Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Server training

Yesterday Larry conducted a training session for the St. Bartholomew's servers (acolytes, lay readers, torch bearers, etc.). In part this was to introduce some small changes from previous practice, but mostly to get everyone onto the same page because our servers now have varied backgrounds, from long-time St. Bartholomew's parishioners to recent members from other churches, and we had no consistency in practice. Larry and Fr. Davis consulted on what our new practices should be and developed a two-page handout to cover the main points, in part as follows (I added a lot of notes of my own during the hour and a half session).

It began with the introduction of more "offices" than I had known. Thurifer, Crucifer, Torchbearer (I guess "Lucifer" is disfavored), Lay reader, Deacon and Celebrant were not surprise, but the distinction of Acolyte (Gospel) and Acolyte (Epistle) was new. (I surprised them by mentioning afterwards an office I had served once, a long time ago: Verger.)

Significant changes in practice included the Gospel processions wherein the Deacon carries the Missal and not a server -- along with this came changes in how the processions form at the altar rail for the Gospel and the recession. Other changes came with candle lighting and extinguishing procedures (one area in which we were all over the map, in terms on where one stood for these operations), exactly when the servers are to stand or kneel, the timing of the ringing of the Sanctus bells (particularly during the elevations) and much, much more. I am impressed.

There were also comments about other elements not on the sheet, such as the rule of thumb of lighting the candles 10 minutes before the service, the towel and lavabo bowl after use, and how rotations should be toward/through the Epistle side (this is really into the adiaphora, no?), the proper announcement of the Epistle reading ("The Epistle is written in...", "The Reading for the Epistle is written in...", etc.).

Even for an old hand as myself there's a lot to remember but as I watched today's servers in action I was impressed: their actions were steady, coordinated, consistent and worshipful. Thank you, Larry and Fr. Davis! (And I look forward to hearing Neal's first reading next Sunday.)


  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger krs said…

    I noticed some of the changes during this morning's service - things ran much more smoothly. Good job, team!


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