Set Up Preparations For Altar Gu by fjwuxn


									June 24, 2007   Altar Guild Training Manual   p. 1 of 39

          The Church of the
         Epiphany Altar Guild
           Training Manual

                       June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007               Altar Guild Training Manual   p. 2 of 39

1     Altar Guild Organization                                          4

    1.1   New team members                                              4

2     Terminology                                                       5

3     Monthly Responsibilities                                          6

    3.1   Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities                       6
    3.2   Team leader's responsibilities                                6

4     Weekly Responsibilities                                           7

    4.1   Saturday preparations                                         7
      4.1.1   Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities                   7
      4.1.2   Team's responsibilities                                   7
    4.2   Sunday (or other) service(s)                                 14
      4.2.1   Prior to the service                                     14
      4.2.2   Sunday between services                                  16
      4.2.3   Sunday after church                                      16

5     Special Occasions                                                18

    5.1   Baptism                                                      18
    5.2   Holy Matrimony                                               20
    5.3   Funerals                                                     21
    5.4   Confirmation                                                 21
    5.5   Bishop's Visit                                               22
    5.6   Morning Prayer                                               22
    5.7   Advent                                                       22
    5.8   Christmas                                                    24
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    5.9    Ash Wednesday                                                 25
    5.10      Lent                                                       26
    5.11      Palm Sunday                                                27
     5.11.1      Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities                 27
     5.11.2      Team's responsibilities                                 27
    5.12      Maundy Thursday                                            28
    5.13      Good Friday                                                30
    5.14      Holy Saturday                                              30
    5.15      Easter Sunday                                              32
    5.16      Ascension                                                  33
    5.17      Pentecost                                                  33
    5.18      Memorial Day                                               33

6    Other topics                                                        34

    6.1    Linens                                                        34
    6.2    Polishing                                                     36
    6.3    Candles                                                       37
    6.4    Oil Stock                                                     37
    6.5    Flowers                                                       38
    6.6    Colors                                                        39
    6.7    Chapel                                                        39
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1 Altar Guild Organization
"In general terms, the duty of the Altar Guild is to prepare all the things necessary
for the celebration of the Eucharist or any of the other sacraments and offices of
the church." 1 The Rector is the head of the Altar Guild, and bears ultimate
responsibility for determining how Altar Guild duties will be performed. The Rector
appoints an overall Altar Guild Chairman and co-chair to direct day-to-day activities.
There is also a Wedding Coordinator responsible for organizing wedding support. The
Altar Guild volunteers are organized into three teams, which rotate monthly (that is,
Team 1 covers May, Team 2 covers June, etc.). Each team has a team leader who
coordinates responsibilities among team members.

1.1 New team members
Membership in the Altar Guild is by invitation from the Rector. All members must be
confirmed Anglicans and members of Epiphany. Prospective members must not be
approached directly until the following steps have been completed, allowing the
church office to confirm that they meet these requirements.
   Identify prospective new members to the Altar Guild Chairman, or to a team
    leader who will notify the chairman.
   The Chairman asks the church office to confirm the above requirements and send
    a letter of invitation to the prospective members in the Rector’s name.
   When and if the prospective members confirm willingness to serve on the Altar
    Guild, the team leader calls them to discuss what will be expected. It is
    recommended that the following topics be covered:
        o Commitment. Does the new member understand and respect what the Altar
          Guild does? No special skills are required, but the new member must be
          committed to learning the details of the job and performing it with care.
        o Availability. Will the new member usually be available when needed or does
          he/she have many other commitments?
        o Flexibility. Does the new member have reasonable flexibility to meet team
          needs, e.g., to rotate to a different service when needed?

  B. Don Taylor, The Complete Training Course for Altar Guilds, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 1993, p. 2-
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2 Terminology
The following terms are used in this document:
      Chancel – the raised area where the altar is located.
      Nave – the area where the congregation sits
      Sanctuary – traditionally, the chancel. At Epiphany it is commonly used to
       refer to the entire worship area including both the chancel and the nave.
      Baptistery – the area where the baptismal font and Paschal candle are located.
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3 Monthly Responsibilities

3.1 Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities
1. Prior to the start of a new month, remind the team responsible for the month.
2. Working with the Rector as necessary, plan for any special needs for the month.
3. Check to make sure there are enough wafers, wine, candles, etc.
4. Order necessary items for use in worship.

3.2 Team leader's responsibilities
1. Schedule coverage among team members for:
   a) Saturday setup
   b) Sunday setup and cleanup
   c) Laundering linens
2. Working with the Altar Guild chairman and Rector as necessary, understand and
   plan for any special needs for the month.
3. Check the oil stock as described in section 6.4.
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4 Weekly Responsibilities

4.1 Saturday preparations
This section covers activities that need to be completed in advance of a service,
usually the day before.

