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Liturgical Ministries

If you would like to serve in any of the following ministries, please contact the rectory.


Acolytes serve at Mass on Sundays and weekdays.   A brief training course is required by the Archdiocese for this ministry, which will be provided for you at St. Stephen.  No previous experience is required.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the priests in the distribution of holy communion on Sundays and weekdays. They also bring communion to the sick and homebound, and some help the chaplain at George Washington Hospital. There is a training session to prepare for this ministry, and the Archdiocese requires certification for performing this ministry.


Readers or  Lectors read the scripture selections during the Liturgy of the Word on weekdays and Sundays. They also read the  Intercessions when they are not sung by the choir. There is a training program during which lectors must demonstrate that they can read clearly.


Ushers provide a ministry of hospitality. They greet people before Mass, take up the collection, help to provide order in the church, distribute the parish bulletin at the end of Mass, and assist members of the congregation in need.

Sacramental Preparation

Since families face many obstacles in living in Foggy Bottom and the West End of Washington due to a lack of affordable housing, we have less than a handful of children. We assist parents with materials with which they can prepare their children for First  Penance and First Holy  Communion.  A priest or deacon will “interview” the child before First Holy Communion.  First Holy Communion is celebrated on a Sunday convenient to the child’s parents, usually at the 11 AM Mass.  Subsequent materials are also available.  Youngsters in at least the 4th grade are encouraged to enter training to serve on the altar for the Mass their family typically attends.

Priests discuss with engaged couples various options for marital preparation, including Engaged Encounter,  Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center ( , and the Archdiocesan pre-Cana program.

Persons who have scheduled surgery are anointed at their request after the Gospel in a daily Mass.


We realize that the death of a loved one can be a painful and confusing experience. We stand ready to help you in planning a celebration of your loved one’s life. Though Catholic funerals typically include a Eucharist, this may not always be suitable. We will assist you in selecting readings, music and developing a family appreciation of the person.  Funerals are typically scheduled for 10 AM or between 2:00 and 3:00 PM in the afternoon, though there is flexibility for later services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Catholic Church does allow cremation.  You are welcome to discuss these arrangements with one of the clergy, but calling the parish office, 202-785-0982.

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