The ministry of the Altar Guild is deeply rooted in Scripture and Church history. Altar Guilds serve the clergy and the congregation by preparing the sanctuary for services and sacraments.
Altar Guilds prepare the church and altar table for worship, much in the same way we prepare our homes for family and guests on special days such as birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. This includes:
- set the table with communion bread and wine
- prepare the vessels, linens, and vestments
- organize sacristy spaces for storage of all the items we use
- arrange flowers and greens to adorn the altar
- check pew racks and information displays
- hang seasonal frontals, falls, and banners
- polish metal, wash crystal, iron linens
- develop connections and friendships with others as we work
- nurture and deepen our faith
We do this work out of love for our families, our God, and our church community.
A Diocesan Altar Guild (DAG) is an organization of members from parish Altar Guilds. Not all dioceses have a DAG organization. What any given Diocesan Altar Guild does depends on the skills and interests that exist within the parish Altar Guilds. Examples of what DAGS may do:
- One DAG focuses primarily on sewing linens and vestments. They offer training upon request.
- Another Diocesan Altar Guild holds one meeting per year and one quiet day during Lent.
- Another holds one social meeting per year.
The Diocese of California Altar Guild was formed over 75 years ago. Most recently we have served our membership by holding two general meetings per year with guest speakers and presentations, conducting education and training programs, publishing a hardcopy newsletter, hosting social events, and sponsoring outreach efforts, such as making shorts and dresses for children in Haiti.
In 2014 and 2015 the Diocesan Altar Guild is exploring how we can best support parish Altar Guild ministries in the new century. Based on discussions at our Fall General Meeting in 2014 we identified the following ways we might serve parish Altar Guilds in the 21st century by:
- making greater use of technology
- holding smaller group meetings for each deanery
- holding one large group meeting per year in a central location