4.1.1 Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities
The Altar Guild chairman is responsible for ensuring the following are performed.
These activities take about 30 minutes.
1. Pick up flowers at the florist and deliver to church. Return the fiberglass vase
   liners to the florist for refilling. See section 6.5 for details.
2. Put flowers in vases and check water level in container, adding more if too low.
3. Replenish supplies in the Sacristy as necessary.

4.1.2 Team's responsibilities
The team on duty for the month is responsible for the following. This takes about
one hour.
1. Check Calendar posted in the sacristy for color of Altar Hangings and change
   when necessary. (See section 6.6 for more background on colors.)
   a) White is normally used for Baptism, regardless of the season.
   b) Red may be used when a bishop from our diocese is visiting. Verify with the
   c) Moving the Altar- please be careful! It is set back in place where the brass
      brads indicate on the floor.
   d) The Altar is required by Prayer Book rubric to be covered (book of Common
      Prayer, page 406) with the Fair Linen. The Fair Linen should always be covered
      with the dust cover except during Holy Communion. The Fair Linen is not to be
      folded or removed from the Altar.
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                   Figure 1 Check the Calendar for Colors

                Figure 2 Hangings Are Stored in the Sacristy
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2. Check Ambry 2 for reserved sacrament (hosts and wine). Make sure that none of
   it has spoiled (i.e., is cloudy and sour smelling). If so, dispose of the spoiled wine
   in the piscina. Insure there will be enough wine and wafers to serve 450
   communicants (two services). Currently, about 40 people are attending the early
   service. The later service is almost full. When calculating how much wine and the
   number of wafers to be placed on the credence table, consider how much is in the
   Ambry. The total in the Ambry and on the credence table should be enough to
   serve 450. The Rector has stated that he'd rather have too much (and dispose of
   it if it gets old) than run out during the service. Use the following as a guide:
           WINE
               Flagon (½ full) = 4 chalices
               Decanter (¾ full) = 3 chalices
               Cruet (¾ full) = 2 chalices
               1 plastic cup (the size we use as water glasses for the clergy) = 1 chalice
               The amount of wine to be used is based on the assumption that it will
                require eight chalices, three quarters full, to serve 450 communicants.
           WAFERS
               Ciborium = 225 wafers
               Bread Box with cross = 125 wafers
               Bread Box without cross = 125 wafers
               Roll = 100 wafers
               The number of wafers was calculated based on filling the container to
                the point where the top fits securely, e.g., the top is not resting on the

    Please note, Ambry is pronounced “Om-Bree” not “Hombre”- that was a movie with Paul Newman.
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                               Figure 3 Check Host and Wine

3. Polish brass as needed. Typically this is only the vases. See section 6.2 for details
   as most items should NOT be polished to preserve the protective finish.
4. Put flowers in vases.
5. Fill torch candles and place in torches as described in section 6.3.
6. Fill Altar candles as described in section 6.3.
7. Check and mark Gospel book. (Use lections from the bulletin insert.)
8. Generally make sure the chancel is in good order. The Altar Guild is responsible
   for everything inside the boundaries of the chancel (the area around the Altar)
   and the baptistery, while other groups (e.g., the ushers) take care of remainder
   of the sanctuary.
   a) Make sure all items of furniture are in place.
      i) The rear edge of the altar should be about three feet in front of the front
         edge of the hanging cross.
      ii) The altar should be centered from side to side. Stand in the center of the
          nave and line it up with the hanging cross and center of the back wall to be
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         sure. Use the center design of the altar hanging (and the vested chalice and
         Gospel book, when they are in place) as reference points. All should line up.
         Note that the left front foot of the altar (as you face it) must be in front
         of the metal plate in the floor to allow the altar to be moved far enough to
         the left.
      iii) Check to make sure the feet of the altar are parallel to the floorboards –
           in other words, that it is straight.
   b) Vacuum, if necessary. The vacuum cleaner is in the closet between the rest
   c) Remove any trash or items left over from other activities.
   d) Dust Altar, credence table, and Baptismal font.
9. The Altar may be left covered until Sunday morning or partially set up now, at the
   discretion of the team. Either is acceptable. If items will be placed on the Altar
   a) Remove dust cover. Underneath is called the “Fair Linen”. Make sure it is
      hanging evenly – the same amount on each side.
   b) Put candles, Missal stand, plastic protectors, vases and Gospel book on Altar.
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                            Figure 4 Holy Eucharist Altar Setup

10. Put bulletins in chairs for chalice bearers, acolytes and priests. Ensure each chair
    has a prayer book and hymnal.
11. Place large print bulletin on lectern (full copy plus copy of lessons)
12. Set up Sacristy Counter -
   a) Vested Chalice, Corporal, Burse and Veil. Please make sure to put four
      purificators in the Burse.
   b) Three Chalices covered with purificators
   c) Lavabo bowl and towel
   d) Containers for necessary number of wafers (Ciborium and Bread boxes). The
      Ciborium should always be used, so put it out if not already in the Ambry.
   e) Extra silver bowl for distributing bread (larger than bread box without lid)
   f) Containers for necessary amount of wine (Flagon, cruets, decanter).
   g) Cruet for water.
   h) Six collection plates,
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    i) Candle for Sanctuary lamp,
    j) Two glasses for water for clergy, and a third glass to be placed on the altar
       behind the candle/vase nearest the lectern.

