Liturgical Ministries

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The Parish of Tyendinaga has a very committed group of lay (non-ordained) people who enhance our worship through the exercise of a wide variety of liturgical ministries.  Most of these ministries are exercised in the conduct of worship but others are behind the scenes.  All of the ministries exercised in aid of worship are valuable and reflect our commitment to a high standard of liturgy and full involvement of the whole People of God in celebrating our common life together.  Anyone who is interested in any of the ministries described below is invited to consult with the Rector to determine suitability and need.


Lay Readers are persons who have made a specific commitment to the Bishop, Rector and Churchwardens to use their existing and developed gifts in ministry to the glory of God and for the benefit of the Church.  Duties vary according to parish needs and Layreaders must give prayerful consideration to how best to reconcile their perceived vocation with the needs of the parish as articulated by the Rector.  Typical duties include:  reading Lessons, administering the chalice, and leading the Prayers of the People.  When appropriately trained, Layreaders may exercise more extensive ministry, such as preparing and officiating at Offices, taking leadership roles in parish events and/or committees, giving instruction in the Christian faith, evangelising, and providing pastoral care (including being licensed by the Bishop to administer the Reserved Sacrament) within the faith community and other such duties as requested of them.


Lectors, or Readers, are people who read any or all of the First Lesson (usually from the Old Testament, but also from the Acts of the Apostles in Eastertide), the Psalm (unless sung by the choir) and the Second Lesson (from the New Testament, excluding the Gospels).  There is no special training required, but Lectors should be comfortable reading in front of the gathered community and have a strong, clear voice.  There is a roster of Lectors who take turns each Sunday, so the same person does not have to read each week.


Intercessors are responsible for preparing and leading the Prayers of the People, which are generally a series of petitions that reflect the concerns of the gathered community.  Typically, we pray for the Church, the world and its leaders, the sick and the needy and anything else that is of particular and timely concern.  Intercessors should be willing to read the selections from the Bible for the Sunday they are responsible for the Prayers of the People so they reflect the themes from the readings as well as the community's concerns.  The Prayers of the People are usually in a litany format, where the Intercessor makes a petition and then invites the community to respond with an appropriate answer such as "Lord, hear our prayer."  The Prayers should never be used as an opportunity to advance one's own personal agenda or to counter the message of the homily.


The greeters are the first people that worshippers meet upon gathering at the church.  Greeters are responsible for welcoming regular parishioners as well as visitors and for ensuring that everyone has the appropriate books, bulletins, and anything else they might require for a service of worship.  Greeters can also help people to their seat and ensure that visitors who might be unfamiliar with Anglican patterns of worship will not feel lost.  Usually, at the end of the celebration, greeters will stand at the back of the church and collect books and other items from departing worshippers.


Sidespeople fulfil two roles in our celebrations.  During the Offertory, when the altar is being prepared for the celebration of the Eucharist, they collect the money offering of the congregation and present it with the gifts of bread and wine as a reflection of the fruits of the labours of the congregation.  During Communion, the sidespeople act as ushers, helping guide people to the front of the church to receive Communion.

Offertory Gift-Bearers

The gift-bearers bring the bread and wine offerings from the back of the church to the altar during the offertory and preparation for Communion.  The bread and wine are symbolically brought from the middle of the congregation and presented to the priest on behalf of all the people so they can be used in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Music Director and Choir

The Music Director and Choir play an important role in the liturgy.  They support the congregation in its singing of hymns and songs and provide leadership during the singing of the psalms and other liturgical music.  The choir also sing hymns in Kanyenkeha (Mohawk) during Communion and will perform motets and anthems related to the day's Scripture readings or the season of the Church.  The Music Director is responsible for rehearsing and directing the choir and accompanying all of the musical offerings of the choir and congregation on the organ or piano.  Anyone with a love for singing is welcome to join the choir--reading music is not a prerequisite, but is obviously helpful!

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild is one of the "behind-the-scenes" liturgical ministries.  Unlike most of the other ministries, members of the Altar Guild do not visible execute their duties during worship.  Without their preparation of the Communion vessels and other necessaries in the sanctuary, however, the celebration could not go on!  The Altar Guild is responsible for the preparation of the credence table, which is where the sacred vessels are placed, the changing of the linens and seasonal vestments on the altar and other furnishing, and cleaning the Communion vessels after the liturgy is over.  Several times a year, the Altar Guild clean the sanctuary and its furnishings to keep them in a condition that is appropriate for worshipping God.  Although Altar Guilds were traditionally the domain of the women of the Church, anyone is welcome to join, especially if they are able to polish brass and iron linens.

Lay Ministers of Communion

Lay Ministers of Communion are specially licensed by the Bishop to assist the Rector in the administration of Communion.  In this parish, where there are no altar servers, the Lay Ministers also assist in the preparation of the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist and assist in the ablutions (washing up) after Communion.  During Communion, Lay Ministers distribute the wine in the chalice to communicants.  A short familiarisation with the routine of the preparation, distribution, and ablutions is all the training that is required.

Flower Co-ordinators

The flower co-ordinators ensure that there are flowers on the altar when appropriate and tend to longer-term arrangements that need care.  They are also responsible for arranging memorial flowers throughout the year, especially at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, and compiling a list for the bulletin.


The crucifer carries the processional cross in front of the procession (choir and clergy) at the beginning and end of the formal liturgy, during the singing of the opening and closing hymns.  The crucifer also accompanies the Gospel when it is processed from the altar to the middle of the gathered community during the Proclamation of the Word.

Refreshment Hosts

One might wonder how refreshment hosts are "liturgical" ministers, but we believe in the Parish of Tyendinaga that the worship of the people does not just happen formally between the first and last hymns.  The gathering of the community, which is the first part of the liturgy, begins as soon as people start arriving for worship.  Our worship and celebration end only when the last person leaves the building.  Fellowship around food and drink is an important part of our common life and is an integral part of Christian worship dating back to the apostolic Church.  Refreshment hosts ensure there is adequate tea, coffee, milk/cream and juice to drink and toast, bagels or English muffins at All Saints' and cookies or a light lunch at Christ Church.  They may provide these things themselves or co-ordinate a potluck-style refreshment.

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