GUIDE FOR ASSISTING MINISTERS
Thank you for volunteering to be an Assisting Minister!
As an Assisting Minister, you are contributing to the
1) Coordinators of the Communion Distribution Team;
2) Liturgists on occasion as directed by Pastors;
3) Backups for Lectors;
4) Gatherers and Leaders of Parish Prayers.
During the week prior to Worship Service:
all the lessons for your worship service.
The lessons are listed in the Worship Assistants Schedule found under
“News” on the
¨ Pray for guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
¨ Compose your prayers…guidelines below:
· Remember the bulletin will have printed in it the words you say as an invitation to prayer. Plan to leave several seconds of silence after the invitation for folks to gather their own thoughts.
· Limit your prayers to THREE petitions – that is, three times you ask the congregation for a response to “Lord, in your Mercy”. The Pastor will conclude the prayers after the third petition, so please don’t exceed this without prior coordination with the Pastor.
· Usually in the third petition, leave space to read the names of all those for whom prayers have been requested in the prayer book before the service. Leave about 5 seconds of silence after the names for others people who may want to add in their own prayers.
Before the Worship Service:
¨ Arrive at least 15 minutes before the service starts.
¨ Wear your name-tag.
¨ Check-in with the “Council Person-of-the-Day” for any special instructions.
¨ Check with the Council Person to see if the lector is here and prepared to read. If not, offer to substitute with the Council Person.
¨ Ensure that the assigned altar guild member and 3 communion assistants are ready to help with communion distribution. If not, help the Council Person find substitutes – but DO NOT arrange substitutes on your own without coordination with the Council Person.
¨ Check to see that the communion elements have been prepared by the altar guild and positioned on the altar (two chalices, paten, rice cakes (for those who can’t receive the regular bread), three napkins), and on the table behind the altar
¨ Ensure the communion elements for presentation have been staged in the credenza on the choir side of the narthex.
¨ Check the prayer list on the narthex table…
· First, see if you can read and properly pronounce all the names listed. The Pastors may be able to help with name pronunciation. If not, see the “contact person”.
· Second, read the reasons for prayer. See the contact person to get additional information, if necessary
· Third, compose prayers in your mind, and pray for those listed silently in your heart before worship.
· Leave the prayer list in the book for now – other names may be added during the first part of the worship. You will need to return after the sermon to pick up the latest list.
¨ Check in with Pastors for any special instructions, and ask them if there are any additional things we should pray for.
During the Worship Service:
¨ Participate in worship, taking note of the Prayer of the Day, the lessons, and especially the sermon. Modify your written prayers appropriately to respond to what you hear in worship.
¨ During the “Hymn of the Day” -- immediately after the sermon – go to the Narthex and retrieve the prayer list from the table, and review any names that may have been added.
¨ During the third part of the Apostles’ Creed (“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”) start walking slowly up to the front of the chancel. Remember to pause briefly and bow your head as a sign of humility before entering the chancel.
¨ After the Creed, take a couple seconds to compose yourself and arrange your bulletin, your prayers, and the prayer list on the altar. Try not to scrape papers across the microphone.
¨ Read the invitation to prayer, and then allow several seconds of silence for folks to gather their thoughts.
¨ Read your prayer – prayerfully and confidently – with three petitions calling for congregational response. In the third petition, read the names on the prayer list, deliberately, with about a second silence between the names. Include 5 seconds of silence for folks to pray on their own for others.
¨ Stay in position until the Pastor concludes the prayers and offers the Sharing of Peace.
¨ Share the Peace with other parishioners, and return to your pew until called up for communion.
¨ After the Eucharistic Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer, join the rest of the Communion Distribution Team at the altar rail for the first table.
¨ Receive Holy Communion. Communion at Sunday services is typically received by “intinction”. At the early service, this is done at the altar rail by “continuous” communion rather than by separate “tables”. With this approach, there is a continuous flow of people who come forward via the center isle to receive communion at the altar rail when there is space available. When people are ready to return to their pew, they do so by way of the side isles.
The Pastor will issue chalices to the communion assistants and assisting minister. They will take position inside the chancel to follow Pastors (who give the bread) and offer the chalice. Tray leads, chalice trails. See flow diagram below:
Whenever each communicant chooses to intinct in
either the chalice of red wine or white grape juice, the communion
assistant/assisting minister will say the words: “The Blood of Christ shed for
you”, or “This is the Blood of Christ,
shed for you” . If you know the name
of the communicant, you may say their name, as in: “The Blood of
At the late service, communion is received at two stations in front of the chancel. Again, people come forward to receive communion by way of the center isle, and return to their pew via the side isles. After receiving the sacrament, people have the option of kneeling at the altar rail for prayer before returning to their pews.
The communion assistants and the assisting minister take positions beside the pastors, as shown below. When each communicant receives the bread from the pastor and intincts intinct it, the communion assistant/assisting minister will say the words, as shown above.
If necessary, accompany Pastors into the congregation to commune any who could not walk to the chancel.
Once communion is completed, return the chalice to the Altar Guild person, or to the Pastor. Return to your pew.
After the Service:
¨ Rejoice! You have served well. Thank you!
Special instructions for Assisting Minister Coordinator: It is important that Assisting Ministers, like all other worship service volunteers, be contacted prior to each month of scheduled service to arrange specific dates to serve during the assigned month. 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 Assisting Minister.
For services when “Pastor Kniseley” is assigned as Assisting Minister, make sure the Communion Assistant coordinator knows to schedule a fourth communion assistant.
If one of our Pastors is not at worship, the assisting minister may be called upon to distribute the bread at communion. In that case, a fourth communion assistant will also need to be scheduled. In such a case, Pastors will give the Assisting Minister special instructions on bread distribution and blessings.