                                       Figure 5 Vested Chalice Setup

13. Check wick on candle extinguisher and change when necessary.
14. Check supplies - wine, candles, and wafers, cleaning supplies. Notify the Altar
    Guild chairman of anything that needs to be replenished.
15. Double-check the pictures mounted in the Sacristy to make certain everything
    has been set out.
16. Place candle in Sanctuary Lamp.3 It is preferable to do this on setup day so that
    the candle can burn down somewhat by the time of the service.

  Next to Ambry; Hangs from ceiling and signifies the light of Christ, whenever the Holy Eucharist is stored in
the Ambry.
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17. Check the traveling Communion set (stored in the left-hand cabinet above the
   a) Consume any wafers left in the set.
   b) Dispose of any wine left in the set (Piscina).
   c) Wash, dry and replace any used items. Store a folded paper towel in the wine
      vessels, if washed, to wick out remaining moisture.
   d) Whoever used the set last normally washes and replaces used linens.
18. Make sure the Ambry key is back in its storage place.


4.2 Sunday (or other) service(s)
The following activities are the responsibility of the team on duty for the month.
Checklists are available in the sacristy.

4.2.1 Prior to the service
The following activities take about 15 minutes.
1. During the Easter season, light the Paschal candle. It will remain lit through both
2. Remove the dust cover from the Altar, if not already removed.
3. Make sure the rod used to weight the altar hanging is centered inside its fabric
   pocket. If it hangs out, it can catch on clothing during the service.
4. If unsure as to whether the Altar candles and torches are full, check them and
   refill as described in section 6.3.
5. Take set-up out to Altar. Corporal and Vested Chalice are set up as shown in
   Figure 5.
6. Put key in Ambry.
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7. Set up Credence table according to picture - three Chalices, Lavabo bowl and
   towel, water cruet, wine (cruet, Flagon and/or decanter), bread (Ciborium and/or
   bread boxes), silver bowl for distributing bread and six collection plates. The
   wine should be placed in front of the water (in the order it will be removed during
   the service).

                             Figure 6 Credence Table Setup

8. Change the candle in the sanctuary lamp if this was not done as part of the
   advance setup.
9. Place two glasses of water for clergy on the floor in back of their chairs and a
   third on the altar behind the candle/vase nearest the lectern.
10. Check everything is according to pictures
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4.2.2 Sunday between services
1. Wash all items that have been used (chalices, etc.), following the requirements
   described in section 4.2.3 for rinsing of items that have held consecrated bread
   and wine. Don't immerse the base of the chalices or Ciborium.
2. Replace used linens.
3. Refill torches and Altar candles with oil as described in section 6.3. The Paschal
   candle and advent wreath candles (if in use) have sufficient capacity to burn for
   two services but the torches and Altar candles do NOT.
4. Replenish wine and wafers on the credence table based on the amount left in the
   Ambry from the previous service. The Ciborium should always be used, so put it
   out if not already in the Ambry.
5. If necessary, consolidate the wine and wafers in the Ambry into smaller
   containers so that the larger containers can be reused. If there are wafers in the
   open silver bowl, it is acceptable to leave them there until after the second
   service. Another thing to consider is whether the old wine should be disposed of
   (in the Piscina) rather than combining it with the newly consecrated wine. The
   goal is to avoid keeping the same wine for several weeks as it might spoil. Consume
   any broken wafer fragments so that only whole wafers remain.
6. If different bulletins are being used for the second service, replace bulletins
   under chairs.
7. In general, ensure setup is complete as described in section 4.2.1.

