Ministries Supporting Worship
Ministries That Support Our Worship
The parishioners of St. Mary recognize that it is the laity who is first called to be ministers of the church. There are many ways in which the laity support and augment worship services. These opportunities enhance the spiritual growth and commitment of the individuals who serve as well as the congregation at large.
St. Mary’s Altar Guild prepares the altar for services each Sunday and for special sacramental services conducted throughout the Church Year. In addition to selecting and laying out vestments for each service, the Altar Guild carefully and lovingly maintain the silver, brass and fair linens used to enhance the worship experience. While much of their work is done behind the scenes, members of the guild participate in the Lenten observance of reverently stripping the altar as part of Holy Week observances, and joyfully adorn the altar as part of Easter worship.
Choir and Music
The Adult Choir is a dedicated group of singers for whom music is an integral and important part of worship. Their voices create an ambience that provides the congregation with an emotional connection to the meaning and tenure of the worship service. The choir, accompanied by organ and other instrumentalists, are an integral part of the Sunday 10 o’clock service and other special services held at St. Mary.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs) and Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEVs)
The LEMs assist the clergy during the Liturgy and distribution of Holy Communion. LEMs also lead the congregation in the Prayers of the People. The LEVs are the people of St. Mary’s who take communion from the church to those who are sick or shut-in. This devotional ministry connects all members of the congregation, and places into action the words of prayer “…for those who are present, and for those who are absent…that we all may be one.”
Lead the Procession, carrying the cross before the clergy and placing the cross at the altar. Acolytes serve at the altar at all services and also participate in special services as incense bearers or when holding candles to illuminate the Holy Scripture as the Gospel is read.
Both adults and youths of the parish read the lessons from the Lectionary during Sunday and other special services. Lectors study their Scripture reading in order to give voice to God’s message in a way that engages the congregation and aids it in its comprehension of the messages being presented.
These parishioners enhance worship by greeting both friend and newcomers, helping everyone to feel at home at St. Mary’s. The ushers assist those who need help with seating; they count those attending the service, collect the offering of the congregation, and assure an orderly flow during the sharing of Communion. They also discretely alert the priest to those who cannot come forward to Communion, so that those persons may receive the Sacrament at their seat.