The Ministry of the Altar Guild

Have you ever wondered what goes on "behind the scenes" at the altar?  This information regarding the Altar Guild provides a rare window before the service begins.

First, the work of the Altar Guild brings to the congregation the preparation and prayer dedicated to welcome and hospitality for all who come seeking a greater connection to God.  It comes under the direction of the Rector and is not just another job.  It is a true feeling of dedication for those persons having the privilege of serving God's altar.  It is the special gift of service that assists the clergy in preparing for the worship of God before anyone walks in the church for the celebration of the Liturgy. 

The purpose of the Altar Guild is:

1.) care of the linens and altar hangings and preparation of these for the services.

2.) setup of the altar and the Hymnal Board for all services.

3.) preparation of the elements (wine, water and hosts) and vessels.

4.) care of the flowers for services

5.) care of the candles for each service

6.) care of the Nave of the church, (check of the pews, Prayer Books, Hymnals, Bibles)

The basic motivation of the Altar Guild members is gratitude.  This ministry is a form of praise and an expression of joy, seeing the tasks involved in carrying out this work as opportunities to serve God, dedicating our actions to Him.

In the words of Altar Guild members, "it provides an understanding of the essential parts and what each part means to the entire service."  "It gives one a stake in what's happening in the church and as you contribute your efforts and time, it gives you a deep appreciation of God."  "It provides a chance to have private time with God and to be at peace in His presence."  "It's a feeling of joy to see and appreciate the beauty of the prepared altar and of how persons will be touched by God's grace as they participate in the services which are dedicated to God."  What precious gifts to us!

Think about setting aside some of your time for this essential ministry in the church.

Ginny Key
Altar Guild Director