesiology. The Church as the New People of God in the New Covenant through, with, and in Christ; the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; the Mystical Body of Christ extending his salvific mission in history until the end of time; the family as the domestic Church; and Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as a new way of being Church.

     iv. Sacramentology. Jesus as the primordial sacrament of God; the Church as the fundamental sacrament of Christ; the seven (7) sacred symbols that lead one to an encounter with the Trinitarian God and the experience of his grace; celebration of the Word of God.

      v. Eucharist. The Eucharistic Celebration as the source and summit, the center of our Christian life; as privileged moment of the saving encounter between God and man; the structure of the Eucharistic Celebration; the social dimension of the Eucharist treated according to the Eucharist as celebration, Eucharist as contemplation, and the Eucharist as mission.

      vi.  Bible. Basic knowledge about the books of the Bible, especially the Gospels and the love for the Word of God.

     vii.  Mariology. Basic appreciation of Mary’s role in salvation history and her value in a Christian’s life; popular Marian devotions, especially the devotion to Our Lady of Salvation.

     viii.  Sunday Liturgy in the Absence of a Priest. Bible Service with Holy Communion, norms and praxis.

     vi. Diocesan Pastoral Plan. The statutes of the Commission on Worship, particularly the guidelines on the life and ministry of the EMHC.

x. Practicum. Functions, practical guides, and duties when assisting in Church liturgical services.

        On-Going Formation Program. The basic formation program received by an EMHC is continuously enhanced by his regular active participation in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and other parish activities, both liturgical and pastoral. On-going programs are also provided as a way of promoting both his ministerial and personal life as Christian. Regular meetings, usually on a monthly basis, are aimed not only to update members of new liturgical guidelines, but also to foster fraternity. Annual holy retreats and seasonal recollections, particularly during Advent and Lent, are scheduled to promote the spiritual life of the EMHC. Other activities, decided upon and designed by the members of the EMHC themselves, are also encouraged as part of their on-going formation.

 

e.) Tenure and Termination

      A person formally starts his ministry as an EMHC after having been publicly commissioned, which is a formal rite done within the celebration of the Holy Mass in which a person is presented to the Lord and the community to render this particular ministry. The ceremony consists of four (4) brief parts: Presentation, Instruction, Acceptance, and Blessing.

     The commissioning is given for a period of one (1) year and can be renewed annually. Before the actual expiration of tenure, an EMHC of good standing who is still able and willing manifests his intention and desire to the Parish Priest to commit his services for another year as an EMHC. An EMHC who fails to renew his commissioning is to desist from performing his former duties until he is formally reinstated into the ministry.

     Aside from the expiration of tenure, the services of an EMHC may be terminated after a fair and confidential hearing presided by the Parish Priest of cases involving immorality, public scandal, unorthodox belief and practice, unexcused absences from meetings and gatherings, failure to perform tasks and responsibilities, gross violation of the EMHC guidelines. An EMHC who runs for an elected government post is deemed automatically suspended from the ministry during the campaign and election periods.

Ministry of Lectors and Commentators(MLC)

      The Ministry of Lectors and Commentators (MLC) are committed persons chosen to perform a special service in liturgical celebrations. The essence of this particular ministry is the proclamation of the Word of God. This ministry is a charism shared with the community. The Scriptures are central to the ministry. To this end, they must be intimately familiar with the living Word animating their lives.

 

a.) Membership and Qualifications

  MLC members should have the following qualifications prior to their commissioning:

i.  A parishioner of good moral character and a practicing Catholic.

ii.  S/he must be physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to be able to fulfill his tasks. As such, s/he must be at least sixteen (16) years old, but not over sixty-five (65) years old. The Parish Priest however may adjust the age requirement in exceptional cases, but always considering the candidate’s physical, emotional, and mental suitability.

N.B. Children cannot be commissioned for this ministry. They may be requested to proclaim the Word of God for special liturgical celebrations, but not on a permanent basis.

iii.  Must possess the skill to read, write and speak clearly in Bikol, Filipino and English.

iv.  Must have an above average public and oral communication skills.

v.  Must be committed to attend regular meetings and the on-going formation programs in the parish as well as in the vicarial level; and

vi. Willing to accept other related responsibilities.

