There are a variety of ministries that support our Sunday and weekday services.
The Sacristans Guild (in some churches referred to as the Altar Guild) "set the table" for the Eucharist, bake Eucharist Bread, launder and mend the altar linens, purchase and arrange flowers and clean and maintain the equipment and altar supplies.
The Office of Verger dates back to the Middle Ages when the Verger was the "Protector of the Procession." Today, a verger assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship. At St. Bede's, a verger may be asked to serve as "Master of Ceremonies." In addition, they regularly lead the procession, assist with the setting of the Table, supervise ministry leaders including acolytes, and assist the clergy with any matters during worship.
Greeters and Ushers
Ushers at St. Bede’s provide a ministry of hospitality and assistance to all worshippers, giving extra attention and help to visitors or those with special needs. Hospitality is paramount in our Christian faith, where to welcome strangers and regulars alike is akin to welcoming Jesus himself into our midst. Duties include setting out name tags, welcoming people, distributing worship bulletins to those entering the sanctuary, counting the congregation, collecting the offering, and guiding worshippers to communion. However, there is also a profound spiritual role ushers/greeters play at services. For many visiting St. Bede’s, an usher/greeter is the first person they meet. Ushers/Greeters set a tone; and hopefully, the message they share with others says that St. Bede’s is a welcoming, thoughtful, and intentional community of faith.
A very important part of our worship experience is hearing the stories of our faith and the wisdom of Holy Scripture. Lectors have an opportunity to assist with the liturgy by reading the scripture lessons from the Old and New Testament and leading the congregation in the Psalm.
A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the consecrated elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. To serve the sacrament of Christ’s precious Body and Blood to our brothers and sisters is a profound spiritual privilege beyond measure. We are entrusted to carry the Gifts of God to the People of God with the Love of God. Eucharistic Ministers are required to participate in a training session every three years and are then licensed by the Bishop for service at the altar. Eucharistic Minister can serve at Sunday services, weekday services, and special services like Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. Eucharist Ministers typically serve about once per month.
A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. The Eucharistic Visitor (EV) extends the altar, and thus the life and fullness of the Church community, to those who cannot be present at worship by taking the Sacrament to them following any public celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist Visitors serve as needed.
Acolytes were first mentioned in a letter from the pope written to the Bishop of Antioch dated in the year 251 A.D. (CE). At that time, acolytes were members of the clergy-ordained Church leaders-serving alongside bishops, priests, deacons and others. Today, acolytes are lay members of the Church. Acolytes serve as representatives of the congregation at God's altar and assist the clergy with leading the worship service. Acolytes function in two ways: First, there are practical jobs that we "do" as part of our service: carrying a torch, cross, Gospel Book, sometimes a banner/flag; giving out and receiving the alms basins, and helping the clergy ready the table for celebration of Eucharist, among other things. Secondly, acolytes are living symbols of faith--they represent something much larger than ourselves. Serving and leading our congregation in worship is an important ministry and should be undertaken reverently, faithfully, and joyously. Acolytes serve approximately every 3-4 weeks, pending on the number of participants in the ministry.