ACOLYTES, CHALICE MINISTERS, AND LECTORS
These service ministries involve assisting the Clergy with the various worship liturgies at the Cathedral. Each of these ministries requires the individual to be committed to show up on time when they are scheduled to serve. That commitment also requires that they will be knowledgeable of their specific responsibilities and duties in the worship service, and have prepared themselves for their participation through study and prayer. Prior to their participation in a worship service, all new acolytes, lectors and chalice ministers would complete all of the necessary training for each of these ministries. We would sincerely welcome your interest in these rewarding service opportunities.
ACOLYTES carry torches and crosses (and sometimes flags, banners, and doves) in procession; light and extinguish candles before and after the worship service; lead the Gospel procession; serve the High Altar; carry the Gospel Book in procession; listen reverently (along with all other church members) and participate fully in the worship service. Acolytes typically serve one or two times each month, and also at special services during Easter, Advent, and Evensongs.
CHALICE MINISTERS walk in procession, sing the appropriate hymns, and, like the Acolytes they participate fully in the worship service. Finally, they assist the Clergy in the Celebration of Holy Communion by administering the Chalice. Chalice Ministers typically serve once every other month.
LECTORS read the lessons, and lead the Prayers of the People at the 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. services. Lectors must have a strong voice, an ability to read well and take the responsibility for advance preparation, which includes reading the lesson several times and checking pronunciation with the Clergy. Lectors typically read once every other month.
According to the Book of Common Prayer, unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God’s grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body (BCP: 861). Members of the Anointer’s Guild work in teams of two on a rotating basis at the 10:30 a.m. service. Anointers receive communion with the choir, and then take their place at the transept altars to be available for prayer with requesting members of the congregation. Compassion and confidentiality are key for service in this ministry. The clergy provide training and regular support for Anointers. Serving as a member of the Anointer’s Guild will profoundly affect your prayer life. It will deepen your reliance on and trust in God and draw you into a deeper participation with the Body of Christ.
CATHEDRAL GERONTOLOGY CENTER
One of the ministries to the residents and staff of the Cathedral Gerontology Center is Sunday morning worship service. A small group of St. John’s Cathedral volunteers conduct the daily office of Morning Prayer every Sunday morning at 10:30 in the Alcove adjacent to the facility’s main dining room. Two of the volunteers of the small group are scheduled on a rotating basis to conduct the worship service each Sunday. Once a month (second Sunday of the month) Holy Communion is brought from the 8:00 a.m. worship service at the Cathedral to the congregation assembled at the Gerontology Center. All of the volunteers are licensed worship leaders, and some are also licensed lay Eucharistic visitors. The Service of Holy Eucharist is held every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at this same location by a priest from our Diocese.
PEW BAG MINISTRY
The Pew Bag Ministry provides the bags filled with items to occupy the young attendees of our services. Regular replacement of books, crayons, pencils and pipe cleaners make this ministry an ongoing job.
Any public event or celebration requires much behind-the-scenes activity. If the event is to have dignity and meaning, there must be care and preparation. Liturgy is the church’s expression of worship, an evolving demonstration of its relationship with God. We use rituals and symbols to express our faith in the God revealed to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though we may regularly attend the various liturgies of the church, many of us are unaware of the work that is involved in preparation. We may assume that somehow, by some miracle, the table is set, vestments are laid out, and linens are ironed. At St. John’s Cathedral, it is a dedicated group known as the Altar Guild. They faithfully care for our holy things and even arrange the flowers. (Would you like to give a gift of flowers in memory of someone you love? Click here.)
TAPE AND CD MINISTRY
The Tape and CD Ministry provides our Sunday worship services, at no charge, to those who are unable to attend because of health, work or other personal reasons. The Cathedral office mails the tapes, CDs, and a Sunday bulletin on every Friday. Many of our other members also enjoy listening to the service again, so we offer tapes and CDs to them for a donation of $3.00 and $4.00, respectively. Both can be purchased in the Narthex following the 10:30 a.m. service. This ministry has been offered for nine years and reaches far beyond the Jacksonville area. Special distributions can be arranged with the tape ministry coordinator.
Ushers greet and assist members of the congregation at services of worship and share responsibility for orderly services. The Usher is often the first person to greet a visitor or a regular communicant and the last person to say “farewell.” Ushers are scheduled once a month for regular Sunday morning services and are usually asked to serve once every four or five weeks. During the week, Ushers may be requested for special events or scheduled services. Orientation and training are provided for this ministry.
A verger is a committed lay minister within the Church, who assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshaling of processions. The office of Verger has its roots in the earliest days of the Church’s history. The contemporary office of Verger is experiencing a rapid expansion within the Episcopal Church, and the Verger’s Guild at St. John’s Cathedral sets the example for the Diocese of Florida. Our Vergers are volunteers with a special calling to the ordering and conduct of the Church’s liturgy. Called to this ministry by invitation of the Dean, Vergers relieve the clergy of the burden of liturgical detail so that they can concentrate on their priestly duties to “preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.”
The Docents Guild offers information, history and hospitality in the form of formal tours to the visitors of the Cathedral. Tours are offered after all services each Sunday. In addition, tours are available for students, seniors or visiting tourists upon request. Guild members are friendly and knowledgeable enthusiasts on the subject of Cathedral history, art and trivia. Upon signing up for this ministry, docents are given instruction in the materials they receive. They meet quarterly for updates, presentations and new information on designated Saturday mornings. Training to become a tour guide is rigorous but rewarding.
THE GROW (Grow, Retain, Orient, Welcome) TEAM
Members of our GROW team contact newcomers who have attended St. John’s Cathedral. They also place our white and purple Welcome Bags around the baptismal font to present to those who attend for the first time. And they organize social events for newcomers.
SUNDAY COFFEE HOUR
Sunday Coffee Hour is a long-standing tradition at St. John’s Cathedral and offers an opportunity for members to greet friends and meet new ones. Coffee Hour is held in Taliaferro Hall after the Sunday 10:30 a.m. service. Most Sundays, light refreshments are served. For special occasions, a festive Coffee Hour with delicious goodies is offered. We welcome food contributions as well as assistance with preparation.
All are welcome to join this group of outdoor garden workers! We meet about six times a year on Saturday mornings to weed, trim, and mulch; plant beautiful flowers and enjoy each other’s company. Our mission is to reflect the love and welcome of our people inside the beautiful Cathedral on the outside. On most Saturday workdays, a Cathedral angel provides lunch for everyone!