 

b.)  Duties and Responsibilities

Commentators should:

i. Be in the church at least 15 minutes before the Mass to provide ample time for prayer, self-composure, and other preparations.

ii.  Check the following: commentator’s guide, monitions, readings for the day, prayer of the faithful, Mass intentions, announcements, and songs.

iii.  Be prepared to lead the congregation in singing in the absence of the choir and do the readings in the absence of lectors.

iv.  Know by heart all parts of the Mass and always be alert while on duty. S/he must not sing audibly with the choir.

v.  Avoid instructions to stand, kneel, or sit (depending on the kind of congregation).

vi.  Provide a replacement if not available, at least a week before the scheduled assignment, and then inform the Committee on Mass Assignment about the substitution.

Lectors should:

i.  Do spiritual preparations a week before the assigned task. Rehearse and dispose oneself properly.

ii.  Know the proper gestures which are prescribed for the ministry.

iii.  Be in the church at least 15 minutes before the Mass to provide ample time for prayer, self-composure, and other preparations.

iv.  Provide a replacement if not available, at least a week before the scheduled assignment, and then inform the Committee on Mass Assignment about the substitution.

 

c.)  Dos and Don’ts

Every MLC member should:

i.  Have personal devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

ii.  Develop the habit of personal study and meditation on the daily readings of Sacred Scripture.

iii.  Always maintain reverential attitude and disposition before and during the Mass.

iv.  Always be neat and tidy-looking when serving at Mass.

v.  Not perform one’s function unless s/he is in uniform.

vi.  Be expected to always conduct oneself in an exemplary way.

vii.  Never do or say anything that will cause scandal among the faithful.

 d.) Formation Program

   The basic formation program of the MLC is characterized both by study and prayer. It is informative as well as formative. It aims not only to enhance understanding of basic Christian doctrines particularly on the Holy Eucharist, but it is likewise an avenue to grow in Christian faith.

   The formation program consists of seven (7) courses on basic Christian doctrine and practical guidelines. Though preferably done on a vicarial level, any parish can conduct the formation program upon determination of the Parish Priest. No person is to be commissioned without undergoing this basic program. The topics of the seven courses are as follows:

i.  Salvation History. The historical dealing of God with his people as presented in the Old Testament; Creation, Fall, Promise, Election, Covenant, Expectation, and Mission up to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament.

ii.  Christology. Christ as the fullness of God’s revelation and the fulfillment of God’s salvific plan and as Lord and Savior.

iii.  Ecclesiology. The Church as the New People of God in the New Covenant through, with, and in Christ; the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; the Mystical Body of Christ extending his salvific mission in history until the end of time; the family as the domestic Church; and Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as a new way of being Church.

iv.  Sacramentology. Jesus as the primordial sacrament of God; the Church as the fundamental sacrament of Christ; the seven (7) sacred symbols that lead one to an encounter with the Trinitarian God and the experience of his grace; celebration of the Word of God.

vEucharist. The Eucharistic Celebration as the source and summit, the center of our Christian life; as privileged moment of the saving encounter between God and man; the structure of the Eucharistic Celebration; the social dimension of the Eucharist treated according to the Eucharist as celebration, Eucharist as contemplation, and the Eucharist as mission.

vi.  Bible. Basic knowledge about the books of the Bible, especially the Gospels and the love for the Word of God.

vii.  Mariology. Basic appreciation of Mary’s role in salvation history and her value in a Christian’s life; popular Marian devotions, especially the devotion to Our Lady of Salvation.

viii.  Diocesan Pastoral Plan. The statutes of the Commission on Worship, particularly the guidelines on the life and ministry of the MLC.

 ix.  Practicum. Functions, practical guides, and duties when assisting in Church liturgical services.

    On-Going Formation Program. The basic formation program received by an MLC member is continuously enhanced by his regular active participation in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and other parish activities, both liturgical and pastoral. On-going programs are also provided as a way of promoting both his ministerial and personal life as Christian. Regular meetings, usually on a monthly basis, are aimed not only to update members of new liturgical guidelines, but also to foster fraternity. Annual holy retreats and seasonal recollections, particularly during Advent and Lent, are scheduled to promote the spiritual life of the MLC members. Other activities, decided upon and designed by the members of the MLC themselves, are also encouraged as part of their on-going formation.

 

e.) Tenure and Termination

   A person formally starts his ministry as an MLC member after having been publicly commissioned, which is a formal rite done within the celebration of the Holy Mass in which a person is presented to the Lord and the community to render this particular ministry. The ceremony consists of four (4) brief parts: Presentation, Instruction, Acceptance, and Blessing.

   The commissioning is given for a period of one (1) year and can be renewed annually. Before the actual expiration of tenure, an MLC member of good standing who is still able and willing manifests his intention and desire to the Parish Priest to commit his services for another year as an MLC member. An MLC member who fails to renew his commissioning is to desist from performing his former duties until he is formally reinstated into the ministry.

