GUIDE FOR ALTAR GUILD
Thank you for volunteering to be a member of the Altar Guild!
As the Altar Guild, you are
contributing to the mission of
1) Prepare the elements and appointments for Holy Communion;
2) Prepare the elements and appointments for Holy Baptism;
3) Maintain and install the paraments and appointments for worship.
The checklist below applies for both the 8:30 and the 11:00 worship services on Sunday.
During the week prior to Worship Service:
¨ Check the Newsletter and the preceding Sunday bulletin to learn of any special events occurring on your Sunday or the week following it that may require Altar Guild support.
¨ As necessary, ensure that all paraments, linens, and appointments are cleaned, in-place, and ready for service on Sunday. Paraments are kept in the altar guild closet. Ensure the altar always has an altar cloth and a corporal (white linen square about 2 feet square) on it, along with two candles filled ¾ full of oil, the missal stand, and paraments for the season. Check the Liturgical Calendar for the correct parament colors.
Before the Worship Service:
¨ Arrive 30 minutes before worship begins, or you may set up the day before.
¨ Check-in with the Council Person of the Day for special instructions.
¨ Check with Pastors to see if we have a Baptism. If so, implement the Set Up for Baptism plan.
¨ Check altar. Make sure each candle is filled with oil (lamp oil is in the cabinet on the back side of the altar). Check candle wicks to make sure they are easily lighted. Check to see that Missal stand (book stand) has order for worship open to the service for communion. Make sure chalice, paten, pall are in place, centered on the corporal, under the veil. Get two purificators (napkins) and place them on the corporal as shown outside the veil. Place three gluten-free crackers (stored in a jar in the leg of the altar), and place them on the paten under the pall. Use the silver service except during Lent when we use the earthenware set. See diagram below:
¨ Ensure the communion elements for presentation have been staged on the Baptismal Table in the narthex, and the ushers know where they are, and to bring them forward to the altar with the offering. Replace the water in the Baptismal Table.
¨ Before the Communion Service (8:30 team does both services):
· Get seven rounds of pita bread and score one not more than ½ way through (for Pastors to break ceremonially). Quarter the other rounds and place them on a large white linen napkin on one silver trays (earthen for Lent) and place the scored round on top. Fold the ends of the napkin together to cover the bread. Place two medium-size napkins folded on-top to keep the folded-up corners in place; these medium size napkins are used by the Pastors to hold the bread. Prepare a second tray the same way (as a reserve in case more bread is needed).
· Fill the silver flagon (earthen for Lent) ½ full of red wine (found in tall standing cabinet in the Sacristy – upper left quadrant).
· Place the first tray of pita bread on the Baptismal Table in the narthex along with the flagon of wine for ushers to bring forward with the offering.
· Place the second tray of pita, along with three additional chalices on the credence table behind the altar. Half-fill two chalices with white grape juice, and one chalice with red wine, then cover each chalice with a napkin bearing an embroidered cross.
During the Worship Service:
¨ After the Words of Institution for communion, come up with the Acolytes, Communion Assistant, and the Assisting Minister for the first table to receive communion. After communing, proceed to the credence table and give out the chalices to the communion assistants.
¨ After the Pastors and communion assistants are in-place, carefully take the first tray of pita bread from the altar, along with the Paten (small plate) containing the three crackers, and position yourself centered and behind the pastors, holding the tray of pita in one hand and the Paten in the other.
¨ As Pastors turn around for more pita bread or for crackers, extend the appropriate plate toward them. If you run out of either pita bread or crackers, quietly go get more from the second tray you’ve prepositioned on the credence table, or the altar leg as appropriate.
¨ Clean up any spills of bread or wine not noticed by the communion assistants.
¨ After communion, take the chalices back from the communion assistants, and cover them on the credence table.
¨ Return to your pew.
After the Service:
¨ Take the flagon, chalices, and bread trays back to the Sacristy.
¨ Place the cleaned individual classes into a separate trash bag, and dispose of the trash bag in the trash.
¨ Pour left-over wine in the chalices out into the Sacristy sink which drains out into the garden. Wash each chalice with soap and warm water, and dry thoroughly with a towel.
¨ Leftover pita may be eaten, or taken home and fed to birds. DO NOT throw the consecrated bread in the trash.
¨ If there is a whole piece left, wrap it up in its plastic bag and place in the refrigerator drawer, or set it up for the next service, as appropriate.
¨ For 8:30 Team: After cleaning up, reset the altar for 11:00 communion
¨ For 11:00 Team:
· Place all unused wine from the flagon back in the bottle, and place the bottle in the cabinet.
· Take all extra bread home for consumption, or bird feeding. You may also spread it in the garden for church birds to eat.
· Leave all soiled linens wrapped neatly on the counter in the basket for Dee or Debbie to pick up and clean.
· Clean and dry all appointments (chalices, flagons, patens, etc) and return them to their protective coverings in the large cabinet.
· Refill candles with oil.
· Look over the altar, chancel, and the whole sanctuary to make sure everything is neat and orderly before leaving.
Rejoice! You have served well. Thank you!
Special instructions for Altar Guild Coordinator: It is important that the altar guild, like all other worship service volunteers, be contacted prior to each month of scheduled service to arrange specific dates to serve once during the assigned month. Names should be provided to the church office before the first Sunday of the month prior to service, so that they can be included in the worship assistant clipboard and the monthly Newsletter and the Sunday bulletins. (The Newsletter deadline is the 15th of the preceding month, and the bulletin deadline is Wednesday of each week.) If there is an unexpected late change, or the names are not in the bulletin, the Council representative assigned for each service (the “Council Person-of-the-Day”) needs to be notified as to who will be the altar guild team.