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Altar Guild

The Altar Guild is entrusted with the preparation of the chancel and its furnishings for corporate worship. Requirements, duties and definitions of church terminology are listed below.


Worship is our adoring response to the eternal God; it is the central and unique act of the church. The Altar Guild is entrusted with the preparation of the chancel and its furnishings for corporate worship. Meaningful worship requires reverent and thorough preparation. Serving in the Altar Guild is a privilege, as well as a service of faith and love to our God and Father. The responsibilities of the Altar Guild should be carried out with eagerness, humility and reverence.

The goal of the Altar Guild is to ensure that the sanctuary is kept beautiful and in good order to the glory of God for regular Sunday worship services, in addition to Lent, Easter, Christmas, baptism, wedding and funeral services, and other special events. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday, except during months that have five Sundays.

Call the church office at 812-332-1668 to find out how you may join the Altar Guild.

Weekly Checklist

Climate Control

  1. If the sacristy is cold when you arrive, raise the thermostat cover on the hallway wall beyond the restroom. There is a button on the right that reads “3 hour occupied” for heat. Keep the doors to the sanctuary closed to contain the heat.
  2. Check the humidifier water pan and empty as needed. Although it can fill daily in warm weather, there is an automatic shut-off to ensure that it will not overflow.

Housekeeping (to be completed on Saturday)

  1. Change the Eternal Light candle. Remember to change it before fifth Sundays when there is no communion.
  2. Dust the piano, organ and harpsichord as needed.
  3. Check floral arrangements to see if water should be added.
  4. Wipe the offering plates on the shelf in the back. Be sure to remove fingerprints.
  5. Dust the chancel furniture: altar, pulpit, flower shelf, chairs on both sides, baptismal font.
  6. Empty the wastebasket from under the sink.
  7. Recycle empty wine bottles and Eternal Light holders. Note: Janet Schaefer or Joan Bertermann may want Eternal Light holders for Spirit Camp or preschool.
  8. Check the 5 acolyte robes and launder as necessary.


Notify Judy VanOsdol, 812-824-7625, when supplies are down to the following counts:

Wine – Last bottle has been opened

Wafers – 2 sleeves left in the freezer

Altar candles – 2

Eternal Light candles – 3

Wicks for candle lighter – 2

Baptism candles – 2

Baptism napkins – 5

Baptism remembrance boxes – 5 

Liturgical Duties


  1. The Eternal Light candle is on the back wall behind the pulpit. Wash the red container as needed. Turn red holder sideways to carefully slide in a new candle to prevent cracking.
  2. The paschal candle is a large white candle that symbolizes the resurrection of Christ. It is lit for the Easter season, baptisms and funerals, at which times it is placed to the left of the altar. It should stand against the wall to the right of the altar, near the banner, at all other times.
  3. The Gospel (pulpit side) and Epistle (lectern side) altar candles represent the divine and human natures of Christ. Ensure that each “follower” (brass piece at the top that prevents candle wax from dripping down the side) is properly seated.
  4. Check the candle lighter for smoke stains. Be sure the acolyte has left the wick extended. When it is first extinguished and still warm, it will stick to the inside of the candle lighter tube if it is not pushed out a short distance. Replace the wick when needed. Wicks are in the box in the top drawer to the right of the sink.
  5. Be sure there are matches or a butane lighter on the counter for the acolytes.


  1. Determine the appropriate parament colors by checking the calendar to the right of the sink. Since there are two sets of some colors, check the photos in the binder leaning against the wall under the calendar. Paraments are stored in the large cabinet in the vestry (the room just beyond the restroom).


  1. The very large banner hanging on the wall requires two tall men and a ladder. Do not attempt to change the large banner.
  2. Small banners are stored in the closet to the right of the sink. If in doubt about the display of a small banner, check with one of the pastors, Judy VanOsdol or Deb Hackman in the office.

 Post Service

  1. Pour the extra consecrated wine into the flagon (glass pitcher). Wash the cups and allow them to drain on the wire racks inside the foil pans. Completely enclose the cups to avoid problems with ladybugs. Tightly close the foil/plastic pans.
  2. Place the extra hosts, including those in the host box, in the Ziplock bag in the top drawer.
  3. Wipe out the chalice, host box and any other items. Store in the anti-tarnish bags.
  4. Wipe the wood communion rail so wine doesn’t drip and leave stains.


  1. Close doors to the sacristy and vestry.
  2. Turn off church and narthex lights.
  3. Ensure that the outside door is locked.
  4. Ensure that the double doors to the education wing are propped open. The area used for the church nursery and Sunday school classroom is very uncomfortable on Sunday if circulation is blocked.
  5. When your duties for the month are complete, leave the church key in the top drawer to the right of the sink. There are two keys for Altar Guild use, each on a large wooden A.
Holy Communion
  1. Wash your hands!
  2. Fill communion cups slightly more than half full with wine. Leave one space empty on the outside ring of each tray so the first cup is easy to remove.
  3. For the host trays, refer to this chart.
Worship Service # Full Trays PLUS # Half Trays Hosts (Wafers) Special Notes
8:00 a.m.
(1st & 3rd Sundays)
3 2 Fill the covered host box; partially fill the chalice. Place 1 gluten-free wafer left of the host box on the paten (plate).* * Wash your hands before touching the gluten-free wafer.
10:30 a.m.
(2nd & 4th Sundays)
4 2 Fill both the host box and chalice. Place 1 gluten-free wafer left of the host box on the paten (plate).* One tray may be left on altar for 5 p.m. Use the special, smaller cloth to cover this single tray. It is kept in one of the drawers.Wash your hands before touching the gluten-free wafer.
5:00 p.m.
(2nd & 4th Sundays)
1 0 Use only the host box. If you cannot be at church to clean up, please call Deb Hackman in the office on Monday morning and ask her to remove and clean up.
Special Services
(New Year’s Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter, Pentecost, Reformation, All Saints Day)
Ask Pastor We celebrate communion in all services for special occasions. Be ready for the noon Ash Wednesday service and 5 p.m. services on special Sundays.

Note: Extra hosts are kept with the wine in the tall sacristy cabinet. Additional boxes are in the left freezer in the kitchen. Set an extra tube of hosts on the counter to ensure you have enough.

4.   Spread a 14” x 14” corporal (small, white square cloth) toward the back of the altar and slightly toward the lectern with the cross to the wall. After everything is covered, it will appear centered because of the height of the wine trays. Place filled wine trays on the cloth according to this drawing. Cover with the larger corporal.

wine trays

Holy Baptism
  1. Watch for a note that a baptism has been scheduled.
  2. If a Baptism Remembrance Box is not already on the counter, take one from the cabinet and place an empty baptism candle box inside.
  3. Place an embroidered baptism napkin on the baptismal font.
  4. Shortly before the service, fill the baptism font with warm water. Use the glass flagon (pitcher) in the tall sacristy cabinet to carry water to the font.
  5. After the baptism service, add the burned baptism candle, a bulletin and the Baptism Order of Service to the box. Present it to the family. Be sure to point out the features of the box, including the set of suggestions for celebrating Baptism Birthdays for years to come and the label for the child’s name and baptism date.
  6. Place a fresh candle in the holder on the wall.
  7. Remove water from the font.