“[A]n evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. It celebrates every small victory, every step forward in the work of evangelization. Evangelization with joy becomes beauty in the liturgy, as part of our daily concern to spread goodness. The Church evangelizes and is herself evangelized through the beauty of the liturgy, which is both a celebration of the task of evangelization and the source of her renewed self-giving.” (Evangelii Gaudium 24)
From its foundation, Heralds of the Gospel have been keenly aware of the need to respond generously to the call of the Divine Master: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Since the initial vocational experience of the first Heralds was in what had been a Benedictine monastery, it was only natural that they devote themselves entirely to the liturgy.
Within a broad range of liturgical interests music has naturally become an area of intense focus. Often where the Heralds work, they will form choirs to help with the parochial liturgy and other activities, and, at times, they will even include an accompanying ensemble of instruments. Their repertoire always seeks to rediscover the cultural and artistic heritage of the Church, especially Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. While not excluding more recent and popular works, the most important element is that they truly elevate the spirit and have the appropriate sacredness necessary for liturgical functions.
The liturgy provides many opportunities to exercise this apostolate. In each of its many offices and functions, the Heralds strive to carry them out with perfection, whatever they may be: lector, acolyte, candle-bearer, thurifier, master of ceremonies and other ministries. To ensure excellence in carrying out these roles, an integrated training program is included for every Herald with detailed practice sessions for the various liturgical functions. And before major liturgies and ceremonies, they can be found rehearsing on location in order to maximize the beauty of the act to take place.
The dignified and worthy celebration of Mass is, of course, the center of liturgical concern, but it may not be the only parish activity where the pastor asks for help.
In processions and novenas, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the recitation of the rosary, Heralds are often called upon by the pastor or other parish apostolates to offer assistance in order to enrich liturgical acts and ceremonies.
This liturgical assistance seeks to bring out all of the transcendent beauty of worship, to restore the allure of the unfathomable sense of mystery, and to echo God’s appeal to mankind to participate in His own life.
In order to achieve this, the Heralds study every aspect of the liturgy and then share their knowledge and experience by training others, especially youth, who are actively engaged in parish ministry.
Given their dedication, effort and discipline in striving to do everything well, and instilling this same spirit in young people, it is not uncommon for pastors to entrust Heralds with the responsibility for organizing every aspect of liturgical worship.