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The Altar Guild Ministry Quietly Works for Our Lord and His Table

By Kathy Forrester

Have you ever been curious about how the Sanctuary is always automatically set up for services here at St. Barnabas? If you come in early, you may see it being done, but most of you probably don’t think about how it gets done. Well, here at St. Barnabas the altar work is done by a group of dedicated people in the Altar Guild.

The Altar Guild is a Ministry that acts like a “stage crew” to facilitate the worship service.

Regular duties include preparing the communion vessels and linens, setting the altar, clearing the altar and clean up, and laundering the linens used.

But that is not all! Other duties include:

  • Setting up for special services on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Vigil, Christmas Eve, funerals, and weddings

  • Ordering palms for Palm Sunday

  • Assisting in set up for our hand washing tradition and the stripping of the Altar on Maundy Thursday

  • Resetting the Sanctuary on the Saturday before Easter

  • Designing, ordering, and displaying the special flowers for the Easter and Christmas celebration services

  • Ordering and maintaining altar vessels and linens

  • Making sure we have adequate supplies of wine, wafers, and cleaning supplies

  • Helping to keep the Sacristy clean and organized

  • Setting up for baptisms

This photo is used to instruct Altar Guild members how to set up the altar.

Members of the Guild are assigned to set up one week per month. The 8 a.m. Sunday service crew includes Nancy Lewis, Debbie Murray, Barb Lawrence, Maxine Yates, and Susan Workman. At the 10 a.m. service, guild members work in teams one Sunday per month. This crew includes Julie Colegrove, Mary Beth Dauner, Kathy Forrester, Robin Frederick, Kaye Gaffney, Marcie Hammel, Carolyn Lamping, Ceilia Mathew, Betsy May, Julia May, and Saskia Van Leersum. All also help with other duties as needed.

We have a need for a few more members. The time required for Sunday services is only about 20 minutes before and after the service one Sunday per month. Training will be provided, and new Altar Guild members will be scheduled with those more experienced. We also provide written directions and pictures of the proper setup.

This is an opportunity to provide help by becoming a minister of the liturgy. We will welcome you to our Guild. If you have questions, please call the church office at (513) 984-8401. Also, let us know if you would like to join the Altar Guild, and we will schedule training.

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