How to be a Verger
St Mary’s Episcopal Church—10:00 a.m. Service
The role of Verger is to ensure that the services run smoothly. 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.
A FEW THINGS TO KNOW
- No announcements during the summer. Check Pro Scheduler and print or write names of those who are Lay Ministers when you are the Verger.
- Communion will take place around the altar. People will be invited to come up after offertory.
- There will be a Lay Leader at the 10am service all summer. There won’t be Readers/Intercessors.
- “Prayers of the People” will be read by the Lay Leader alternating with 2 people in congregation. Verger or Ushers invite people to be readers of the prayers and give them a highlighted bulletin.
- Remind or inform Chalice Bearer & Lay Leader to carry torch candles for reading of Gospel.
- Cathy McNaughton is willing to sub for any ministry except Verger!
BEFORE THE SERVICE
Arrive ½ hour prior to the service. Please wear your Verger name tag.
- Entryway: Turn on all lamps & lights in the entryway.
- Bulletins: Check that the bulletins are 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.)
- Sanctuary Lights: Check that the lights in the sanctuary are 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 stained glass window lights, too.)
- “Prayers of People” Readers: Distribute highlighted liturgies by inviting parishioners to be “Prayers of the People” Readers and specifically ask them to project their voices so they can be heard throughout the sanctuary….or ask the Ushers to distribute these.
- 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. If not, find them and put them there.
- Children’s Rug & Toys: Check that the rug & toys are in front of the pews near the west transept.
- 8:00 Offering: Put offerings from 8:00 service (found in Sacristy or Chapel) in green pouch found in sacristy in the top drawer of the cabinet to the right of the sink. Return pouch to the drawer.
- 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 people (Charlotte Howell or Tom Brown) if you have questions.
- Cross Base & Credence Table: Check to be sure base for cross is in front of the middle “window” of the rood screen and behind the credence table.
- 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 8am service into that bread bowl. Pour any unused wine from 8am cruet into cruet set out for 10am. 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 & hand sanitizer are on credence table. If not, move them from Chapel to 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.
- Bulletins: Put 6 bulletins on altar, opened to “Great Thanksgiving”. (These are used by kids who can read during communion.)
- Large print bulletins: Put a large print copy of the bulletin on each clergy/lay minister pew/chair.
- Readings: Check to be sure readings (First Reading & Gospel) are in the white 3-ring notebook on the lectern—refer to bulletin to be sure they are the correct ones for that Sunday. If not there, the notebook may be in the chapel.
- Clergy/Lay Minister Pews: Move 3 short pews to left of altar or on either side of altar.
- Communion kneelers & banners: Kneelers & banners stay in same place…no need to move them.
- 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.
- 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. Tell/remind Lay Leader & Chalice Bearer to carry torches for Gospel procession. They get the torches from in front of the lectern, walk to in front of the altar and stand one on either side of Rex (facing him). After the Gospel reading is finished, they return torches to stands. Remind ushers/greeters to stay in their spots until 10 minutes after service starts. Remind Ushers to count the number of parishioners (including choir, clergy & nursery), write info on ‘Counters Slip’ and put on top of bread. 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.
- Sound Team: Check with sound team to be sure microphones are on; turn them on if necessary. (Instructions are on the equipment.)
- Notify Deacon: Let Deacon know who the Chalice Bearer is.
- Candles: If there’s no acolyte, light candles about 7 minutes before service starts or ask someone to light them.
DURING THE SERVICE
- Lay Ministers: Pay attention to the activities of the lay ministers. As soon as Rex is at the altar, greeters lead the procession with bread & wine, followed by ushers with offering plates. 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
- Attendance: In attendance book, located just outside the west Sacristy, record date, service time & attendance……or ask usher to do that. Ask Rex to show you if you have any question about this.
- Offerings: Ensure that counters have gathered all offerings. (8am & 10am) If not, put 10am 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 to drawer 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.
- Children’s Clipboards: Check that children’s clipboards are ready for the next Sunday. If not, remind ushers or ready them. (Supplies are in the big blue covered bin under the shelves.)
- 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
- Doors: Check to be sure balcony doors are locked. Lock the main front doors or alert remaining parishioners to lock the main doors when they leave.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org