Office of Sacred Worship

Mission and Purpose of the Office of Sacred Worship

“In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit . . .”

--Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 14


The Office of Sacred Worship is a pastoral service agency of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and serves as a liturgical resource for the parishes of the Archdiocese. Its administration includes:

The Catholic Church has many forms of prayer, special blessings and rites for various occasions.  This page is a great resource to find the right blessing, prayer or rite for that special occasion.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact our Office for more information.  Certain prayers, blessings and rites can at times be tailored to your specific needs. 

The Office of Sacred Worship oversees the renovations to the parishes, chapels and shrines in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The Office must be contacted in the early planning stages of building renovations. Before you begin any renovations please contact the Office of Sacred Worship. More information, guidelines, and resources on church renovations can be found on this page.

For more information on obtaining a certification in Liturgical Ministry or to learn of various classes on the Liturgy, Church history, etc., please visit this page.

The Church calendar can be very different from the day-to-day calendar. Included on this page you will find a calendar for the entire liturgical year as well as information on the various seasons of the Liturgical year. For a direct link to the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar click here. This document is a great explanation of the Liturgical Calendar.

Information, guidelines and rules on the various Feast Days and Holy Days of Obligation will be updated on this page as well. When the Pope, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or local Archbishop announce a special campaign or special Year of prayer, such as the Year of Faith, you will have access to information and resources for the specified year on this page.

This page provides answers to common Liturgical issues or questions, and also provides a variety of resources and guidelines in the Church today on topics such as low-gluten hosts, Mass outside a church and other principles of the liturgy.

Please check this page for current Liturgy updates. If there are new Rites, or information about the Mass it will be included on this page.

This page contains various websites and Liturgical documents that will you assist you in your ministry. Also included is information on the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, websites and other documents that may be of use.

Planning a Liturgy takes prayer, attention to detail and time. The Office of Sacred Worship works directly with groups planning a Liturgy with the Archbishop, Auxiliary Bishops or Vicar General. All groups are asked to first contact the Office of the Archbishop when planning a Liturgy involving one of these people, then you will be put in touch with the Office of Sacred Worship regarding the planning and various details. Our office serves as a resource to be sure the Liturgical principles and guidelines are carried out and that each Liturgy is a sacred and prayerful experience for all those involved.

For more information on planning a Liturgy, including guidelines, general principles and suggestions please visit this page. There are many great tools that will be of use when planning your Liturgy. There are many types of liturgies and events and we hope these resources will be useful in your planning.

There are many ways to get involved on the parish level such as Extraordinary Ministers, Music Ministers, Lectors, Ushers, Greeters, Servers and more. This page will assist parishes by providing resources on training of these ministers and further education of these ministers. Information regarding the suggested pay scales for Music Ministry can be found here as well. From time to time our Office will host workshops for these ministries and these will be posted here. If you would like to have someone come out and do training with your parish ministers, please contact our office.

The Office of Sacred Worship has many publications available for purchase such as brochures on Anointing of the Sick, Viaticum and Naming and Commendation of an Infant Who Died before Birth. The parish Annual Publications, (make Annual Publications a link to its own page--move the current Annual Publications page to this one) such as workbooks for lectors, sourcebooks and liturgical calendars can also be purchased from our Office. More information on these publications and other Liturgical resources are available on this page.

The vessels, furniture and other items for Mass are sacred and serve a particular purpose and function within the role of the Church. The Reclamation Center is a warehouse that houses items from closed parishes, along with items that have been donated by individuals, high schools and parishes. It is the purpose of this Center to return these items to use in parishes and to be used by priests, deacons, seminarians and religious. Occasionally there are some items for purchase by individuals, but this will be at the discretion of the Director of Worship and the Deacon overseeing the warehouse. Please visit this page for more information regarding this facility.

The Office of Sacred Worship assists in providing information on the various Sacraments including information on Marriage in the Church, Confirmation, and Rite of Election. If you have questions on any of the Sacraments that are not available on this page, please contact our Office. The Office of Sacred Worship also coordinates Confirmation at the Cathedral for both youth and adults. Information on Confirmation can be found on this page as well.

Our Office assists in the planning of many events throughout the Archdiocese. There are a few Workshops, Conferences, or Events sponsored and coordinated through our office including Gateway Liturgical Conferences, Liturgy Camp, and various workshops on different areas of the liturgy. Please visit this page for all events sponsored by the Office of Sacred Worship.


  • Works in conjunction with other Archdiocesan agencies to provide guidance in planning liturgical celebrations.
  • With the Archdiocesan Commissions for Sacred Liturgy, Music and Art & Architecture, sponsors and conducts workshops and training sessions for liturgical ministries on parish, deanery and Archdiocesan levels.
  • Meets with individual parish liturgy commissions upon request to offer instruction, information and support.
  • With Music and Art & Architecture Commission members as appropriate, meets with pastors and parish teams to discuss renovation and building projects relative to liturgical space.
  • Publishes the "Rite Notes" newsletter on liturgy, Christian Initiation, liturgical art and music for clergy, liturgical ministers and interested laity.
  • With the Commissions for Sacred Liturgy and Music, supervises a Certificate Program for those interested in developing their ministry skills in pastoral liturgy or pastoral music.

Latest News

Lent 2012


All That Matters

By Monsignor William McCumber
Director of the Office of Worship 

Ash Wednesday, February 22nd, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. As Catholics we’re very familiar that these next forty days are a preparation for our great celebration of Easter.
The word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means, “spring.” Spring is a time of new life, new growth and Lent is that time in which we prepare ourselves for new life or a renewal of life spiritually. Lent is a time marked by particular outward signs or rituals, such as the reception of ashes on Ash Wednesday, the communal celebration of the Stations of Cross on Friday, parish fish fries and Lent would not be Lent if we didn’t “give up” something such as chocolate, ice cream or time on the computer, as a sign of penance.

Lent is often portrayed as a journey, from one point in time to another point in time, but it can also mean a growth in faith. This concept of journey or growth in faith is clearly evident for those who are preparing to be baptized into the Church or be fully received into the Church. We pray for those of our parishes who are in the RCIA program as well as for those who are helping to prepare them for this celebration into the Church.

For all of us the season of Lent is a penitential time during which we attempt to become more sensitive to the role of sin in our lives. Having an awareness of sin is balanced by an emphasis on the love and acceptance that God still has for us, despite the sinful condition in which we still find ourselves. This balance is aided by the practice of meditating on the Passion of Christ, His suffering, death and Resurrection. This is done in the celebration of the Stations of the Cross, and parishioners are encouraged to receive the sacrament of Penance (reconciliation) during this season of grace.

As we have mentioned, Lent is a journey, it is a journey into a deeper relationship with God who loves us unconditionally, and who sent us His only Son as a covenant of this love for us. Lent can be a very positive experience for us even if it means giving up ice cream for a short time. This is possible when we stop to reflect on what God has given up for us!

As we begin this season of Lent let us remember, “All that matters in any and every way Christ is being proclaimed.”

Read Pope Benedict XVI's Lenten Message 

Check out Lenten resources from the Office of Sacred Worship

Find your parish Mass and reconciliation times

Read Bishop Ricken's 10 Things to Remember For Lent

An Introduction to Lent 

Lent has ancient roots in the early Church --from the St. Louis Review

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