Grace Episcopal Church
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Sustainably Fueled by a Higher Power
Hospitality at the Communion Table
Every week we walk forward to the altar to receive the love of Christ through a sacred meal - our Eucharistic feast. And like any Thanksgiving dinner, this feast has been prepared for all of us by people who love and care for us.
As is true in most Episcopal Churches, the members of the Altar Guild at Grace Church, many of whom have been serving God and all of us through this ministry for 30 years or more, lovingly care for our linens and vestments, shine our candlesticks and offering plates, and lay out our bread and wine each week. Some of them are also interested in arranging flowers and enjoy adorning the church with natural beauty. Guild members work together in teams, forming strong bonds of friendship with each other while getting the sacred meal ready for all of us to enjoy on Sundays, for those in deep need of consolation at funerals, and for the joyous celebration of weddings.
While modern altar guilds have often been comprised largely of women, the membership of the ancient Christian altar guilds was restricted to men, who were allowed into the mysteries of the altar and liturgy only after significant training. Luckily now, anyone is welcome to share in this important ministry.
Here at Grace Church we all take part in this important ministry. All active parishioners will be given a certain month to serve as Altar Guild helpers, assisting our core Altar Guild members with tasks such as carrying the heavy book stand, setting up and cleaning up. We are happy to give our long time Altar Guild members the physical assistance they need, and it has been a lot of fun to welcome all kinds of new people into this ministry. It also gives us all a new sense of ownership in the hospitality of the altar table.
If you've been around for a while, you can expect to be assigned to a certain month sometime soon. If you're new around here and want to make sure you're included in the Altar Guild helper rotation, please let Maryann in the office know of your interest.