    Aside from the expiration of tenure, the services of an MLC member may be terminated after a fair and confidential hearing presided by the Parish Priest of cases involving immorality, public scandal, unorthodox belief and practice, unexcused absences from meetings and gatherings, failure to perform tasks and responsibilities, gross violation of the MLC guidelines. An MLC member who runs for an elected government post is deemed automatically suspended from the ministry during the campaign and election periods.

Ministry of Greeters, Collectors, and Communion Guides (MGCCG)

   The Ministry of Greeters, Collectors, and Communion Guides (MGCCG) are committed persons in the community, recruited to serve the congregation immediately, before, and during liturgical celebrations. The essence of this particular ministry is to build a welcoming atmosphere and proper order during the Eucharistic celebration.

 

a.)Membership and Qualifications

An MGCCG member should have the following qualifications prior to their commissioning:

i.  A parishioner of good moral character and a practicing Catholic; 

ii.  S/he must be physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to be able to fulfill his tasks. As such, s/he must be at least sixteen (16) years old, but not over sixty-five (65) years old. The Parish Priest however may adjust the age requirement in exceptional cases, but always considering the candidate’s physical, emotional, and mental suitability. 

iii.  Must be committed to attend regular meetings and the on-going formation programs of the ministry in the parish as well as in the Vicarial level; 

iv.  Willing to accept other related responsibilities; and

v.  Bona fide member of the parish.

 

b.)   Formation Program

    A candidate for commissioning must complete the whole basic formation program. The formation program, characterized and nurtured both by prayer and study, must be done preferably on a vicariate level at least seven (7) consecutive sessions and shall necessarily cover the following topics:

i.  Salvation History. The historical dealing of God with his people as presented in the Old Testament; Creation, Fall, Promise, Election, Covenant, Expectation, and Mission up to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament.

ii.  Christology. Christ as the fullness of God’s revelation and the fulfillment of God’s salvific plan and as Lord and Savior.

iii.  Ecclesiology. The Church as the New People of God in the New Covenant through, with, and in Christ; the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; the Mystical Body of Christ extending his salvific mission in history until the end of time; the family as the domestic Church; and Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as a new way of being Church. 

iv.  Sacramentology. Jesus as the primordial sacrament of God; the Church as the fundamental sacrament of Christ; the seven (7) sacred symbols that lead one to an encounter with the Trinitarian God and the experience of his grace; celebration of the Word of God.

v.  Eucharist. The Eucharistic Celebration as the source and summit, the center of our Christian life; as privileged moment of the saving encounter between God and man; the structure of the Eucharistic Celebration; the social dimension of the Eucharist treated according to the Eucharist as celebration, Eucharist as contemplation, and the Eucharist as mission.

vi.  Bible. Basic knowledge about the books of the Bible, especially the Gospels and the love for the Word of God.

vii.  Mariology. Basic appreciation of Mary’s role in salvation history and her value in a Christian’s life; popular Marian devotions, especially the devotion to Our Lady of Salvation.

viii.  Diocesan Pastoral Plan. The statutes of the Commission on Worship, particularly the guidelines on the life and ministry of the MGCCG.

ix.  Practicum. Functions, practical guides, and duties when assisting in Church liturgical services.

c.)  Commissioning

i.  The rite of commissioning and renewal of an MGCCG is performed by the parish priest on the feast of St. Martha (July 29).

ii.  The MGCCG are formally presented to the Christian community whom they will serve using a common rite. 

iii.  The Commission is given for a period of one (1) year, limited to the parish where one has been commissioned. Those MGCCG who are no longer in their best physical condition by reasons of age, health, disposition, etc., despite their avowed devotion to serve.

d.)  Duties and Responsibilities

 i.  Be in the church at least 15 minutes before the Mass starts to welcome and assist the congregation to their seats.

ii.  Tidy-up the offertory table and orient the offerors.

iii.  Prepare collection bags.

iv.  Assist in maintaining reverence and order while mass is in progress.

v.  Oversee the orderliness during collection, offertory, and communion time.

vi.  Provide a replacement if not available at least a week before the scheduled assignment and inform the Committee on Mass Assignment.

e.)  Dos and Don’ts

Every MGCCG member should:

i.  Have a devotion to the Holy Eucharist. One should spend at least an hour of prayer in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel every week.

ii.  Develop the habit of personal study of Sacred Scripture.

iii.  Always maintain reverential attitude and disposition before and during the Mass.

iv.  Always be neat and tidy-looking when serving at Mass.

v.  Not perform one’s function unless s/he is in uniform.

vi.  Be expected to always conduct oneself in an exemplary way.

vii.  Never do or say anything that will cause scandal among the faithful.

