Liturgical Ministers

The worship of the church is often referred to as the Liturgy.  ‘Liturgy’ comes from a Greek word which originally meant a public duty or a service to the state undertaken by a citizen. It is sometimes said that liturgy is the work of the people, and our worship is the work of God’s people.  As such, all participate in the liturgy. The priest presides at the celebration fo the Eucharist and most services, however the participation of all people is necessary.

Our church uses non-ordained persons for many roles in the service. These roles are:

  • Greeter – welcomes people as they enter the church
  • Usher – distributes service bulletins as people enter the church, collects the offering, carries the bread and wine to the priest at the offeratory
  • Lector – reads scripture lessons and leads the Prayers of the People
  • Crucifer – carries the cross during the processions
  • Server or Acolyte – assists the priest at the altar
  • Eucharistic Minister – administers consecrated elements at congregational celebrations of the Holy Eucharist (sometimes referred to as the Chalice Bearer)
  • Eucharistic Visitor – takes elements for distribution to shut-ins immediately following a celebration of the Holy Eucharist
  • Worship Leader – regularly leads public worship such as Morning or Evening Prayer

St. Philip’s provides training for all positions to any who are interested. If you are interested in serving in any of these roles, or if you are interested in learning more about the positions, please use call the church office or email Anne Donally, Parish Administrator. Be sure to include your contact information. Information on the duties and responsibilities of a liturgical minister is provided in the customary for the position. Click here to view the St. Philip's customaries or choose "Resources" from menu on the right (under "Liturgical Ministries"). The Resources page also lists books and references which are helpful for liturgical ministers.


Eucharistic Ministers, Eucharistic Visitors and Worship Leaders require a license by the Bishop but the other positions do not. The license is valid for two years.  Continuing education is required for licensed positions; the continuing education requirement met by attendance at one event during the two-year license period.


Leonard Mackey, Vicki mackey, and Barbara Crain serve as Vergers at St. Philip's. The role of the Verger has its roots in the earliest days of the Church's history. It shares certain similarities with the former minor orders of "porter" and "acolyte." Generally speaking, in the olden days, vergers were responsible for the order and upkeep of the house of worship, including preparations for the liturgy, the conduct of the laity, and grave-digging. Today, the Verger is a person within the church who assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship. It is said that the Verger serves the church in a ministry of welcome, and the duties of the Verger vary from parish to parish. Vergers can be full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer. Their duties can be purely ceremonial or include other responsibilities such as parish administration, leadership of the worship committee, sexton, etc. He or she may serve in other capacities throughout the church such as Sacristan, Acolyte Master, Sexton, Chalice Bearer, Lay Reader, Usher, Master of Ceremonies or anything else that the parish requires. The office of Verger dates back to the Middle Ages when the Verger was the "Protector of the Procession." He led the procession into the church or cathedral, clearing the way for the procession and protecting it from vagabonds and animals that tried to attack it. Today, in many parishes and cathedrals you will see a Verger ceremonially leading the procession. The Verger wears a gown and carries a Virge (staff of office) to help clear the way, and point the way for the procession.

A prayer for Service

Almighty God, assist us to see your vision of the growth and vitality of St. Philip's. Help us to reach those who do not know your saving grace. Deepen our commitment; increase our faith and trust, that we may live as witnesses to you. May the Holy Spirit lead us to the service you would have us do, as servants of Christ Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Print | Sitemap
© St Philips Episcopal Church