The Verger Today
Even though the history of verging and vergers goes back over 700 years, the ministry of service and welcome from the vergers of the Episcopal Church is thriving in the twenty-first century! Today's vergers are laypersons who serve the church in a ministry of service and welcome. Often the visitor will see the verger in a simple cassock moving about the church preparing for worship. The verger is able to respond to any inquiry concerning the upcoming service, church facilities or current program offerings. The verger's logistical and behind the scenes support allow the clergy more time for pastoral and sacramental responsibilities. We often say that every parish has a verger whether or not they are identified as such. Some typical verger duties are assigning, training and checking in lectors, chalice bearers, acolytes and prayer intercessors. The verger often coordinates with the altar guild and funeral guild. In some parishes the verger checks lighting and sound.
The precise duties of the verger will be specific to each parish church. For instance, in some parishes the verger will process at all liturgies and in others, they only process on Feast or Festival days. Especially helpful with visiting clergy or special services, the verger checks on additional seating, hospitality and welcoming newcomers. In parishes of any size, clergy who incorporate the verger position wonder how they ever did without vergers!
The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church offers a self study training course. For even the most experienced lay minister, this training course is useful in forming the verger's awareness of how best to support the worship of the parish as prescribed by the rector. You are not required to take the course to be a member of the Guild or to be a verger. Completing the course results in being awarded a Certificate of Completion. All members who complete the training course are recognized as a "Fellow in the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church."
This site is particularly supportive in helping the verger of today with the resources they need to fulfill their ministry of welcome in their own parish.
Please contact us we are ready to lend you a hand in the process of attaining more knowledge about your role as a verger in God's church.