4.2.3 Sunday after church
The following activities take about 45 minutes.
1. Retrieve the collection plates. The tellers normally place them in the sound booth
   when they are finished. If the tellers put their basket in the sound booth, leave it
2. Wash and put everything away. Containers that have held consecrated bread or
   wine must be rinsed, with the rinse water poured into the Piscina. Don't immerse
   the base the chalices or Ciborium.
3. Place untouched consecrated wine & wafers in Ambry.
   a) Wine that has been administered in the chalice should be reverently disposed
      of by pouring it in the Piscina, consuming it or pouring it directly onto the
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      ground. The idea is that the consecrated bread and wine must be reverently
      consumed or returned to the earth.
   b) Consume any broken wafer fragments so that only whole wafers remain. Note
      that bread can also be disposed of by returning it to the ground. For example,
      after an outdoor communion service, consecrated bread could be scattered for
      the birds to consume.
   c) For storage in the Ambry, consolidate consecrated wine and wafers into the
      smallest containers that will easily accommodate them. If there are wafers in
      the open silver bowl, move them to a covered container. (Wash the silver bowl,
      wrap in one of the silver storage cloths and store in the cupboard.) Do NOT
      store wine in the silver flagon as it is hard on the interior finish. Also note
      that wine can spoil (turn cloudy and sour) if left too long. If any of the wine
      has been sitting in the Ambry for a couple of weeks, it's better to dispose of
      it in the piscina and return only the newly consecrated wine to the Ambry.
4. Cover Altar with dust cover.
5. Tidy up the chancel as needed (e.g., remove used cups and bulletins).
6. Remove the flowers from the green plastic vase liners:
   a) Place in foil pans (kept in the Sacristy for that purpose).
   b) Place one arrangement on the chapel altar (near the back where there is
      plastic under the fair linen) and the other on the greeter’s table. There should
      be a decorative basket in both places to put the foil pans in. Keep a folded
      paper towel in the bottom of each basket to prevent it from poking holes in
      the foil pan.
   c) Bring the old foil pans back to the sacristy to reuse as much as possible.
   d) Leave the green plastic vase liners in the Sacristy for return to the florist.
7. Lock Ambry and put key back on hook in left-most cabinet.
8. The person designated to launder the linens takes them home to do.
   Alternatively, they can be washed and ironed now or later in the Sacristy. If they
   will not be handled right away, treat stains and soak as described in section 6.1.

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5 Special Occasions

5.1 Baptism
*** This section still contains references to positioning of items in the old chancel.
It needs to be updated with pictures of the configuration of the baptistery when set
up for a baptism.
Baptism setup is the responsibility of the team on duty for the month.
   1. Use the white altar hanging.
   2. Put bows (kept in 3rd drawer down in Sacristy) at end of pews on Baptismal side
      (your left as you are facing Altar). Alternatively, 3x5" "Reserved" signs may
      be used. (Some people think the bows look too much like a wedding.) Extra
      signs are stored in the top drawer to the right of the sink in the Sacristy.
   3. Move the Baptism Font out from corner and put it next to the Altar (to the
      left). It should be placed immediately in front of the metal disc in the floor.
      (It will wobble if placed directly over top of the disc.) When moving the font
      into place or putting it away, make sure the cross is facing the congregation.
   4. Place the silver bowl inside the Font.
   5. Place the Paschal Candle next to the Altar. Place it in line with the Altar
      candles and about a foot to the left of the Altar with the cross facing the
      congregation. Check the oil level and refill, if necessary. The Paschal candle
      can be stored after Baptism in corner near the Bishop’s chair (again with the
      cross facing the congregation). No need to haul it back to sacristy. It’s heavy!
      Note – check with the Rector concerning baptisms that occur during Advent.
      The Paschal candle and advent wreath share the same base so both can’t be
      used simultaneously.
   6. If small children will be baptized, please place the little wooden step stool
      next to Font
   7. Move the small credence table from next to the Ambry to the left-hand
      corner behind the Altar. Arrange it just as you see in Figure 8. Whoever is
      assisting during the Baptism service will move the items (such as the shell and
      Chrism stock) to the font at the appropriate time during the service (as shown
      in Figure 7).
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             a. Trim wicks of Baptismal candles to about 3/8" to facilitate lighting.
                Leave one end of each box open for easy removal.

                                Figure 7 Holy Baptism Setup During Liturgy

    8. Just prior to the service, make sure the Ewer (silver water pitcher) is filled
       with very warm (but not scolding!) water. 4 Don't forget to dry the outside and
       bottom of the ewer so that it won't mar the credence table.

  This will insure that as the service continues from the time of the initial set up, the water would have cooled
down to warm water. We don’t want to shock the little ones we baptize!
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                       Figure 8 Holy Baptism Credence Table Setup

5.2 Holy Matrimony
The Wedding Coordinator is responsible for organizing wedding support and providing
details to volunteers. There is also a booklet (available from the parish office and on
the Altar Guild web site) that describes church wedding policies. Following are a few
general notes:
   1. Use the white Altar hanging.
   2. Ask in advance whether the service will include Communion, and how many are
      expected to attend.
   3. Place wedding kneelers in front of the Altar.
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5.3 Funerals
  1. A member of the Altar Guild should be present to assist the clergy. Members
     of the staff who are also Altar Guild members often perform these duties.
  2. Someone should be designated to greet the family and escort them to their
  3. Use the white Altar Hanging.
  4. A white Pall (large silk or brocade cover, stored in a large box in the Sacristy
     cabinet above the altar hangings) goes over the coffin. Before the coffin
     enters the Sanctuary, prayers will be said, and then an Altar Guild member
     places the pall over the coffin. No flowers are to be placed on the pall.
  5. If there is an urn of ashes, it is covered with a white veil and placed on the
     smaller credence table in front of the Altar. Someone should be designated to
     receive the urn from the family prior to the service and return it afterwards.
  6. Sometimes the Altar Guild is asked to order the flowers. Check with the
     church office. Also check for instructions on disposal of the flowers. The
     family may wish to have them donated for a specific purpose.
  7. Check with the church office to see if there will be a Communion service. Ask
     about the number of people who will be attending and set up accordingly.
  8. Put the Paschal Candle next to the Altar, as for Baptism (section 5.1).

