Usher Guidelines

Ushers are ministers of hospitality, and your willingness to serve in this capacity is greatly appreciated. Usher teams fall under the responsibility of the Worship Committee. Several years ago the ushers decided that each team would have their own rotating captain and each team would find their own new recruits for ushers and taxi drivers.  Recruiting additional ushers is a great way to involve members as involvement is key to congregational life. The months the teams are assigned to rotate annually. In addition to Sundays, each team will usher at special services (Lenten, Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas, etc.) that fall within their assigned month. Let your team know if you will be gone when it is your turn to usher. Your most important function at any worship service is to be assisting ministers. Your ministry of welcome to those who enter for worship is crucial, helping to create an atmosphere of hospitality, warmth and acceptance. You are hosts on behalf of the congregation; please be attentive to all worshippers. The Worship Committee is available to assist you with any concerns or to help with recruiting.

Before Worship:

  • Arrive at church at least 30 minutes before the worship service begins.
  • Check lights and thermostats; make certain the worship area is ready.
  • Check with Pastor about any possible extra duties for that day.
  • Leave two bulletins in the front pew for acolytes.
  • Greet everyone! No one should walk into our church without a friendly greeting. Watch for opportunities to introduce people. Watch especially for visitors and people who come alone. One usher should be by the elevator to greet. Some of the ministry of welcome may take place after the service is over. Introduce yourself to visitors. Make a point to talk to children.
  • Usher visitors to a pew. Most regular worshippers are comfortable seating themselves, but be aware of circumstances where they may need assistance.
  • Watch for people who might need special help, such as those with crutches, walkers, or in wheelchairs. Offer the wheelchair/walker adapted pews to those who may not be aware of them.

During Worship:

  • The steeple bell should be rung seven times immediately following the Opening Hymn.
  • Do not seat latecomers during prayers; please ask them to wait until the prayer is finished.
  • Check on the nursery, not only to count them in the attendance, but to see that there is an adult in attendance.
  • Count the attendance at every worship service (including mid week) and record it on an attendance record sheet.
  • Please participate in the worship service when not busy with duties. Ushers are assisting ministers and are called to help in the leadership of the whole worship.
  • To keep the service flowing, begin the offering and communion ushering as soon as possible.
  • Offering: Offering is usually brought to the altar during the last verse of the offering hymn. Wait until offering plates are placed on the altar before leaving.
  • Communion: Put the communion altar railing in place after the communion assistants are by the altar. If the altar railing has not been set out for you, it should be in the altar guild room. If someone is unable to come to the altar for communion, ask them if they would like communion brought to them and alert the Pastor or communion assistants.
  • Baptism: Check to see if at least the first two rows on the north side have reserved signs (found in the far left drawers of the little kitchen) for the family and sponsors. Baptism immediately follows the offering. After giving the offering plates to the Pastor, usher the baptism family and sponsors to the baptismal font. One usher should remain upfront to hand the family or sponsors the baptism banner after the baptism; this usher may sit on the pulpit side seat.
  • Special Services: Many special services require additional usher duties and the Pastor or Worship Coordinator will review this with the team before the service begins.

After Worship:

  • Please tidy up the worship area by picking up bulletins, placing hymnals in the racks, etc. If there are no activities in the sanctuary following worship, turn off the lights and adjust the thermostat.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS AN USHER!

Revised by Ushers and Worship Committee June 2009, Reviewed December 2011
Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church