In the Episcopal Church we often use the word Liturgy, instead of the word Worship, because it is a more expansive term and translates as "the work of the people," a more accurate reflection of our understanding that ALL of God's people -- not just the ordained leaders or church 'professionals' -- take part in organized worship & praise of God. Here are some of the ministry roles that support our liturgical life together.
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to sign up for one or more liturgical ministries.
Children and youth who are are trained to assist in the various liturgies of the church. At St. David's we use the following categories of acolytes based on school grade:
- Torch Bearers (grade 4-6) carry torches (lighted candles) in the procession and open & close the communion rail gate before & after communion
- Crucifers (grade 7-9) - carry the cross in procession, receive the offering from the ushers, and assist the Eucharist Ministers by refilling their chalices during communion
- Servers (grade 10-12) - light & extinguish the Altar and other candles before & after the liturgy, hold the book at the reading of the Gospel, assist the clergy in setting & clearing the altar before & after communion, and ring the Sanctus Bell during the prayers of consecration
Depending on the role and number of indivduals trained and available, acolytes typically serve once every 4-6 weeks.
Adults and youth (grades 11 & 12) are trained to prepare, swing, and clean the Thurible - a brass container suspended by three brass chains, used to burn incense during a worship service. The thurifer leads the opening and gospel processions and assists with censing the altar and people during the offertory. We typically use incense for festive services such as the late service on Christmas Eve and on Easter Day.
Adult members (16 and up) who are trained by the clergy and licencesed by the bishop to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion. Eucharistic Ministers typically serve 1 or 2 times per month.
Adult members of the congregration trained by the clergy and licensed by the bishop take the sacrament immediately following a service of Holy Eucharist to homebound members of the congregation. Eucharistic Visitors are assigned to 1 or 2 individuals (or couples) and take them communion every other month.
Lectors & Intercessors
Adults and youth age 12 and up are trained to read the scripture lessons and lead the Prayers of the People during the liturgy. Individuals trained for this ministry typically serve once every 4-6 weeks.
Adults, youth, and children serving with their parents are trained to welcome visitors and greet members of the congregation as they arrive for services, distribute service bulletins, collect the offering, present the gifts of bread, wine, and money for blessing at the altar, direct people to communion, and tidy up the church following their assigned service. Ushers typically serve once or twice per month.
Adults and youth are trained to set out, clear, and care for all the vessels, linens, and other church furnishing that are used for each service. Altar Guild members once per month on an assigned numbered Sunday, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.
Adults are trained to arrange flowers that adorn the altar throughout the year, as well as for special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, festival days, weddings, and funerals. Flower Guild members are typically scheduled in teams to be responsible for an entire month, once or twice per year.