Introduction to the Parish Customary

The Vestry Worship Commission believes that corporate worship should be meaningful to everyone who is a part of our faith community. Regular attendance and participation in corporate worship should sustain, enrich and encourage us on our faith journey and, through us, grow the ministries of the Church and Emmanuel parish. The Worship Commission also believes that the liturgy of worship is enhanced when those participating in the leadership of worship are knowledgeable of their roles and responsibilities, as well as the roles and responsibilities of those around them. To facilitate that understanding, this customary has been developed to provide clarity, direction, and consistency in the practice of liturgical worship in Emmanuel Church.

Basically, a customary is a set of instructions for various liturgical ministries of worship. A customary typically contains a chapter specific to each ministry such as Worship Leaders, Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Intercessors, Acolytes, etc. Instructions within each chapter are based upon commonly accepted Episcopal worship practices, as they are specifically implemented within a particular parish or diocese. Instructional chapters for other ministries such as the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild may also be included.

The Customary is not intended to be a rigid set of rules that must be followed if one is to serve in any of these lay ministries. Rather, it is hoped that Emmanuel’s customary will be a resource for those leading worship, or those who may wish to join one of these important ministries, so that the worship experience of everyone who chooses to worship with us is meaningful and further enhanced.