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Altar Guild

The Altar Guild sets the Lord’s table for all church services and decorates the church for holidays. 

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We welcome anyone who wants to see what we do on Saturday morning or before and after Sunday services. Come join us!

In the Epistle...

Epistle articles

Behind the Scenes From an Early Age

Foothorap reflects on how our church environment helps shape and foster our experience of community and faith. As she prepared the following report about the Lenten season, Jocelyn sat down with Edith to get a sense of where Edith’s joy and commitment to serving on the Altar Guild come from:  Jocelyn: Why Altar Guild? Edith: My mother was involved in the Altar Guild, and I remember going to church with her as she arranged flowers and set-up the church for our Sunday worship. I became quite comfortable at church. In fact, in my boredom as my mother handled the more fragile vessels, I developed an invisible friend! Oasis (my invisible friend) and I would run around the church together and hang out in the pews. It’s funny to think about how my friend got her name. I was surrounded by flower arranging tools, and the foam bases are called oasis! I guess it’s funny to think about how she kept me out of trouble. Jocelyn: What’s the best about Altar Guild at St. Paul’s? Edith: We all help one another. We work in pairs each Saturday morning to prepare for Sunday services and any other special occasion. If you stay after the Postlude on Sundays and walk towards the Altar Guild room, taking the door to the ambulatory, next to the lectern, you will notice that any member of Altar Guild who was at the service is there to help clean up. I think it’s so lovely that we cannot help lingering to help one another out!

About Lent by Edith Foothorap

Have you noticed changes in the church since Lent began? During the season leading up to Easter there are some subtle changes you might have missed. Everything is more simple and plain -- from our environment to our vessels and music. The contrast allows for the magnificence of Easter to shine brighter. The hangings on the pulpit and lectern are now purple. They will change to white for Easter, red for Pentecost and green for Ordinary Time. The Altar Guild knows which color to use based on the Ordo Calendar which lists all church holy days. In Lent the Altar Guild puts away the silver chalice, cruets, and bread baskets used for communion. Instead, we use a ceramic chalice, glass cruets, and wicker bread baskets. The ceramic chalice has only a simple purificator over it on the Holy Table. Usually, at the start of the service the chalice is covered with burse and veil to match the color of the hangings. The burse holds an additional purificator, used to wipe the chalice during communion. The veil is a decorative cover over the chalice.  We continue to remove any ornamental from the altar. Our Book of Gospels has a simple red fabric cover and we forego using the missal stand. The frontal, similar to a tablecloth draped over the Holy Table, is also put away during Lent. Our customary frontal is made of tan linen. We also use a gold one at high Holy Days and festive celebrations, such as weddings and baptisms, as well as colored ones to match seasonal hangings.  ​During Lent, we typically do not have flowers on the altar due the austerity of the season. Flowers during the rest of the year are covered by donations to the Altar Guild. Most donations are received at Christmas and Easter when envelopes are provided to make donations and dedications for flowers and music. The Altar Guild is happy to receive donations throughout the year to celebrate anniversaries, baptisms, graduations or simply to help beautify the church. To make such a donation for flowers, please write “Altar Guild” on the memo line of your check, or donate online, then let the office know who/what you are seeking to honor so we may include in the weekly bulletin. For example, “The altar flowers are given in celebration for the birth of ... " The Altar Guild loves preparing the church for worship. We are happy to share what we do with you. Visit the Altar Guild room before church or follow us there afterwards for a “behind the scenes” look.

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