5.4 Confirmation
  1. Mark reserved pews with bows or signs as for Baptism (section 5.1).
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5.5 Bishop's Visit
A visit by a bishop normally means that Baptism and/or Confirmation will take place.
Normal setup considerations for those services apply. Notes:
   1. A recent visit occurred during Lent. The Baptismal service took precedence
      over the season, and white hangings were used on the Altar. The team on duty
      for the month should confirm this with the Rector.
   2. The church does not have a stand for the bishop's crosier. It is simply leaned
      against the wall during the service.
   3. The bishop's chair is reserved for the diocesan bishop (the Rt. Rev. Peter
      James Lee). Other bishops from our diocese may also use it, as they choose.
      Check with the Rector concerning its use and positioning at the beginning of
      the service. The chalicers may need to move it during the service, e.g., to
      place it in front of the Altar during confirmation. For other visiting clergy
      who participate in the service, an additional chair is normally placed next to
      the Rector's chair. This should be confirmed with the Rector prior to the
      service. Note that the bishop’s chair is currently stored in the attic between
   4. Check with the Rector for any special instructions.

5.6 Morning Prayer
Communion is celebrated at almost every service, but occasionally a service of
Morning Prayer is held instead. Morning Prayer does not require much setup. Remove
the dust cover from the altar and set out the following:
      Candles
      Flowers, if appropriate to the season.
      Collection plates.
The missal stand and Gospel book are not used.

5.7 Advent
Advent is a semi-penitential season. The royal blue hangings are normally used on the
altar, with no flowers. For the first time in 2002, wreaths with blue bows were
placed on all external church doors at the beginning of Advent. At the end of
Advent, the bows were replaced with red ones for Christmas.
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The large brass holder for the Paschal candle also serves as the base for the Advent
wreath. Remove the Paschal candle and store it carefully in one of the sacristy
closets until after the season. The circular metal frame that supports the wreath
and holds the candles is stored in a drawer below the long sacristy counter. There is
an additional candleholder that fits into the center to hold the Christmas (white)
candle. The following figure shows the order in which the candles are lit, with the
white candle lit on Christmas Eve. All five candles may continue to be lit through the
Christmas season. The candles are oil-filled, and should be kept filled as described in
section 6.3.

                     Figure 9 Advent Wreath, with Order of Lighting
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5.8 Christmas
Following the last service on the final Sunday in Advent, the church is decorated for
Christmas. The Altar Guild chairman purchases the greenery and other supplies
needed to decorate the church, and directs their arranging. Any available Altar
Guild personnel (from all teams) are expected to volunteer to help. The following
figures are representative of the decorations, although the details vary from year to
year. Wreaths with red bows are also placed on all external doors, or if already up
for Advent, the blue bows are replaced with red ones.

                        Figure 10 Christmas Window Arrangement
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                           Figure 11 Nativity Arrangement

                       Figure 12 Chancel with Christmas Greens

5.9 Ash Wednesday
Setup for Ash Wednesday is the same as for a normal Sunday service, except:
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      The ashes must be prepared. Ashes left over from the previous year should
       not be used. The Altar Guild Chairman and/or team leader for the month must
       ensure someone is designated to do this job.
      A plastic bag containing wet hand wipes should be placed under each priest's
       chair for cleanup following imposition of the ashes. Baby wipes from the
       nursery can be used.
To prepare ashes, using the palms saved from the previous Palm Sunday:
   1. Palm fronds do not burn easily, so it helps to dry them out more first. Cut up
      some fronds and spread them out in a shallow pan. Bake in a warm oven (about
      200o) until dry (about 5 minutes).
   2. Place dried fronds in a fireproof container and ignite in a safe place. A coffee
      can placed in a fireplace opening works well. Stir to burn evenly.
   3. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the ashes to the consistency of fine powder.
   4. The ashes are kept in a small ceramic pot in the Ambry. Dispose of last year's
      ashes by returning them to the ground. Place the new ashes in the container
      and return it to the Ambry.
In 2003, attendance at the Ash Wednesday service was about 160 people.

5.10 Lent
During Lent (beginning with Ash Wednesday), the hanging cross is draped with purple
(arrangements made by the Altar Guild chairman) and the processional cross is veiled
in purple. The drapes and veils are stored in the sacristy. No flowers are used on
the Altar.
Special educational programs and services are often held during the week, which may
cause the chancel to be rearranged and/or require Altar Guild support. The team
leader for the month should understand the schedule and plan for any special needs.
Note that in general, any group that rearranges the chancel is responsible for
cleaning up and returning it to good order, and should not be leaving the cleanup for
the Altar Guild to perform. If the Altar is moved, consideration should be given to
covering it with an additional protective cover. A clean, new, white sheet could be
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5.11 Palm Sunday

5.11.1     Altar Guild chairman's responsibilities
  1. Order the palms.
  2. Arrange for someone to drape the hanging cross in red.
  3. Veil (red) and decorate the processional cross with palms.
  4. Order and prepare the Altar arrangements. These normally consist of two
     palm arrangements on the Altar and another large one that sits in front of the
     Altar. Calla lilies are very effective mixed in with the palms.
  5. Reserve an appropriate amount of leftover palms for the following Ash
     Wednesday. Don't store them in an airtight container, as they will mold.
     Arrange for them to be burned at the appropriate time. We use pure ash for
     Ash Wednesday without any added oil.

