How to be a Chalice Bearer
St Mary’s Episcopal Church—10:30 a.m. service
Thank you for serving as a chalice bearer! This is a very important ministry and we are grateful for your calm and gentle presence. These guidelines are just to be clear about how the role of chalice bearer works and to offer some helpful hints.
BEFORE THE SERVICE
- Please arrive 10 minutes prior to start of service . Pls wear your name tag. Check in with the Verger when you arrive.
DURING THE SERVICE
- During offertory move to the back of the congregation so that you are ready to follow those bearing the plates to the altar. Bring a bulletin with you. Follow the plates up the main aisle to the altar, and after the plates are handed over make your way up the steps so that you end up standing behind the altar.
- Use the pumper bottle of hand cleaner to clean your hands. The bottle sits on the credence table behind the altar.
- All the altar servers (you, bread bearers & acolytes) receive communion first. If Rex gives you a chalice, serve them the wine. (Clergy receive communion last.
- As soon as you have a chalice, follow the bread-bearer. Parishioners may receive bread & wine from a kneeling or standing position. Follow the bread bearer, moving from left to right. When you serve the wine, say: “The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation”
- Then , for those who drink from the chalice, wipe both the inside and the outside of the chalice, give it a quarter turn,
and move on to the next one. Open the purificator (napkin thing) wide so that you can use a clean spot for each wipe.
Some will help guide the cup to their lips, which you’ll find is the most helpful. Some won’t touch the chalice. Some will intinct (dip their bread). In any case, it is best not to fully let go of the chalice. For those who want to intinct, tip the chalice toward them to make it easier for them to dip the bread.
- Some people will have their hands crossed over their chests, which is the signal that they would simply like a blessing, which the priest/deacon will give them. Some people only take the bread. You can gather through nonverbal signs if people would like wine. If you are uncertain whether or not someone/a child would wine, feel free to ask.
- Acolytes will track you down to see if you need more wine or go to the credence table and get more wine yourself. A good tip is to keep the glass at least half full; it is easier to serve that way.
- You might be asked to follow a bread bearer down to someone unable to make it up the aisle for communion. It is best to walk side by side if you can manage it.
- After serving everyone (including clergy), set the chalice & purificator on the credence table and make your way back to your seat.
We are using a database called Ministry Pro Scheduler for our lay ministry scheduling. Anne Hanson coordinates this for us and you will see emails coming from her at firstname.lastname@example.org . When you sign up to be a lay minister, Anne will send you a login & password for the Pro Scheduler, along with some other basic info. There will be link to a short video about how to use the scheduler. It lets you do things like select the services you want to serve at & what lay ministry positions you’re interested in, put in blackout dates, delete a ministry you no longer want to serve on, etc. It’s flexible & user friendly!
Every month you’ll receive an email from the Pro scheduler (that looks like it comes from Anne). It tells you the next month’s schedule is ready. You can then login and go to MY SCHEDULE (to see what service(s) you’re assigned to) or FULL SCHEDULE (to see what the whole monthly schedule looks like.
If you’ve been assigned to a service and you can’t serve then, go to the MY SCHEDULE tab and click on REQUEST SUB button next to the date/time you can’t serve. The system will send an email to everyone who does the same ministry at the same time. (For example, if you’re a reader for the 10:30 service and click that you need a sub on a specific date, the Pro Scheduler will send an email to all other readers who can possibly read at that service on that date.) If one of those people can serve for you, they will click a link on the email that they receive and, voila, you’ll get an email back, the person subing for you will also get a confirming email and the schedule will automatically update so that the schedule everyone looks at will be the most recent one.
Sometimes there are some slots that didn’t fill in the schedule. If you’d like to fill any of them, please look at the FULL SCHEDULE tab & click on any of the VOLUNTEER NOW spots that you’d like to sign up for.
Anne Hanson will be happy to answer any questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact her at email@example.com.