The Altar Guild is a volunteer group whose ministry is to care for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the church. Altar Guild members prepare the sanctuary for services, and clean up afterwards. Altar Guild members frequently supervise the decoration of the sanctuary of the parish with flowers.
The rector is the head of the Guild, but he or she cannot do all that must be done in preparation for all of the services. The Altar Guild plays an important role and must be reliable and dependable. The rector sets the rules, the style, and the tone of the services by his or her preference for flowers, placement of the vessels used in the services, and whether to use incense or not.
Most liturgical ministries are carried out in a very public way, for the entire congregation to see. The priests and deacons, the acolytes and readers, the musicians, the ushers, and almost all the rest do their work when everyone is there. The altar guild, however, is different. Most of the altar guild’s work happens in the days between Sunday and Sunday when no one is there to see. -The Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, NY (Posting on the National Altar Guild Association website)
Altar Linens & Stoles
Currently, the Good Shepherd Women in Ministry (Wailuku, Maui) are sewing palaka stoles and shawls (shown at left), and Chris Omura from Good Samaritan (Honolulu, Oʻahu) has volunteered to sew purificators, lavabos and corporals on request. For more information, pricing and details, contact Louise Aloy through the form shown above.