- Obtain a copy of the lessons and practice them before Sunday morning. Call the church secretary on Friday morning if you haven’t received an email with the lessons by then. Arrive at least twenty (20) minutes prior to the start of the service. Be prepared to read the “lessons” or make sure there will be someone to read the “lessons”.
- Make sure the lectern microphone is turned on & the batteries are good. (Replacements are in the sacristy)
- Make sure the Service Book on the lectern is open to the right page for today’s service.
- Find another assistant to hold the second ‘common cup’ for serving communion.
- Meet with Pastor, the acolyte and any other service assistants in the sacristy ten (10) minutes before the start of service. Make sure the acolyte understands his/her duties and timing.
- Check with Pastor for any special duties for you during the service.
- Meet Pastor by the Baptismal font five (5) minutes before the service is scheduled to start. Stand to Pastor’s left and walk down the aisle beside him. Pause before the step and bow slightly towards the altar. Proceed up to the chairs on the left of the altar and remain standing until the end of the opening hymn. Look respectful and worshipful. Do not communicate with member of the congregation during the service.
- You will usually read the Old Testament and Epistle lessons. (Pastor reads the Gospel.)
- Approach the podium. If needed, adjust the height of the microphone.
- Read the introduction and then the scripture. Try to speak at a moderate rate with an authoritative tone. Do not use a ‘monotone’, but emphasis words as you would reading to a child or speaking to a friend. If you come across a word you are worried about pronouncing correctly, don’t slow down, and just proceed through as best you can. Try not to back up and read the word again. Just keep going.
- You will serve Pastor Communion and he will commune you before the rest of the congregation communes. As you serve him the bread say “This is the body of Christ, broken for you”. Pick up the cup and hand it to him saying “This is the blood of Christ shed for the remission of all your sins.” Put the cup back on the altar. Remain standing while he communes you and an Altar Guild assistant.
- Pick up one of the common cups and napkin. You will follow Pastor and the person with the tray of glasses to commune the ushers and musicians. As a person takes a glass or a sip from the common cup, say “This is the Blood of Christ shed for the remission of all your sins”, or “The Blood of Christ, shed for you”. (Wipe the lip of the cup with the napkin after a person takes a sip, and then rotate the cup 45 degrees so the next person has a ‘clean’ portion on the lip of the cup.) After they return to their seats, move into position at one of the far ends of the communion station in front of the congregation. Repeat the words as each person communes. Remember to wipe the lip of the cup after each use.
- Follow Pastor with the cup if he goes out into the congregation to commune members who can’t come to the altar. When done, put the cup on the altar and cover the top with the napkin. If things are askew, straighten them up so the altar is tidy looking.
End of Service:
At the end of the service, follow Pastor’s lead as the closing hymn is played. He usually stands in front of the congregation until the last stanza. When the acolyte put out the candles, Pastor and you will walk out together, following the acolyte. Follow Pastor into the Narthex. Stand next to Pastor as he greets people leaving the worship service to assist with greeting visitors and getting contact information from them. (We will soon have a podium that will have the necessary sign in book and other information to present to visitors.) If you can, introduce newcomers to someone else to talk with and return to Pastor’s side. When he is done, you are done.
Duties will be vary similar for these services but most will not have communion served. Check with Pastor regarding his expectations and your duties.