The beautiful liturgy that we experience each week takes place because of the dedicated teams of individuals who comprise the Servants of Worship. The liturgy is the work of the people, and it is our offering to God. Our worship around the altar is multi-faceted, and likewise, there are numerous opportunities for people of all ages to share in the worship that we offer to our Lord.
The work of the Altar Guild is generally not observed by the congregation because it takes place before and after the service. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that all of the vessels, linens and other appointments used in the service are prepared and ready prior to the service, and they are also responsible for the care and cleaning of these items.
The word Acolyte is derived from the Greek word Akoluthos, meaning “attendant.” Acolytes assist during Holy Eucharist by holding vessels and children who are at least eight years old may serve as acolytes as torch bearers, and older children may also carry the clergy cross in procession.
Working closely with the acolytes are the Crucifers. In addition to carrying the head cross in procession, the Crucifer assists at the preparation of the altar and may be called upon to assist the clergy by performing other duties as well.
The Altar Server is a lay person who stands with the clergy at the altar during the Eucharist. The Altar Server holds the Gospel book during the proclamation of the Gospel, leads the congregation in the recitation of the Nicene Creed, and assists in the distribution of the Bread during Communion.
While the ministry of the Verger is a lay ministry, it is diaconal in nature. This individual has responsibilities before, during and after the service. The Verger is responsible for ensuring that all preparations for the service have been made, that all participants are present, that any problems or issues that arise during the service are addressed, and that everything in the sanctuary has been properly stored following the service.
The Ushers are responsible for greeting members of the congregation as they arrive, especially newcomers. They collect the monetary offering, and they guide the congregation in coming forward to receive Communion. They also assist members of the congregation who may have questions or specific needs during the service.
Lectors are lay people who read the Old and New Testament lessons during the Liturgy of the Word.
Intercessors are lay people who lead the Prayers of the People.
Chalice Bearers are lay people who assist in the administration of Communion by serving the chalice to the congregation. Chalice bearers are required to complete training offered by the Diocese and must be licensed by the Bishop for this ministry.