The Altar Party plays an integral and important part of our worship services at Ascension. The members of the Altar Party are the Acolytes, the Lector, the Lay Ministers and the Verger. We use four acolytes at our services: the Crucifer, the Server, and the Torchbearers. Our Lector reads the Lessons of the Day as well as the Prayers for the People during the service. Our Lay Ministers serve as either Chalice Bearers or Patens and assist the Priest in serving Communion to the congregation. Our Verger’s role is to facilitate the order of service. Service on the Altar Party is open to all and it is a wonderful and rewarding ministry. If you would like to participate or have questions, please call Gil Steindorf (Lay Ministers), Tim Lewis (Acolytes) or Susan Copeland (Vergers).
The altar guild is a ministry of people who care for the worship and communion vessels, linens, candles, appointments, and altars of the church of the Ascension and who serve under the direction of the Rector.
Altar Guild members prepare each worship service lovingly, and then vessels are cleared, cleaned and stored for the next service.
The Altar Guild is not just another church job it is a vocation. A feeling of dedication and self-effacement is essential for any person aspiring to the privilege of serving God’s altar.
Acolytes are dedicated young people, ranging in age from 12 to 18 years, who serve a critical role in worship services at the Ascension. The term ‘acolyte’ derives from the Greek word, ‘akolouthos’, meaning server, attendant or follower. Acolytes have existed almost as long as there have been priests and, in the Episcopal Church, acolytes have served at the altar since ancient times. An acolyte’s service is an offering to God and should not be entered into lightly.
Our acolytes serve as a team within a team. The server, the crucifer, and torchbearers serve in the Altar Party, a larger team, which includes the priest, the verger, the lector, the chalice bearers and the acolytes. Duties of acolytes at the Ascension include leading the processional at worship services while carrying the Processional Cross, tending the Altar candles, carrying the Gospel book during Gospel readings, assisting in the collection of alms and the presentation of the Bread and Wine during the Eucharist.
Acolytes wear either white or red vestments similar to those of the lectors, chalice bearers, and choir members. We have acolyte masters who thoroughly train our acolytes before they begin their service. During the service the vergers supervise and direct the acolytes.
Serving as an acolyte is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Episcopal Church, to develop relationships with other young people, to get to know the clergy and other adults who serve at the Altar. We also have fun!
The ushers at Church of the Ascension will welcome you as enter the sanctuary. They are on hand to answer questions and provide help with directions as needed. They will offer a bulletin, which contains the order of worship and readings for the service.
Ushers are responsible for beginning the service with the ringing of the church bells. They collect the offerings, assist in directing communion and close the service, again with the ringing of the bells.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers are faithful servants who to administer the consecrated bread and wine with members of the congregation who were unable to be present at the celebration because of illness or infirmity.
No sewing skills are required, just many hands, to cut, press, piece together, and add finishing touches. Come join the group every 2nd Tuesday morning in the Quilt Room.