5.11.2     Team's responsibilities
  1. Get out the two large, handled baskets used to distribute the palms before
     the service. They are normally stored in the sacristy above the Altar
     hangings. Check with the Altar Guild chairman if two baskets aren't available.
  2. Prior to each service, divide one half of the palms between the two baskets.
  3. After the last service or later in the week, dispose of any palms not reserved
     for Ash Wednesday by burning them.
June 24, 2007           Altar Guild Training Manual              p. 28 of 39

                              Figure 13 Palm Sunday 1999

5.12 Maundy Thursday
The Maundy Thursday service commemorates the "Institution of the Lord's Supper".
The Altar Guild chairman and any available Altar Guild members (from all teams)
participate in the service. Notes:
   1. The hangings are still the red ones used on Palm Sunday.
   2. Besides the normal Altar setup, the Altar is ringed with votive candles (stored
      in the sacristy).
June 24, 2007           Altar Guild Training Manual                 p. 29 of 39

                  Figure 14 Maundy Thursday Setup with Votive Candles

  3. Place two kneelers in front of the Altar.
  4. During the service, the priests wash vestry members' feet. There are two
     plastic washbasins stored in the sacristy (above the Altar hangings) that
     should be partially filled with warm water prior to the service and placed in
     front of the chairs in the first row of the congregation. There is also a set of
     white hand towels stored along with the basins. One should be placed under
     each vestry member's chair (congregation front row) for drying.
  5. Get out the crown of thorns (stored near the Altar hangings) in preparation
     for its placement on the Altar at the end of the service.
  6. Towels and soap should be ready in the sacristy for the priests to wash their
     hands after the foot washing (before they continue with the service).
  7. One or two people from the Altar Guild should sit in a convenient location to
     remove the basins of water discreetly to the sacristy after the foot washing.
  8. At the designated point at the end of the service (while the congregation is
     still kneeling), all Altar Guild members who are present silently perform the
     following. To make this go as smoothly as possible, consider assigning a few
     people to each major task before the service starts. Others can follow their
June 24, 2007            Altar Guild Training Manual               p. 30 of 39

         a. Strip the Altar completely and remove everything to the sacristy. (An
            Acolyte extinguishes the candles.)
         b. Empty the Ambry completely, removing everything to the sacristy.
         c. Extinguish the sanctuary lamp, as the Ambry is now empty.
   9. The Rector places the crown of thorns and a single lit votive candle on the
   10. After the service (in addition to normal post-service cleanup):
         a. Consume all of the consecrated host.
         b. Consume the remaining consecrated wine, or dispose of it in the Piscina.
         c. Store the remaining contents of the Ambry together in a sacristy
            cabinet where they can easily be pulled back out on Sunday.
   11. Make sure someone extinguishes the votive candle on the Altar before
       everyone has left the building.

5.13 Good Friday
On Good Friday, the hanging cross is draped in black (arrangements made by the
Altar Guild chairman), and the processional cross is veiled in black immediately after
the Maundy Thursday service. There is no Eucharist, and no Altar Guild support is
normally required for the service.

5.14 Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday traditionally includes two activities - Easter Sunday preparation and
an afternoon Baptismal service. Preparation normally takes place for several hours
on Saturday morning, and involves the Altar Guild chairman, the team on duty for the
month, the usher team and other volunteers.
   1. The Altar Guild chairman purchases the flowers and other supplies needed to
      decorate the church, and directs their arranging on Saturday morning. Any
      available Altar Guild personnel (from all teams) are expected to volunteer to
      help with decorating and other preparations.
   2. The ushers are responsible for returning the Great Hall to its normal setup.
      Decorating and other preparations must be coordinated with this.
   3. Easter is a traditional time for a thorough cleaning and polishing of the brass
      and silver (section 6.2). (This would of course depend on how recently the
June 24, 2007          Altar Guild Training Manual                      p. 31 of 39

     items had been polished.) The team leader on duty for the month is
     responsible for coordinating these activities, requesting assistance from other
     teams if needed.
  4. The hanging cross is draped with white. The processional cross may be
     decorated with flowers, but is not veiled.
  5. The Altar Guild team on duty sets up the sacristy for Sunday morning. Other
     than planning for a larger than normal congregation, this is the normal pre-
     service setup.
  6. The Altar is arranged with the flowers and candles, and the Paschal candle
     moved to the left of the Altar as for Baptism (section 5.1). Remember to
     check the Paschal candle oil level and fill it if necessary.
  7. If a Baptism will be held in the afternoon, the Altar Guild team on duty for the
     month sets up for it (section 5.1). If the service is small (i.e., only family
     members), reserved seating is not required. No Altar setup is normally
     required beyond the preparations already made for Sunday (flowers and
  8. The Altar Guild team on duty for the month is responsible for cleanup after
     the Baptismal service.

