Back to Worship Assistants Home

Below are suggestions for Communion Assistants:

The role of Communion Assistant is the simplest of the three "adult" worship leader roles, and requires the smallest time commitment.  If you are interested in serving but aren't able to commit to being an Assistant Minister or Lector, this is a good opportunity for you to help out. 

Calvary's need:  at least two Communion Assistants per Sunday morning service.  In situations where either the presiding pastor and/or the Intern plan to be missing, we sometimes need one or two more.

Sequence of activities: 

  1. Participate as usual:  for the entire service up until the Passing of the Peace (right after the prayers), enjoy the service as you typically do.
  2. Dress during the Peace:  when the Passing of the Peace begins, withdraw from the sanctuary to the sacristy (the little room left of the sanctuary with the robes) and dress in a robe with a "cinture" rope around yourself and a wooden cross around your neck.
  3. Get the elements:  once dressed, go back into the sanctuary, uncover the bread plate wine pitcher and two chalices, and pick up any two of these items.  The ushers will probably still be taking the offering when you do this.  Wait for them to finish.
  4. Take the elements forward:  when the ushers proceed up the aisle with the offering trays, follow them up.  Wait until they have handed the trays to the Lector, then step up to the altar, bow, and set the elements on the altar in reach of the Presiding Minister.  Then step around the altar and face out to the congregation.
  5. Receive communion:  after the Presiding Minister blesses the elements, the Presiding Minister and Assisting Minister will commune you.
  6. Administer communion:  as soon as you have taken the bread and wine, go over to the nearest set of communion trays and take the top tray out from under the tray stack lid. Wait for the the Presiding Minister (or whomever is administering the bread) and the Assisting Minister or Lector (one of whom usually administers wine from the chalice) and follow after them.
    • Work along the rail behind them, a foot or two behind, and hold the tray out to any adults and non-infant children who decline to drink directly from the chalice. Say "Blood of Christ, shed for you," to each of them.
    • At the 8:00 and 11:00 services, an acolyte or crucifer will come behind you to collect the empty glasses. At the 9:30 service, the communicants are to put their empty glasses into the receptical baskets which are put at the ends of the pews.
    • If a communicant gets confused and replaces an empty glass back in your tray of full ones, let him. If a communicant gets confused and takes a glass after having drunk from the chalice, that's also fine.
    • The red fluid in the glasses is wine, the yellow or transparent fluid in the glasses is grape juice, which is there for recovering alcoholics, pregnant women and/or anyone who doesn't want to drink wine. Whenever your tray runs out of either type of these glasses, return to the tray stack and get yourself a new tray.
  7. Finish with communion:   once everyone is done with communion on both sides of the sanctuary, you are welcome to either restack your remaining tray back into the tray stack from which you got it, or carry it into the back room adjacent to the sanctuary and set it on the counter next to the sink.
  8. Post-communion:   after you have finished with the elements, return to your place to one or the other side behind the altar and finish out the last communion hymn with the rest of the congregation. If they are seated, feel free to sit on the chair nearest the communion tray stack, on the outside edges of the pews, or on the pew if there's room. If the congregation is standing, remain standing for the duration
  9. Recessional:   when the acolyte and crucifer (who, depending on the service, may also be the Assistant Minister and Lector) process out, follow them around the altar and down the aisle. The Presiding Minister and Intern will follow after you. When you reach the back of the sanctuary, you can either exit or wrap around the back and continue singing with the congregation.
That's all there is to it. It sounds like a lot, but you will find, after having walked through it once, that most of the steps are easy and seem to be the most natural thing to do at the time. Remember that it's not a race, no one is grading your performance, and you're here to help enrich the Communion experience.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read through this, and for your service.