Since 2003, beginning with the Lenten Mission in that year, St Clement of Rome Parish in Metairie, La. has enjoyed the assistance of an Audio Visual System to aid the congregation in singing the Lord’s praises in song. Staffed by a member of the A/V Committee at each Sunday Mass, this system displays the lyrics of the various sung responses and hymns used in the celebration of the Eucharist. This is intended to increase the participation of the individuals in song, and alleviate the need for song sheets or hymnals that may be limited in number and can become distracting during the worship service.
A/V Members are asked to arrive 15-20 minutes early for whichever Mass they are assigned to serve on a particular weekend. This time allows them to start the system, and begin the announcement presentation prior to beginning the Mass with introductory prayers. During the Mass, A/V Members follow the lead of the priest/deacon or choir/cantor to display the proper lyric or prayer verse in sequence. Members have ample time in the celebration to participate in the Mass, listen to the Liturgy of the Word, Homily, and receive the sacrament of Communion. After the Mass, A/V members shut down the A/V system completely, and leave the A/V room locked for the next Mass.
A/V Members are asked to serve at least one Mass per month, preferably two, to allow a full rotation of members. Also, we are asked to recruit new members; as with all ministries, we need to keep our ranks full.
The system is also used in various other celebrations and activities. These include presentations for education, award presentations, 1st Communion, Confirmations, and at weddings, wakes, and funerals. Arrangements are made to find A/V members to staff these events.
The St Clement of Rome Catholic Elementary School and the Parish School of Religion also use this system. They are responsible for staffing those celebrations, and from time to time receive assistance from the weekend AV members.
The current chairperson of the A/V Committee is John Laughllin. For additional information about this committee, please contact the Parish Center at 887-7821.