                  Figure 15 Altar and Paschal Candle on Easter Sunday
June 24, 2007           Altar Guild Training Manual                p. 32 of 39

5.15 Easter Sunday
The Altar Guild team on duty for the month is responsible for the following:
   1. Normal Sunday setup and cleanup. In 2002, the early service was fairly full,
      and the later service was overflowing. When planning amounts of bread and
      wine, it's a good idea to put out more than usual at the early service, and
      expect that the second service will be even larger.
   2. Before the first service:
         a. Restore the items (oil stock) to the Ambry that were removed on
            Maundy Thursday. (There are no leftover wafers or wine.)
         b. Relight the sanctuary lamp. It's acceptable to do it at this point even
            though no Reserved Sacrament is present yet.
         c. Light the Paschal candle. It will remain lit between services.

                              Figure 16 Lectern at Easter
June 24, 2007            Altar Guild Training Manual                p. 33 of 39


5.16 Ascension
Take the Paschal candle and cross hanging down after Ascension.

5.17 Pentecost
The Paschal candle is put out for Pentecost, unless the Rector directs otherwise.

5.18 Memorial Day
Red, white and blue floral arrangements are used for Memorial Day as shown in the
following figure. A coordinating wreath is placed in front of the Altar in honor of all
our fallen heroes and in loving memory of Chuck Woodard. The Altar Guild donates
the wreath.

                          Figure 17 Memorial Day Arrangement
June 24, 2007                   Altar Guild Training Manual                           p. 34 of 39

6 Other topics

6.1 Linens
The team on duty for the month is responsible for laundering other linens as needed.
Following are some guidelines:
    1. Soak linens if they can’t be washed right away.
    2. Pre-treat stains right away with soap or a commercial stain treatment.
            a. Spilled wine? Put a little salt on it- absorbs it!
            b. Lipstick stains? Put linen in baggy and put in refrigerator- it will keep
               till later. One book suggests soaking in club soda.
    3. Wash linens in Ivory or other mild soap (no bleach). It is permissible to
       machine wash using the delicate cycle and cool to warm water. When machine
       washing, linens may be placed in a mesh bag to reduce wear.
    4. "Drying Altar linen in your home dryer should never be done. The heat from
       the dryer damages the linen more than washing ever could." 5
    5. Iron linens with a steam iron while still damp. Unless your iron is exceptionally
       hot, use hottest iron setting.
            a. If linens are to be ironed right away, remove them from the wash and
               roll them (laid flat) in a bath towel. Let sit about half an hour in the
               towel. Remove one at a time to iron.
            b. If damp linens won't be ironed right away, store them in a plastic bag in
               the refrigerator until ready to iron.
            c. If linens are allowed to dry completely (either laid out flat or hung),
               they should be sprinkled with water and placed in a plastic bag in the
               refrigerator to dampen evenly before ironing.
    6. Iron on the wrong side, beginning at any embroidered symbols for a smoother
       result. Then turn the linen over and continue to iron until dry. Don’t stretch
       while ironing. It may help to place a towel on top of the ironing board.

  B. Don Taylor, The Complete Training Course for Altar Guilds, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 1993, page
June 24, 2007           Altar Guild Training Manual                p. 35 of 39

  7. After ironing the piece flat, finger-fold as appropriate to the piece. Don't
     iron folds as this wears the linen.
  8. The following figure shows the various types of linens and how to fold them.
     Small squares with the design in the center are purificators. (Extra small ones
     go with the traveling communion set.) Large squares are corporals, and towels
     are rectangular. Fold purificators in thirds as shown with the embroidered
     design to the outside. Fold in thirds again to form a square. The procedure is
     the same for corporals except that the design is folded to the inside. This is
     so the design will be on top when the corporal is unfolded on the Altar.

                                Figure 18 Folding Linens

  9. The fair linen can either be handled as described in this section or sent to be
     professionally cleaned.
  10. When ironing a large item such as the fair linen, set up the ironing board next
      to an upstairs railing, if possible. Let the item fall over the railing into the
June 24, 2007             Altar Guild Training Manual                p. 36 of 39

       stairwell as it is ironed to keep it smooth. Roll it around a roller (wrong side to
       the roller) for storage or transportation. There are some rollers in the

With irreparably damaged linens there are two options:
      Cut them down to use in the traveling set.
      Burn them.


