How to be a Verger
St Mary’s Episcopal Church—9:00 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 cupboard in the Narthex that the Guest Book sits on.
|Before the Service|
|1||Arrival||Name Tag||Arrive ½ hour prior to the service. Please wear your Verger name tag.|
|2||Entry Way||Lights||Turn on all lamps & lights in entryway|
|3||St. Mary’s Room||Coffee||Check that coffee is prepared and pot is plugged in & turned on.|
|4||Lights||Turn on all lights in St Mary’s Room & Tea Kitchen|
|Check that children’s clipboards are ready for the service. If not, remind ushers or ready them. (Supplies are in the blue bin under the clipboard shelves. .
After 7:45 bulletins are returned to bin box, put those on the blue bin under kids clipboards. Put 9am liturgy/song booklets/announcements on little table to left of Guest Book.
After 7:45 service ends, do #7-22.
|Lights||Check that lights in sanctuary have been turned on. If not, push the “on” button on the light panel on the wall to the left as you enter the sanctuary. (This turns on the stained glass window lights, too.)|
|8||Bread/Wine||Check to be sure bread/wine are on the stand to the right of the entrance to the sanctuary. Take Eucharistic bread out of little baggie and replace bread in basket.|
|9||Offertory||Ensure that offering plates are on the shelf below the bread and wine.|
|10||Communion kneelers||Kneelers stay in the same place for both 9:00 & 10:30 services, so nothing needs to be done.|
Rug & Toys
|Check that the rug & toys are in front of pew near west transept. Place 4 or 5 chairs along the rug. (Please be sure they have rubber feet or soft pads on the legs.)|
|12||Chairs for musicians||Music team will set up their own chairs.|
|13||Thermostat||Check the temperature on the thermostat & 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 lectern.) Contact the Building & Grounds Vestry people (Charlotte Howell) if you have questions.|
|14||“Prayers of the People” intercessors||Distribute highlighted liturgies by inviting parishioners to be “Prayers of the People” intercessors (readers) and specifically ask them to project their voices so they can be heard throughout the church.|
|Large print Eucharistic prayer||Check to be sure this is on the altar. It will be in a plastic sleeve. If not on the altar, look on the credence table behind the altar and in the sacristy.|
|16||Clergy/Lay Benches||To the left of the altar & near the hymn board, put a row of 2 benches; in front of that row, put 2 more benches. (They will be moved to the side before communion.)|
|17||Cross Base & Credence Table||Check to be sure base for the cross is in front of the middle “window” of the rood screen. Cross base & credence table remain there for all services so don’t need to be moved.|
|18||Flowers||If there are flowers, put them on a tall stand between the 2 candles in front of the lectern.|
|19||Banners||If banners are used, no need to move them. They remain in place for both services.|
|20||Gospel Book||Rex will get the Gospel Book and carry it in the procession when he’s at church. If he’s not there, stand the Gospel Book up in the front middle of the altar. There will be a large print copy of the Gospel reading in the book. If there isn’t one, make sure the gospel is bookmarked to the correct page…check 10:30 bulletin to see what Gospel reading is.|
|21||Bulletins||Put six 9am liturgy bulletins on the altar.|
|22||Eucharist & Baptism||Check that 3 chalices with purificators, 2 bread baskets, little spoon, gluten free wafers/ chalice with purificator & hand sanitizer are on credence table. If not, look in chapel & Sacristy or find an Altar Guild member. If there is a baptism scheduled, be sure all items for baptism are on credence table and in baptismal font (either marble or blue one).|
|15 Min Prior to the Service|
|23||Lay Ministers||Ensure that all Lay Ministers are present—Greeters and ushers should be in place 20 minutes prior. 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.
Remind Ushers to:
+Count the number of parishioners (including music team, clergy & nursery); write info on the “Counters Slip” and put it on the top of the bread.
+pass the offering plates down each pew & bring offering plates forward as soon as offering is all collected.
Torch Bearers: Remind Lay Leader & tell Chalice Bearer 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 to the middle aisle, just below the steps. After the Gospel reading is finished, they lead the procession back and return the torches to their stands.
|24||Media Team||Check with media team (Don Horton) to be sure microphones are on; turn them on if necessary. (Instructions are on the equipment.)|
|25||Assist Ushers||Assist ushers with any of their duties.|
|26||Notify Deacon||Notify Rex whether all lay ministers (lay leader & chalice bearers) are present. Tell Rex who the third chalice bearer is. If all lay ministers aren’t there, ask other parishioners if they’d fill in.|
|7 Min Prior to Service|
|27||Candles||If there’s no acolyte, ask Lay Leader or someone else to light candles about 7 minutes before service starts.|
|28||Seating||If more seating is needed, ask people to squish a little toward middle aisle to create seats on side aisles.|
|1 Min Prior to Service|
|29||Notify Lay Leader/Conie||1 minute before 9 a.m., let the Lay Leader & Conie know it’s one minute until the “welcome”.|
|During the Service|
|30||Nursery||During Blessings, go to Nursery and bring the children whose parents want them in for Eucharist to the Sanctuary. Help the children find their parents.|
|31||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.
+Greeters take up the bread & wine…great to involve kids in taking these up to the altar! (A little kid can take bread; an older kid can take wine.)
+Ushers pass the offering plates down each pew….again, great to involve kids in doing this. As soon as the ushers have completed passing the offering plates, they should take them to the acolyte or Rex. They don’t have to wait for a signal.
+Verger serves as 3rd Chalice Bearer. When people are invited to gather around the altar, go up, use hand sanitizer & stand near the altar. Follow one of the bread bearers. Tip chalice for those who intinct (dip). Say “Cup of Blessing” or “God loves you.”
|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.
+Greeters take up bread & wine….great to involve children in taking these up to the altar! (A little kid can take bread; an older kid can take wine.)
+Ushers pass the offering plates…..again, great to involve children in doing this. As soon as the ushers have completed passing the offering plates, they should take the plates to the acolyte or Rex. They don’t have to wait for a signal.
+Serve as 3rd chalice bearer. Go to altar area during offertory and stand near the credence table, use hand sanitizer and follow one of the bread bearers. Tip chalice for those who intinct (dip). Say “Cup of blessing” or “God loves you.”
|After the Service|
|32||Offerings||Gather offerings from 7:45 & 9:00 a.m. services. Put them in the “Collections” pouch (green bank pouch) found in the Sacristy in the top drawer of the cabinet to the right of the sink. Put the pouch back in the drawer. Put the offering plates on the shelf on the left just before you leave the sanctuary.|
|33||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 clipboard shelves.)|
|34||Children’s Rug & Toys||Kids’ rug can stay where it is for both 9:00 & 10:30 services.|
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.