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Altar Guild

What does Altar Guild do?

Altar guild members are entrusted with the care of many beautiful and sacred items used during worship services. Holy Communion vessels, altar linens, brass items, vestments, candles, and altar flower arrangements make up the articles one is privileged to assist in maintaining. In addition to being "God's housekeepers" the altar guild assists the clergy with each service by pre-setting and cleaning the altar.

If you are interested in learning more about joining the altar guild, contact Leslie Provence, 672.4150. There are many volunteer opportunities to help with altar guild duties, including:

  • Brass and silver polishing - a great place to start with lots of flexibility! You pick the day and time to polish a designated piece weekly.
  • Care of service linens - usually assigned for a month at a time (example Church linens for September), this ministry involves picking up, washing, ironing and returning to the church the purificators and lavabo towels (napkin-size linens).
  • Flower and greenery arranging - We currently have five arrangers who are assigned for one week a month, but a list of substitutes is kept to serve as needed. Also, helpers are needed to bring greens from home to arrange and place in the narthex of the church (front entry). Contact Susan Lind (church), 717.676.2627, or Darlene Roberts (chapel), 297.4471, if interested in helping with flowers and greenery.
  • Festival decorating - many hands are needed for Christmas and Easter decorating at the time of these events.
  • Flower delivery to shut-ins - following the last service in the church, volunteers rotate taking apart the altar flowers, dividing them into smaller containers, and delivering them to parishioners in hospitals, nursing homes or homes.
  • Care of home communion kits and lay Eucharist visitor kits - once a month, clean and fill kits with linens and blessed elements for the priests or lay Eucharistic visitors to take to parishioners who cannot come to share Eucharist with us.
  • Service set-up - Sundays and weekdays, service helpers work ahead of each service to set out linens, vessels, and vestments that the priests use in service Eucharist. They are on hand during the service to assist the priest as needed, then clean and store all vessels and spot-clean linens. This is a ministry that takes a high level of commitment.
  • Special services - Baptisms, weddings and funerals are also ministries that take a high level of commitment on an as needed basis. Baptisms and funerals require arriving before the service to prepare vestments and settings for the priests and restoring order after the service. Weddings require being at the rehearsal the night before, as well as arriving 1.5 hours before the wedding to prepare and staying an hour after to get the church ready for the next service.