How to Get Involved
That I may go to the altar of God, to the God of my joy and gladness... Psalm 43:4
The beautiful liturgy of our worship depends on a hidden network of preparation by the clergy, musicians, acolytes, lectors, ushers, and invisible but not the least the Altar Guild.
Each Sunday, two faithful people, scheduled from our pool of Altar Guild members, show up in the sacristy 45 minutes before each Sunday service and reverently prepare and set out the vessels, linens, and other objects in accordance with our CSS manual and instructions from the priests. Then they join the congregation until after the service when they carry out the post-Eucharistic rituals and everything is put away.
There are, of course, additional tasks to be done on weekdays - linen to be laundered, brass to be polished, by those who have time.
Involvement on the part of individual altar guild members varies, depending on the other obligations we have in our lives. Because we plan our schedule tailored to the needs of each member, serving on the Altar Guild can be the perfect job for a busy person who wishes to contribute directly to our worship. It is a privilege to do so, and a very flexible commitment.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. 2 Corinthians 2:14
The CSS Acolyte Corps consists of adult and teen acolytes who assist at the altar by acting as crucifers, torch bearers, thurifers and chalice bearers. Through individual and group trainings, and by following instructions in the CSS Acolyte Corps Customary, the worship of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church is made beautiful, orderly – and fun! The careful attention, sober presence and joyful attitudes of CSS Acolyte Corps bring great dignity and good order to our worship.
If any adult or teen (7th graders and up) are interested in learning more about this essential (and interesting) ministry, please contact Mother Liles.
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness... 2 Timothy 3:16
Lectors are assigned scriptural passages and intercessions to be read at the Sunday Eucharist, special liturgies such as Christmas and Holy Week, and certain weekday services. Members of our Lector's Guild are conspicuous by the pious fervor with which they declaim God's holy Word. Those of strong voice, clear diction, and with a desire to share the Scriptures with God's people in worship should contact Kristin Hardwick.
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2
Ushers welcome worshippers on Sundays with a smile and a service bulletin. Ushers direct worshippers to Childcare and Church School. Ushers collect the offering each Sunday and direct worshippers to communion.
For more information or to join the Usher's Guild, contact the office at 212-787-2755 ext 0 or email Kristin Hardwick, Executive Assistant to the Rector.
"The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar." Psalm 118:27
The Flower Guild's mission is to beautify our parish by arranging and caring for the flowers, plants and floral decorations. The members of the Flower Guild offer their dedication and creativity to the beauty of the worship at Christ & Saint Stephen’s by arranging flowers for Sunday services – and by decorating the church for Easter and Christmas.
During most of the year, Flower Guild members arrange flowers in our antique Victorian brass vases for Sunday services.
Classes in flower arranging for new Guild members are held throughout the year.
Flower Guild members pull out all the stops on Easter and Christmas when our church is filled with greenery, lilies, and other beautiful flowers. These special feast days require many hands – for those with busy schedules, being a twice-yearly Flower Guild member might be just right. Please consider helping make our worship beautiful by joining the CSS Flower Guild.
Contact the office for more information at 212-787-2755 ext 0 or email Kristin Hardwick, Executive Assistant to the Rector.