 

f.) Administrative Policies

i.  Only commissioned members of MGCCG of the parish shall serve in all Masses. 

ii.  An MGCCG may not transfer to another parish without the endorsement/referral or clearance of the parish priest and the evaluation/screening committee where one had previously been a member.

 

g.)  Tenure and Termination

    A person formally starts his ministry as an MGCCG member after having been publicly commissioned, which is a formal rite done within the celebration of the Holy Mass in which a person is presented to the Lord and the community to render this particular ministry. The ceremony consists of four (4) brief parts: Presentation, Instruction, Acceptance, and Blessing.

    The commissioning is given for a period of one (1) year and can be renewed annually. Before the actual expiration of tenure, an MGCCG member of good standing who is still able and willing manifests his intention and desire to the Parish Priest to commit his services for another year as an MGCCG member. An MGCCG member who fails to renew his commissioning is to desist from performing his former duties until he is formally reinstated into the ministry.

    Aside from the expiration of tenure, the services of an MGCCG member may be terminated after a fair and confidential hearing presided by the Parish Priest of cases involving immorality, public scandal, unorthodox belief and practice, unexcused absences from meetings and gatherings, failure to perform tasks and responsibilities, gross violation of the MGCCG guidelines. An MGCCG member who runs for an elected government post is deemed automatically suspended from the ministry during the campaign and election periods.

Ministry of Altar Servers

 

The Ministry of Altar Servers (MAS) is a ministry of children and teenagers dedicated to serve at liturgical services in the parish.

a.) Membership and Qualifications

MAS members must:

i.  Have received their First Communion;

ii.  Obtain consent from parents or guardian;

iii.  Be willing to undergo basic formation;

iv.  Undergo training and formation before investiture with the sacred cassock and surplice;

v.  Provide their own liturgical attire as prescribed by the Diocesan Commission on Worship;

vi.  Be readily available to serve in Masses and other liturgical celebrations;

vii.  Manifest proper behavior at all times.

viii.  Have enough maturity to understand assigned responsibilities and carry them out well with appropriate reverence; and

ix.  Be a bona fide member of the parish.

 

    N.B. In 1994, the Holy See permitted the bishops the option of allowing girls to serve as altar servers but stated that this practice is “allowed but not required” and therefore, not mandatory. The Holy See recommended that it will always be appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has also led to reassuring development of priestly vocations.

 

b.)   Dos and Don’ts

Every MAS member should:

i.  Have personal devotion to the Holy Eucharist. One is encouraged to spend at least an hour of prayer in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel every week.

ii.  Develop the habit of personal study and meditation on the daily readings of Sacred Scripture.

iii.  Be in the church at least 15 minutes before the Mass to provide ample time for prayer, self-composure, and other preparations.

iv.  Always maintain reverential attitude and disposition before and during the Mass.

v.  Always be neat and tidy-looking when serving at Mass.

vi.  Not perform one’s function unless s/he is in uniform.

vii.  Be expected to always conduct oneself in an exemplary way.

viii.  Never do or say anything that will cause scandal among the faithful.

ix.  Provide a replacement if not available, at least a week before the scheduled assignment, and then inform the Committee on Mass Assignment about the substitution.

 

c.)   Formation Program

    The basic formation program of the MAS is characterized both by study and prayer. It is informative as well as formative. It aims not only to enhance understanding of basic Christian doctrines particularly on the Holy Eucharist, but it is likewise an avenue to grow in Christian faith.

The formation program consists of seven (7) courses on basic Christian doctrine and practical guidelines. Though preferably done on a vicarial level, any parish can conduct the formation program upon determination of the Parish Priest. No person is to be invested with the sacred cassock and surplice without undergoing this basic program. The topics of the seven courses are as follows:

i.  Basic Prayers. Essential prayers of the Catholic tradition.

ii.  Christology. Christ as the fullness of God’s revelation and the fulfillment of God’s salvific plan and as Lord and Savior.

iii.  Ecclesiology. The Church as the New People of God in the New Covenant through, with, and in Christ; the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; the Mystical Body of Christ extending his salvific mission in history until the end of time; the family as the domestic Church; and Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as a new way of being Church.

iv.  Sacramentology. Jesus as the primordial sacrament of God; the Church as the fundamental sacrament of Christ; the seven (7) sacred symbols that lead one to an encounter with the Trinitarian God and the experience of his grace; celebration of the Word of God.