6.2 Polishing
The following items have a lacquer finish and should NOT be polished:
      The processional cross
      The newer missal stand
      The candlesticks
      The torches
The items that most typically need to be polished are the vases. The back (only) of
the OLD missal stand needs to be polished if it is used again.
The silver items are normally just washed and dried each week. Be sure to rub the
offering plates well to remove any fingerprints. In addition, silver items are normally
polished for special occasions such as Easter.
June 24, 2007             Altar Guild Training Manual               p. 37 of 39

6.3 Candles
Most of the candles (altar, torches, Paschal and advent wreath candles) are oil filled.
The altar candles and torches may not contain enough oil to last for two services, and
should be refilled prior to each service. Some tips about filling:
      The oil can be messy to pour, and the candles themselves are expensive! Refill
       them over the sink or somewhere else that is easy to clean up and where a
       dropped candle won't break.
      Be careful when filling immediately following a service, as the followers may be
       hot. Wait a while or use a folded paper towel to protect your fingers.
      Handle the wick gently to avoid having it come completely out of the follower.
       If the tip of the wick hasn't been cut, it can be reinserted by looping a wire
       through it and pulling up through the follower. If all else fails, there are extra
       wicks in the drawer next to the sink. When inserting a new wick, DON’T cut
       the wick to remove the wire. If cut, the wick is harder to keep at the right
       height in the follower. Instead, untwist the wire and pull it out.
      Check the amount of wick that protrudes from the follower. There should be
       about 1/8 inch showing. If the wick is too long, the flame will burn higher and
       consume more oil (and possibly smoke). If too short, it may be hard to light.
       To adjust, grab the wick from above/below and pull it up/down. If in doubt,
       light it ahead of time to test.
The advent wreath candles have a larger supply of oil and should burn for at least
four services, although we have not been letting them go that long. The Paschal
candle has an even larger supply. We have not tested how long it will burn.
Wax candles (in hurricane shades) are used for the window decorations at Christmas.

6.4 Oil Stock
The healing and Chrism oils are both stored in the Ambry, in labeled glass cruets.
The Altar Guild is responsible for the following, which is part of the team leader's
monthly checklist:
      Check how much oil is left in the cruets. A small amount lasts for years, so
       new supplies are needed very infrequently. There is extra oil stored in the
       sacristy, which must be blessed by a bishop prior to use. Needs should be
       coordinated with a bishop's scheduled visit.
June 24, 2007             Altar Guild Training Manual               p. 38 of 39

      The Chrism oil used for baptism is mixed with myrrh. During baptism, the
       priest uses oil from the small silver container shown in Figure 8. The container
       has a cotton ball inside to keep the oil in place. The container should be
       opened and checked periodically because the cotton and the container interior
       tend to discolor and look dirty. When this happens (probably about once every
       six months):
          o Dispose of the cotton by burying it (e.g., in the church garden) or
            burning it and scattering the ashes over the earth.
          o Rinse the container into the Piscina (although it will not be possible to
            remove all the oil in this way) and then wash it. Polish it with silver
          o Add a new cotton ball and pour enough oil over it so that it is saturated
            but not swimming in oil. There should be extra cotton balls in the
            drawer next to the sink in the sacristy.
          o Return the container to the Ambry.
      Those who administer the healing oil have small vials they use to transport the
       oil. These are not stored in the Ambry and are not the responsibility of the
       Altar Guild.

6.5 Flowers
The Chantilly Flower Gallery currently prepares the flowers. The floral
arrangements come in fiberglass liners that fit inside the brass vases. The church
owns three sets of liners (total of six). At any given time, at least one set must be
returned to the florist for refilling.
The Altar Guild chairman is responsible for ordering the flowers. Generally, it is
most economical to allow the florist to choose which flowers will be used (allowing
them to use whatever is readily available). However, is has been church practice to
make special arrangements on the following occasions:
   1. Advent – no flowers
   2. Christmas (section 5.8)
   3. Lent - no flowers
   4. Palm Sunday - sprays of palms. White calla lilies may be added for a simple,
      yet majestic accent. See Figure 13 for an example.
   5. Easter (sections 5.14 and 5.15)
June 24, 2007              Altar Guild Training Manual            p. 39 of 39

   6. Memorial Day - red, white and blue flowers and a wreath (section 5.18).
   7. Baptism - pastels.

6.6 Colors
Following is the meaning of the various colors (taken from “The Complete Training
Course for Altar Guilds”, by B. Don Taylor):
   1. White – a symbol or purity. Used for occasions commemorating Christ’s life on
      earth, and for Baptisms, weddings and funerals.
   2. Red – fire of the Holy Spirit and martyrdom.
   3. Purple – penitence, sorrow. It also symbolizes royalty.
   4. Blue – another symbol of penitence. At Epiphany it is used for Advent.
   5. Green – life, growth, fertility and spring.
   6. Rose – used for the fourth Sunday in Lent and third Sunday in Advent.
      Epiphany currently does not have rose hangings.

6.7 Chapel
The small altar in the chapel was new as of December 2005. During the first year it
should not be waxed as the wood is allowed to season. See Fred Woodard before
More information on the chapel will be added as it becomes available.

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