Altar Guild

At Saint James’, the Altar Guild is a ministry — a ministry of service. The members (women and men) of the Altar Guild serve the Church under the direction of the Rector and are responsible for setting up and caring for the furnishings in the nave, sanctuary, and sacristy, as well as any other area of the church where special worship will take place.

The Altar Guild is responsible for tasks such as

  • Preparing the altar
  • Laying out the vestments and vessels for worship
  • Setting the credence table with the elements (bread and wine) to be administered during communion
  • Ordering and arranging the flowers for weekly Sunday worship,  Christmas, Easter and special events.
  • Laundering and ironing altar and worship linens, polishing brass and silver, filling candles and various other tasks.
  • Ensuring the altar is dressed in the proper color of the day (frontal hanging, burse, etc.)
  • Cleaning up after services and either preparing for another service or “closing down” for the day

The Altar Guild is a ministry of “quiet service”. It’s behind the scenes, but a most critical act of service to the church. The objective is the same for any weekly or special service: to make each service as perfect as possible.

A prayer used by many Episcopal Churches for Altar Guilds states the commitment this ministry makes to the church:  “Almighty God, grant we beseech thee, that we may handle holy things with reverence, and perform our work with such faithfulness and devotion that it may rise with acceptance before thee and obtain thy blessing; through Christ our Lord. Amen”.

We encourage participation in this important ministry and we welcome men and women to join our “teams” who take pride in preparing all areas of our church for worship. All are welcome.