How to be a Verger
St Mary’s Episcopal Church—10:30 a.m. Service
- The role of Verger is to ensure that the services run smoothly. The overseeing of all the lay ministry duties is needed from the opening to the closing of the church. This allows the leaders of the service to concentrate solely on preparing the spiritual portion of the service, freeing them from logistical concerns.
- Guidelines for all Sunday lay ministry responsibilities are located in a notebook on a shelf in the podium cupboard in the Narthex.
BEFORE THE SERVICE
Arrive ½ hour prior to the service. Please wear your Verger name tag.
- Bulletins: Set 9:00 bulletin box on top of blue bin under children’s clipboards. Put the 7:45/10:30 bulletins & announcements on the little table to the left of the Guest Book.
- Children’s Clip Boards: Check that children’s clipboards are ready for service. If not, remind ushers or ready them. (Supplies are in the big blue covered bin under the shelves for the clipboards.)
- Bread & Wine: Check to be sure bread/wine are on the stand to the right of the entrance to the sanctuary. (If not, see “Eucharist” info below.) Take Eucharistic bread out of little baggie.
- Offertory: Ensure that offering plates are on the shelf below the bread and wine.
- Thermostat: Check the temperature on the thermostat and adjust if necessary. Monitor throughout the service. (This may mean turning the air conditioning on or off. Thermostat is on the right side of chancel steps near the lectern.) Contact the Building & Grounds Vestry people (Charlotte Howell) if you have questions.
- Eucharist: Ensure Altar Guild has set up for communion on the credence table, located between the altar and rood screen. If not, on the counter in the Sacristy will be 2 chalices/patents/ purificators, a bread bowl & a wine cruet. Take bread out of baggie and transfer any whole/large pieces of bread from 7:45 & 9 a.m. services into that bread bowl. Pour any unused wine from 7:45 & 9 a.m. cruets into cruet set out for 10:30. (Leave the 7:45 & 9 a.m. chalices and any wine in them on the counter.) Add wine to make about 2 cups. Set wine & bread on stand in back of church. Move chalices/patens/ purificators to credence table. Ensure that little spoon & gluten free wafers/chalice are already on credence table. If assistance is needed, ask an Altar Guild member. List of Altar Guild members is on bulletin board in Sacristy.
- Baptism: If there’s a baptism, ensure all has been set up. Ask an Altar Guild member if assistance is needed.
- Large print bulletins: Ensure that 2 large print copies of the bulletin are on Rex’s chair. Remove and recycle any older versions to avoid confusion.
- Pulpit light/Readings, etc: Turn on pulpit light. Check to be sure readings/Prayers of the People/Baptismal Covenant are in the notebook on the lectern—refer to bulletin to be sure they are the correct ones for that Sunday. If not there, find them and put them on the lectern.
- Clergy Benches: Move clergy benches to appropriate places on either side of altar.
- Communion kneelers, Banners & Children’s Rug: Kneelers, banners (if there are any), children’s rug and toys stay in same place for all services, so nothing needs to be done.
- Gospel Book—Stand the Gospel Book up in the front middle of the altar so Deacon can find it to carry in procession. Make sure the gospel is bookmarked to the correct page.
- Prayers: Check with Rector or Deacon re any concerns/prayers the intercessor should add. If necessary, see that rector/deacon and intercessor get connected.
- Lay Ministers: Ensure that all Lay Ministers are present—Greeters and ushers should be in place 20 minutes prior to start of service. Arrange for substitutions if necessary. Remind ushers/greeters to stay in their spots until 10 minutes after service starts. Encourage ushers/greeters to invite kids to help with bread/wine & offering plates. Ask ushers to pass the offering plates down each pew and bring offering plates forward as soon as offering is all collected.
- Torch Bearers: Ask 2 people to carry the tall torch candles. They get the torches from in front of the lectern, then walk side by side, leading the Gospel procession. Then they go down the middle aisle, stop at the second brown rectangle and turn to face each other. After the Gospel reading is finished, they lead the procession back and return the torches to their stands.
- Media Team: Check with media team (Don Horton) to be sure microphones are on; turn them on if necessary. (Instructions are on the equipment.)
- Notify Deacon: Notify Deacon whether all lay ministers (readers, intercessors, chalice bearers) are present.
- Candles: If there’s no acolyte, light candles about 7 minutes before service starts or ask someone to light them.
- Bell Plates: About 5 minutes before the service start time, ring the bell plates, announce that church will begin in 5 minutes and encourage people to take their seats!! (Bell plates are in the podium cupboard under the Guest Book.)
DURING THE SERVICE
- Lay Ministers: Pay attention to the activities of the lay ministers. If they aren’t getting into position, get their attention or step in if necessary.
- Nursery: During the passing of the Peace, go to the Nursery and bring the children whose parents want them in for Eucharist to the Sanctuary. Help the children find their parents.
AFTER THE SERVICE
- Offerings: Ensure that counters have gathered all offerings. (7:45, 9:00 & 10:30) If not, put 10:30 offerings in “Collections” pouch (green bank pouch) found in the Sacristy in the top drawer of the cabinet to the right of the sink. Take all the offerings to staff office and place in the bottom drawer of the locked file cabinet. (Note: Key is in a magnetized key box on the right side of the cabinet. ) Be sure to lock the cabinet and place key back in position. Return the offering plates to the shelf on the right just as you enter the nave.
- Light on pulpit: Turn off pulpit light.
- Children’s Clipboards: Check that children’s clipboards are ready for the next service. If not, remind ushers or ready them. (Supplies are in the big blue covered bin under the shelves.)
- Tea Kitchen/St Mary’s Room: Check to be sure coffee time is cleaned up and St Mary’s Room & Tea Kitchen are back in order.
- Lights: Before leaving, turn off lights on all floors or alert remaining parishioners that they need to turn off lights in their area:
- lights in the Sanctuary (Push the “off” button—bottom button— on the light panel on the wall to the left as you enter sanctuary.)
- lights in St Mary’s Room & Tea Kitchen
- lamps & lights in entryway & coatroom
- Fans: During winter months, leave on overhead sanctuary fans.
- Doors: Check to be sure balcony doors are locked. Lock the main front doors or alert the Coffee Hour captain or Coffee Hour Clean Up team to lock the main doors when they leave.
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 a 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!
You’ll receive an email each month from the Pro scheduler (looks like it comes from Anne) if you’re scheduled to serve. 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 subbing 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.