The members of the Altar Guild prepare for all services and especially for Holy Communion. The altar is dressed according to the colours of the church calendar, and the vessels, linens, wine, and wafers for communion are set out. After the service, whoever is on duty that week takes the vessels into the sacristy and washes them, and later cleans/launders the linens. The Guild also purchases and arranges the flowers on the altar. After the service, we arrange for the flowers to be given to someone who is in need of cheering up.
The Altar Guild orders the wine and wafers and all items used for our church services. During the year, a group effort decorates the church in the season we are celebrating — always an enjoyable time.
Music is an extremely important part of the liturgy at St. John’s by-the-Lake. We are currently establishing a choir and welcome those interested in joining this musical group. Occasionally, we have guests lead us in praise and worship hymns. As well, we invite local guest musicians to entertain us with their gifts. Special events include a service of Lessons and Carols during the Christmas season and ongoing musical performances throughout the year.
We welcome our new music director, Catherine Taylor, on April 17th!
Readers and Intercessors
All Ministry of the Laity are members of the congregation who volunteer to read the designated passages of the Holy Bible each week. They take the time to review the readings prior to the service to ensure they deliver the message with clarity.
The Intercessions or Prayers of the People are prayed by any member of the congregation who chooses to volunteer for this ministry. The prayers are more structured, and there are recommended guidelines for various thanksgivings to include the following: Prayers may be offered for the Church, (the Queen) and all in authority, the world, the local community, those in need, the bereaved, and those departed this life.
Licensed Lay Readers
A lay reader is authorized lead certain services by license from the Bishop. These services are Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. The lay reader is authorized to preside over the service, to preach and to act in the absence of the parish minister at these services.
Sometimes a lay reader will, at the request of the parish priest, take part in a service together with the priest. A lay reader may, at the request of the parish minister, assist at baptisms, weddings, and funerals. A lay reader may preside at services in another parish with the approval of the parish priest. A lay reader may administer communion to people unable to attend services using consecrated elements. A special license from the Bishop and approval of the parish priest are required to permit lay administration of communion.
One becomes a lay reader at the invitation of the parish priest who then seeks the approval and license from the Bishop. Licenses are for five years and are renewable. Lay readers receive some training and education in programs organized by the diocese.