Guidelines for Ushering
- Ushers for Christmas Eve Services need to arrive 45 minutes in advance-6:15 p.m. for the 7 p.m. service and 9:15
p.m. for the 10 p.m. service. For Easter Sunday services, ushers should arrive at 6:15 a.m. for the 7 a.m. Sunrise Service and by
9:15 a.m. for the 10 a.m. Mid-Morning Family Service
We will meet in the parlor for a brief orientation and assignment of duties.
- Ushers are asked to dress up for the occasion. Men should be wearing ties and a suit or sport coat. Red
(Christmas) or white carnations (Easter) have been ordered for all ushers so that you will be identified to worshippers who may
need your help. Along with the carnation, all ushers are asked to wear their name tags.
- Ushering on Christmas Eve and Easter morning will begin a half-hour prior to the start of the services. Ushers
should be in place at that time, ready to receive and welcome members, friends, and guests.
- Worshippers should be seated in the lower sanctuary. Only when no more pews are available there
should balcony seating commence. Families with children should be encouraged to use the last two pews of the first floor
sanctuary which have been reserved for them and discouraged from using the balcony altogether. Given the sensitive acoustics of
our sanctuary, all talking and noise tends to resound more loudly from the balcony than the first floor pews.
- Late arrivals to Christmas and Easter services should be personally ushered to an available pew, preferable along
the side aisles, at times indicated by the order of service. No late arrival should be ushered into the sanctuary during prayers,
readings from scripture, or anthems performed by the choir or soloists. In ushering late arrivals the goal should be to minimize the
disruption to the worship experience of those already seated.
Politeness, Courtesy, and Friendliness Matters
- In ushering on Christmas Eve and Easter morning, you will be greeting and
meeting many who are visiting our church for the first time or returning to the pews after a long absence. As ambassadors of
Christ, our politeness, courtesy, and friendliness matters, communicating our warmth and caring as a congregation. Please go out
of your way to be friendly, helpful, and accommodating to everyone who enters our sanctuary. Smile!
Specific Assignments and Posting of Ushers
Prior to the service ushers will be assigned different responsibilities and posted in different spots and locations in the narthex,
sanctuary, and lobby areas of our church. In some cases, an usher may be assigned more than one of the responsibilities
- Ushers should be posted as greeters (1) in the vestibule of the church, leading into the narthex; (2) in the west lobby;
and (3) in the hallway in front of the St. Paul Courtyard. Besides vocally welcoming arriving worshippers, those assigned as
greeters should provide directions to the sanctuary and lavatories, as well as answer any other questions that may arise. They
should also be ready to provide welcome brochures to guests of members and first-time visitors.
Distribute Orders of Service
- Ushers distributing orders of service will stand at each entrance to the church sanctuary where
worshippers are seated for services. There should be one usher at each side aisle entrance off the narthex and two standing at the
center aisle. One of the ushers at the center aisle should have large print bulletins in hand. Those who prefer large print hymnals
should be asked whether they would also like a large print hymnal--available within the usher's easy reach. Ushers distributing
orders of service should also be posted at the doors to the office and the hallway leading to the sculpture courtyard-both at the front
of sanctuary-until just before the start of the service. In distributing orders of service focus on the arriving worshippers: courteously
avoid distracting conversations with other ushers or others who are mingling near you.
Distribute Assistive Listening Devices
- One usher will be charged with supervising distribution of assistive listening devices.
He/she should be standing just outside the Ushers' Room, ready to help those in need of the available equipment. The small table
in the narthex may be used for those retrieving and returning the equipment. It is important for the supervising usher to know how
to operate the assistive listening devices in order to answer questions of those who have never used them before. All six assistive
listening devices have been recently repaired and are in good operational condition.
Assist Families with Young Children
- At least one usher should be attentive to the needs of families with young children
attending services. The last two pews on both sides of the sanctuary are especially reserved for families with children. Please let
arriving families know that the Ushers' Room is also available to them in the event that their child requires changing, begins to cry
loudly, or becomes uncomfortable or disruptive during the worship service. Upon request, children's packets-including crayons and
drawing materials--should be provided to families.
Assist Worshippers with Disabilities
- Ushers are needed to assist worshippers with disabilities on an one-on-one basis.
Assigned ushers should greet any disabled worshippers in the narthex and personally usher them to an accessible pew. If they
have arrived in a wheelchair and can transfer to a pew, please let them know that (1) we will park their folded wheelchair in the
narthex during the service to avoid aisle clutter and (2) will return it to them promptly after the last hymn so that they can depart
ahead of the other worshippers if they wish. Worshippers unable to transfer to a pew who intend to remain in their wheelchairs for
the service should use the center aisle only-the space in the side aisles is too narrow to accommodate a wheelchair without safety
hazard to others.
- The altar candles will be lit by an usher walking up the center aisle with the pastor. At Easter time, in addition to
the altar candles, the paschal candle, juts below the chancel steps must be lit.
Ringing of the Church Bell
- An usher should ring the church bell at the start of the service, prior to the organ prelude. The timing
is indicated by the order of service for worship.
Assist with Communion
- Depending upon the size of the congregation for services, eight to twelve ushers may be needed to
assist with pew communion in the lower sanctuary and balcony. With a simple nod of the head the pastor dismisses all communion
servers from the chancel once they have received their trays of wafers or grape juice. However, the head elder, standing next to
the pastor, signals when ushers should begin serving the communion elements to those in the pew, as well as when you should
return with your empty trays to the chancel. Please watch and wait for that nod. Ushers serving communion to worshippers in the
balcony do not travel between the chancel and balcony. Instead, communion trays-blessed with prayer prior to the service-will
already be available in the balcony for distribution.
Distribute Friendship Books
- During the prelude four ushers are needed to distribute Friendship Books to each pew from the
center aisle. Immediately afterwards, the ushers should return to the narthex. The completed pages of the Friendship Books need
to be collected after worshippers depart from the service.
Monitoring Front Stairs and Side-walk/ Emergency Assistance
- Both before and after the worship service, an usher should be
positioned at the bottom of the outside front steps to provide any necessary assistance to departing worshippers. A bag of ice melt
is stored in the closet under the stairway to the balcony for last-minute use on the front church stairs and walk. In addition, in event
of emergency, both a First Aid kit and a blanket are available in the Ushers' Room. EMS services can be directly called on the
telephone also located in the Ushers' Room. It is not necessary to dial "1" for outgoing calls. Ushers monitoring the front stairs and
side-walk should dress warmly for their own comfort.
Clean-Up of Sanctuary
- Immediately following services, the assistance of all ushers is needed to remove candles, worship
bulletins, and other papers left behind as well as to straighten the Bibles, hymnals, and envelopes located in the pew racks. By
working together we can quickly insure that the sanctuary is ready for the next worship service.