Worship services entail a great deal of participation not just from the ordained persons but also from all of the congregation. Episcopal services are participatory, not passive. At all services, various persons have responsibility for creating an enriching spiritual experience for all persons in attendance.


AT THE 8:00 A.M. AND 10:30 A.M. SERVICES

The various ministries involved in worship are:

Acolytes: Acolytes assist at 10:30 a.m. by carrying the processional cross or crucifix; lighting carrying and extinguishing candles; helping with the presentation of the bread, wine, and gifts of the people; carrying the Gospel book; and assisting the clergy in the preparation of the altar fore communion. Acolytes may be children, youth, or adults, and training is given. As part of the altar party, acolytes are always robed.

Altar Guild: The Altar Guild works behind the scenes, but is essential for making sure the church is prepared for worship. Its purpose is to prepare the altar, church, and sanctuary for all Sunday and weekday worship services, including weddings, funerals, baptisms, and any other additional sacramental rites. Work includes making sure that the altar hangings are the correct liturgical color, preparing the chalice and paten for each service, and cleaning up after the service. Guild members also care for the linens, vestments, altar hangings, and vessels used during the worship services.

Chalice bearers: Chalice bearers are lay persons licensed by the bishop, after a period of training, to administer the chalice at the Eucharist of the 10:30 am service. Generally, there are two chalice bearers, with additional chalice bearers needed at special services.

Choir (10:30 am): Calvary’s parish choir provides the main choral ministry at Sunday services, special worship services, and other events requiring music that are held at Calvary as specially scheduled. The choir consists of volunteer choristers, plus some persons participating in the choral scholar program. For more information about the choir, please click here.

Greeters (10:30): Greeters are volunteers who have the joyful task of greeting newcomers, old time members, and visitors at the door at the beginning of each Sunday service. Greeters are also needed at special services such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and are especially appreciated when many people are expected who are unfamiliar with the church, such as on Christmas Eve and Easter and at weddings and funerals and other special events.

Flowers: A sign-up sheet is posted in the parish hall (Hannaford Hall) for persons who want to donate flowers in honor or memory of a loved one, or in celebration of a special occasion or event, on a particular Sunday. Flowers are placed in two vases in front of the altar, and the contribution is noted both in the worship bulletin and in the Prayers of the People.

Readers and Intercessors: Lay readers, or simply, readers, at Calvary seek to share the Word with the congregation through meaningful delivery of Scripture passages and, for intercessors, in the leading of the Prayers of the People. Training in congregational and public reading is available.

Ushers (10:30 am): Ushers welcome all who come to the 10:30 am worship service, and help with collection of the offering plates and smooth movement of the service through the receiving of the Eucharist.



The term “liturgy” comes from the Greek, meaning “the work of the people.” The family worship service at 9:30 am each Sunday is indeed the “work of the people,” as it is highly participatory, in order to engage both children and adults in the experience of both leading and being absorbed in worship to God. A team of coordinators each week recruits volunteers from those attending, to do the various tasks that make the service both child- and family-friendly and also evocative of the Episcopal tradition. Beginning with the gong that rings and the candle that is lit to open the service, children are integral parts of worship.

The liturgy is led by a priest, but children, youth, and adults are highly involved in the music, readings, and message for the children. Here are the various tasks that are done by lay persons, and many of them are performed by children:

  • ·         Ring the gong to open and close the service
  • ·         Light the candle to begin and end the service
  • ·         Lead in the reading of the Psalm
  • ·         Read the Gospel or other Scripture reading of the day
  • ·         Offer the children’s message, in place of an adult homily
  • ·         Lead the Prayers of the People
  • ·         Collect the offerings and bring them to the altar
  • ·         Bring up the gifts of bread and wine
  • ·         Ring the bell during the Eucharistic Prayer
  • ·         Help to distribute communion (the chalice)

A 9:30 worship team has recently formed, and is tasked with developing creative ideas to improve the service, increase participation, and enrich the experience of worship for both the children and the adults.