The altar guild is an organized group of women and men who prepare the altar for worship at the eucharist, the daily office, weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies. The work of the altar guild includes making sure that altar hangings are the correct liturgical color, preparing the chalice, paten, purificators, corporals and any other lines needed, and cleaning up after the service.
Service on the altar guild is a very blessed time and a time to come prepare the Lordís Table and spend time with Him.
A Worship Leader, also known as a Lay Reader, is licensed to lead public worship and to read the sermon or homily under the direction of a member of the clergy in charge of the Congregation. In the Diocese of Mississippi, the person shall be trained, examined, and found competent in several subjects. There are several books available to help with the study. At St. Peterís, the Lay Reader reads the first lesson, leads the psalm and administers the Chalice at communion. A Lay Reader may also lead other services as needed.
LAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTER
Lay Eucharistic Ministers, also known as Chalice Bearers, are lay persons licensed by the bishop to administer the chalice at the eucharist. Chalice bearers usually vest for the service and process in with the altar party.
Acolytes are lay persons (both adults and youth) who assist in worship by carrying the processional cross, lighting and extinguishing candles, and carrying the torches. Acolytes also help with the presentation of the bread and wine and gifts of the people and assist the priest in the preparation of the altar for communion.
A lector is a lay person who is appointed to read the lessons that precede the gospel. A lector may be appointed by the celebrant or serve on a parish rota of lectors. The role of lector is among the oldest of the liturgical lay ministries. We at St. Peterís use the rotation method for lectors.
Ushers, along with greeters, are outside church prior to the service and are usually some of the last people to enter church on Sunday mornings. They stand outside until just after the service has started and then are stationed at the back of the church during the service. Duties include directing people to empty seats as needed, carrying the bread and wine to the altar at the appropriate time, passing the offering plate and then presenting it to the altar, directing parishioners to the rail for communion, counting the number of people attending the service and tidying up after the service is over. After the service, one of the ushers meets with the vestry person of the day and together they tally the offerings from the morning.
The choir is a group of volunteers who come together to sing praises to God and to enhance the worship service through music. The only qualification for joining the choir is a willing heart and a little bit of time on Sunday mornings. We rehearse at 9:15 on Sunday mornings and occasionally after church.