Lay Participation

While all who gather for worship, by virtue of their prayers and presence, are participants in the liturgy of the church, some feel called to a distinct leadership role in this sacred aspect of the parish's mission and ministry. There are many opportunities, both visible and behind the scenes, for those who wish to become more involved. On Sundays, such opportunities include service as an acolyte, lector, and usher. During the week, lay volunteers serve as officiants at the Daily Office - Morning, Noonday, and Evening Prayer - in the Chapel of Saint Jude. In addition, two important groups of volunteers, the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild, offer countless hours of time and talent as they prepare the sanctuaries, altars, vessels, and vestments, as well as arrange flowers for the liturgy. If you are interested in any of these opportunities for ministry, or have questions, please contact the Parish Office. You will then be put in touch with the clergy person or lay volunteer who oversees and provides training for each.

Spoken more than twenty times by Jesus in the gospels, the Greek word "akoloutheo" means to walk with or to accompany. Those individuals who literally lead us into and out of worship are known as acolytes. In contemporary usage, the term acolyte is used to describe those who carry a cross, torch, or thurible in procession, as well as those who assist the clergy at the altar during the Eucharist. Children and youth serve as acolytes at the 9:00 a.m. Eucharist each Sunday. Adults serve at 8:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 5:00 p.m., including Choral Evensong.

An individual who reads one or more of the appointed scriptural passages during the liturgy. At the 9:00 a.m. Eucharist, this role is filled by a young person. Adults serve at 8:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 5:00 p.m., including Choral Evensong.

An usher is a volunteer who greets worshipers as they enter the church. Ushers distribute service leaflets, answer questions of visitors and newcomers, collect and present financial contributions at the offertory, and assist parishioners to and from the altar during the administration of Holy Communion. Like our acolytes and lectors, this dedicated group is lay-led and trained to understand its role as a vital ministry of and to the parish, and to all who enter our doors.

Daily Office Officiant
At Christ Church, everything we do begins and ends with prayer. This is central to our identity as a community of faith. We therefore gather in the Chapel of Saint Jude three times each day, Monday through Friday (and Saturday morning) to pray the Daily Office. The clergy and laity share in the leadership of these brief services.

Altar Guild
The Altar Guild has the privilege of supporting the liturgical life of the congregation by preparing the sanctuaries and altars for all services held at Christ Church. As a body, members of the Guild are bound to one another through ties of affection and faith. They appreciate the sacred nature of their ministry and view their work as an act of Christian service. They are honored to serve at the beating heart of the Church's life.

The Rector is the head of the Altar Guild, which functions under his guidance and direction. The Rector appoints the president of the Guild and its members, who assist the clergy in whatever way is needed. Guild members care for altar hangings and linens, sacred vessels, and liturgical vestments. Members are expected to serve once or twice a month. Monthly meetings are held for the purposes of scheduling and continuation of training. If you have questions or are interested in learning more, contact Altar Guild President Susan C. Foster.

Click here for the Altar Guild Schedule.

Flower Guild
Members of the Flower Guild seek to bring the beauty of God's creation into the parish's sacred spaces, knowing that the flowers and plants with which they work bring joy and delight, solace and healing. Flower Guild members are dedicated to their ministry and feel privileged to serve the parish community.

Flowers are arranged for every Sunday (except during Lent), Christmas, Easter, and other feasts of the church year. Special arrangements are often made for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. The Flower Guild gratefully receives financial donations from those who wish to give them in memory of loved ones. Members of the Guild, working in teams of two, are scheduled to serve roughly every three months. Floral arranging experience and training, including participation in Washington National Cathedral's flower arranging class, is required for membership.

The Guild works closely with the Flower Visitors Ministry, a weekly outreach to parishioners who are home or hospital bound. After the final service each Sunday, floral arrangements are disassembled and transformed into smaller arrangements, which are then delivered to parishioners by members of the Flower Visitors Guild.

For more information about the Flower Guild, contact Jane Matz. For information on the Flower Visitors Ministry, contact Anna Brook.