v.  Eucharist. The Eucharistic Celebration as the source and summit, the center of our Christian life; as privileged moment of the saving encounter between God and man; the structure of the Eucharistic Celebration; responses at Mass; liturgical items.

vi.  Bible. Basic knowledge about the books of the Bible, especially the Gospels and the love for the Word of God.

vii.  Mariology. Basic appreciation of Mary’s role in salvation history and her value in a Christian’s life; popular Marian devotions, especially the devotion to Our Lady of Salvation.

viii.  Diocesan Pastoral Plan. The statutes of the Commission on Worship, particularly the guidelines on the life and ministry of the MAS.

ix.  Practicum. Functions, practical guides, and duties when assisting in Church liturgical services.

 

d.)   Tenure and Termination

   The rite of investiture and renewal of MAS is performed by the parish priest on the feast day of St. Dominic Savio (May 6). The ceremony consists of four (4) brief parts: Presentation, Instruction, Acceptance, and Blessing. The commissioning is given for a period of one (1) year and can be renewed annually. Serving at Mass is limited to the parish where one has been invested.

   Before the actual expiration of tenure, an MAS member of good standing who is still able and willing manifests his intention and desire to the Parish Priest to commit his services for another year as an MAS member. An MAS member who fails to renew his commissioning is to desist from performing his former duties until he is formally reinstated into the ministry.

  Aside from the expiration of tenure, the services of an MAS member may be terminated after a fair and confidential hearing presided by the Parish Priest of cases involving immorality, public scandal, unorthodox belief and practice, unexcused absences from meetings and gatherings, failure to perform tasks and responsibilities, gross violation of the MAS guidelines.

Music Ministry

 

   Music in the liturgy is called sacred music and is an integral part of liturgical celebrations. Sacred music invites people to be participative and active, leading to meaningful worship. Thus, music in all its aspects must lead the faithful to glorify God and aid to their own sanctification.

a.) General Norms

i.  Under the Commission on Worship are diocesan, vicarial, and parish music ministries whose role is to guide, inform, and form members to sing in liturgical celebrations. These ministries also serve as source of copies of hymns and oversee teaching liturgical songs to the faithful.

ii.  The Diocesan Music Ministry has the role of updating, training, and informing the Parish Music Ministries of new songs and suggest what songs to sing during liturgical celebrations.

iii.  Every parish should have at least one choir group to assist at liturgical celebrations.

iv.  Any concern in the parishes regarding sacred music shall first be consulted with the vicarial music ministry, who then opens the same concerns to the diocesan music ministry director when necessary.

 v.  Hymns must always bear the spirit of the liturgical season and reflect the liturgical action they accompany.

vi.  During the seasons of Advent and Lent, musical instruments may be played only to give necessary support to the singing.

vii.  Regarding the choice of hymns for the liturgy, the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM) states: “Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.”

 viii.  Latin is the universal language of the Church, therefore choirs are encouraged to sing Latin songs since they are appropriate for the Roman liturgy.

 ix.  Secular songs should not be sung in liturgical celebrations. Choirs must sing only liturgical hymns during liturgical celebrations.

 x.  Artistic expression of songs is allowed, but choirs must see to it that the congregation can join in the singing for their active participation.

 xi.  Musical instruments are very helpful in the liturgy. However, they should simply accompany the choir and not be louder than them. Percussions may be used in moderation whenever appropriate.

xii.  To ensure active participation during liturgical celebrations, it is a must that the choirs should have time to practice the congregation. The use of LCD projectors is also helpful in showing lyrics to the congregation.

 xiii.  During special celebrations like parish fiestas, the parish choir must be given priority over other choirs.

xiv.  During weddings and funerals, the church choir must be given priority. Should concerned parties wish to have their own choir, they must inform the parish office for proper turnover of instruments and guidelines.

 xv.  The Sub-commission on Sacred Music regularly meets once every quarter.

b.)  Compositions and Translations

i.  Local composers are encouraged to write songs for the Bikol liturgy. Before their compositions are sung in the parish, they are to be evaluated by the Sub-Commission and then endorsed to the Bishop for approval.

ii.  New hymns must be in conformity with the principles and norms of the liturgy. In this way, their qualities will be genuine to sacred music.

iii.  Translating hymns to the vernacular are allowed for the purpose of easy understanding of their message. In preparing the text, however, composers/translators must take into consideration the usefulness and the character of the song being translated. Their melody and syllabication of the translated song should not deviate from the original. The final output must then be evaluated by a focus discussion group and be approved by the competent authority either for release or for improvement.