Praise God in his holy temple; *
praise him in the firmament of his power.
In contemporary Anglicanism, acolyte is a general term which covers not only servers, torchbearers, and lighters of candles but also crucifers, thurifers, and banner-bearers. An acolyte is one who assists the clergy in a liturgical service and sets the tone for the procession and recession, the reading of the Gospel, and performs many tasks throughout the service as directed by the celebrant, deacon or verger. An acolyte may assist in worship by carrying a processional cross, lighting candles, holding the Gospel book, holding “torches” for Gospel reading, assisting a deacon or priest set up at the altar, handing the offering plates to ushers, and carrying the cross out at end of the service.
The Altar Guild is a volunteer group of the parish whose ministry is to care for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the parish. Altar Guild members prepare the sanctuary for services, and clean up afterwards. Altar Guild members frequently supervise the decoration of the sanctuary of the parish with flowers. The Altar Guild may also prepare and sets up the gifts for services. They also wash and clean the altar linens and clothes.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM) & Eucharistic Visitor Ministers
A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person who assists in the distribution of the consecrated elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A Eucharistic Minister should normally act under the direction of a Deacon or a member of the Clergy, or other leader exercising oversight of the faith community. This is a licensed ministry that requires training according to Diocesan guidelines.
Lay Eucharistic Visitor Ministers take the consecrated elements to parishioners who are unable to make it to church services. This is also a licensed ministry with additional training from LEMs.
Greeters & Ushers
Greeters and Ushers are there to welcome all to worship services. The most important gift you will use is that of hospitality and making folks feel comfortable and welcomed. Greeters hand out the bulletins and should be available to answer questions of visitors. At the time of the Offertory, the ushers assist by passing the plate or basket and the ushers also often bring the bread and wine up to the altar from the back of the church. Ushers guide the process of taking communion and invite people to stand and proceed to where the elements are being distributed. At the close of the service, ushers may greet people again and invite them to a social gathering. Ushers also will help pick up bulletins left behind and straighten out books so the space is ready for future services.
Lector or Lay Reader
A lector is a person trained in reading Scripture who is appointed by the clergy person in charge of the congregation to read lessons or lead the prayers of the people. The term is from the Latin, “to read.” There is no license required for this lay ministry. A lector may also be known as a reader.