Thank you for ushering at our service. What follows is a brief description of the tasks you will handle before, during, and after the service.
Before the Worship Service
Be sure to arrive at the Narthex at least 20 minutes before the start of the Service.
Open the Sanctuary doors. If the choir is rehearsing in the sanctuary, wait until the rehearsal is complete before opening the doors.
Check the bulletins, which will be placed on the table to the right of the Sanctuary door. A small form will also be placed on the table for use in recording the number of persons attending the service.
Complete a visual check of the Sanctuary by walking up the aisle to the chancel, checking the pews to make sure they are in order.
Be sure the floral arrangement is in place on the altar (On Communion Sundays, the Communion trays and cups will be on the altar in place of the floral arrangement)
Make sure the offering plates are on the altar. If they are not on the altar, the offering plates can usually be found in the cabinet under the counter in the narthex.
Turn on the lights and overhead fans using the switches in the rear of the sanctuary.
If appropriate due to warm weather, open the Sanctuary windows before worshipers are seated.
Stand at the Sanctuary door to greet worshipers as they arrive, giving each a bulletin.
Ringing The Bell
The Acolyte is assigned the job of ringing the bell. However, you will need to do this if the acolyte is not available. Therefore, be alert for the end of the organ prelude. As soon as it ends, the bell must be rung by pulling the rope. Six pulls should be sufficient
During the Worship Service
Do not seat late arriving worshipers during prayers. If possible, seat them during the passing of the peace, hymns or transitions between different parts of the service.
Early in the service, make a careful count of the number attending. Do this before children leave for children’s worship. Be sure to include the pastor, yourself, and anyone in the Nursery. Write the count on the form used for that purpose. Put the form on the Secretary’s desk in the Church Office.
Collecting the Offering
After the pastor has made some opening comments, she will physically extend the collections plates toward the waiting ushers. When she does, walk in unison to the chancel. After the pastor hands you the plates, turn when she shows with a nod or gesture that you may begin. Turn together and collect the offering together, moving in unison from one row to the next.
After you have finished collecting the offering, wait at the back of the sanctuary until the Doxology begins. As it starts, walk together to the chancel and present the plates to the pastor.
The pastor will turn away from you to deliver the offertory prayer. Remain standing in front until the prayer is complete. When the pastor turns away from the altar at the end of the prayer, turn in unison and walk together to the rear of the sanctuary.
After the Worship Service
One usher needs to remain with the pastor as the worshipers leave. The pastor may refer visitors to you, simply to say hello, to get information for the preparation of a name tag, or for another purpose.
Final Details: Closing the Sanctuary
Go to the front of the sanctuary. Make sure the altar candles are out and that the chancel area is tidy. Make sure that the exit door on the east side of the chancel is locked.
Walk slowly to the rear of the sanctuary. Check each pew to make sure the hymnals and pew bibles are neatly arranged. The hymnals should be turned so the front cover is facing the worshiper. There should be three hymnals and four pew bibles for each pew.
Make sure any leftover paper is picked up from the pews, the envelope racks are neat, and that there are pencils in each envelope rack. If more envelopes or pencils are needed, leave a note on the secretary’s desk.
Check all windows to make sure they are closed and locked. Do this even if the windows were not open during the service.
Turn off the lights and ceiling fans.
There are fire extinguishers in the kitchen, the upper and lower hallways, in the chancel area, and in the downstairs boiler room.
There is a first aid kit in the drawer to the left side of the sink in the church office. In an emergency, call 911 for the fire department, paramedics, or the police. There are phones in the kitchen, library, church office, and pastor’s study.