Altar Guild

The liturgy of the Episcopal Church is what makes it so remarkable.  At our cathedral alone, we celebrate nearly 500 Eucharists a year and these are made possible by your Altar Guild members.  This is one of the most significant ministries in the church and it is open to anyone who finds their spiritual home in the preparation of the Lord's Table.  We prepare every aspect of the Eucharist and assist also at weddings, funerals, baptisms and ordinations.  We work with beautiful silver, brass, linens and vestments.  The candles and torches and incense enrich our worship, too.  "Our ministry is open to both women and men and we always welcome more members. Please contact us for a behind the scenes tour and a chance to ask questions."

 Contact:             Sarah Hill       sarahhill.fl@gmail.com

            Susan Regan   sfrcpa23@gmail.com

The Altar Guild — which is open to both men and women — is responsible for preparing for every service of Holy Eucharist: setting the altar with fair linen cloths, making sure the chalice and paten and enough bread and wine are in place. Members wash and iron the linens, polish the silver and brass, fill the candles and torches with oil, and stock the votive stands with candles. They care for the clergy vestments and the white albs they wear. St. Peter’s offers a service of Holy Eucharist at 12:05 p.m. Monday through Friday; at 5 p.m. Saturdays; and at two services on Sunday mornings. At least one Altar Guild member is present for every one of those services. They provide bread and wine for the monthly Children’s Eucharist. Altar Guild members are also assigned to other services: every funeral and wedding, special events and holidays. That works out to nearly 500 services per year. If you’d like to know more, please speak to either Sarah Hill (sarahhill.fl@gmail.com) or Susan Regan (sfrcpa23@gmail.com). Scheduling is flexible: Are you available only in summer, or only in winter, or only one or two days a month, or only on certain days of the week? They’re happy to accommodate your schedule.

Preparing the Altar, 500 Times a Year

I’m Sarah Hill and I’ve been a member of St. Peter’s Altar Guild for 20 years. What might surprise you is that I have been a member of various altar guilds since 1959! I learned the basics while in college at the University of Wisconsin and I have loved this ministry all these years. I met my husband, David, at the same Episcopal church and we have been married almost 56 years. We have two sons, three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Church is really the centerpiece of my life. I have taught French and English as a second language as well as hosting about 25 foreign students over the years. We love to travel and have sought out the Episcopal Church in many places. For the last 10 years, I have also loved being a Eucharistic Minister.

I’m Susan Regan. My husband, Jack, and I have been members of St Peter’s for about 20 years. I attend the 8 a.m. service on Sundays and usually serve as the attending Altar Guild member. Once a month I also serve as the Eucharistic Minister for the 8 a.m. service. In addition, I help out at Messy Church, VBS, and the LIGHT Dinners, and take an occasional turn helping out in the nursery. Jack and I also show movies in Harvard Hall on Friday evenings, a ministry started by the late Dr. Eddy Burns. In December, I retired after having worked as a CPA for 26 years. In January, I became the treasurer of the Diocesan Altar Guild.

I got involved in this ministry because ...
Sarah: As a cradle Episcopalian, I have always felt at home in a sacristy and the friends I have made through Altar Guild have been my closest and most special. I love to sew and needlepoint and find I can use these skills often. There are those who know I love to iron, too! I find that I can be a good resource person both at St. Peter’s and in the diocese, plus I am on the board of the National Altar Guild Association. I am just finishing a term as the president of the Province IV Altar Guild, which meets at Kanuga annually. I feel that I have a lot of background at this point in my life and it is time to leave my legacy.

Susan: I got involved in the Altar Guild because Fran Parsons, a longtime directress, asked me if I’d like to join. I had always been interested but thought I could not do it because I was working full-time. Turns out one can work and do Altar Guild! I have learned so much since I started this ministry — the historical background, the names and uses of the linens, the plates and chalices, vestments and equipment.

One great blessing I’ve received from this ministry is ...

Sarah: The chance to prepare and share the Eucharist. It is the epitome of living out my faith.

Susan: It has enriched my life. In addition to learning so much about the church, and the services, I have become closer in community with so many wonderful people. I consider it a pleasure and a privilege to serve on the Altar Guild.

The Altar Guild — which is open to both men and women — is responsible for preparing for every service of Holy Eucharist: setting the altar with fair linen cloths, making sure the chalice and paten and enough bread and wine are in place. Members wash and iron the linens, polish the silver and brass, fill the candles and torches with oil, and stock the votive stands with candles. They care for the clergy vestments and the white albs they wear. St. Peter’s offers a service of Holy Eucharist at 12:05 p.m. Monday through Friday; at 5 p.m. Saturdays; and at two services on Sunday mornings. At least one Altar Guild member is present for every one of those services. They provide bread and wine for the monthly Children’s Eucharist. Altar Guild members are also assigned to other services: every funeral and wedding, special events and holidays. That works out to nearly 500 services per year. If you’d like to know more, please speak to either Sarah Hill (sarahhill.fl@gmail.com) or Susan Regan (sfrcpa23@gmail.com). Scheduling is flexible: Are you available only in summer, or only in winter, or only one or two days a month, or only on certain days of the week? They’re happy to accommodate your schedule.