The ministry of the Altar Guild.
The two great sacraments given by Christ to his Church are Holy Baptism
and the Holy Eucharist.
In the Episcopal Church, the Altar Guild is composed of a group of dedicated members of all ages
who work behind the scenes to prepare for all Eucharistic services held at St. Francis Episcopal Church.
The clergy and congregation rely on the Altar Guild, and guild members rely on each other to fulfill their duties each week.
St. Francis has four Altar Guild teams,with each team serving every fourth week. During their designated week of service,
the team meets regularly in the church Sacristy to polish brass, trim candles,check vestments and linens
and prepare for the services.
For Judy Guerra
St. Francis Altar Guild is a lay ministry in which our members are dedicated to the task of making the church ready for worship by setting the altar for each celebration of Holy Eucharist, and caring for and cleaning our sacred vessels, linens, and priest’s vestments.
Throughout the year we attend the altar for every service, including numerous special services during the Holy seasons of Easter and Christmas. We follow the Episcopal Church calendar for seasonal liturgical colors and change the altar hangings accordingly. We work under the direction of the Priest in Charge.
The Altar Guild extends an invitation to any church member who feels called by Christ to join us in the ministry of “setting His table”.
It is very rewarding!
The sacrament of Christ's body and blood, and the principal act of Christian worship. The term is from the Greek, "thanksgiving." Jesus instituted the eucharist "on the night when he was betrayed."
At the Last Supper he shared the bread and cup of wine at a sacred meal with his disciples. He identified the bread with his body and the wine with his blood of the new covenant. Jesus commanded his disciples to "do this" in remembrance of him (see 1 Cor 11:23-26; Mk 14:22-25; Mt 26:26-29; Lk 22:14-20). Christ's sacrifice is made present by the eucharist, and in it we are united to his one self-offering (BCP, p. 859).
The Last Supper provides the basis for the fourfold eucharistic action of taking, blessing, breaking, and sharing. Christ's body and blood are really present in the sacrament of the eucharist and received by faith. Christ's presence is also known in the gathered eucharistic community.
For more information, click on the Episcopl Church website below.
Prayer for Altar Guild Members.
Almighty God Grant we beseech you,
that we may handle these Holy things with reverence,
and perform our work with such faithfulness and devotion
that it may rise with acceptance before you
and obtain your blessing;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
ALTAR GUILD PREPARES THE ALTAR THROUGHOUT THE CHURCH SEASONS
Altar at Advent
Liturgical Colors "Liturgical Colors" in Episcopal worship signify our place in the Church Year:
WHITE, the color of Jesus’ burial garments, for Christmas, Easter, and other ‘feasts’ or festival days, as well as marriages and funerals.
PURPLE/VIOLET for Advent (or ROYAL BLUE) & Lent (or UNBLEACHED LINEN).
RED is used in Holy Week, the Day of Pentecost, and at ordinations.
GREEN is used during Epiphany and the ‘Ordinary Time’ after Pentecost.
Altar Guild members serve with reverence whether they are in the sacristy, preparing the altar for services, and clearing the altar after the service.
The Altar Guild uses the Diocesan Altar Guild Manual for guidance in setting up the main altar for regular services, as well as for baptisms, weddings, Special Services during Lent and Holy Week.
PRAYER OF GENERAL THANKSGIVING
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends,
and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts,
and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.