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Gerti Reagan GarnerGerti Reagan Garner

I love setting the table for dinner parties and holiday meals. It’s satisfying to make the table inviting and attractive. As a member of the Altar Guild I have the privilege of doing that for the most significant meal we share, the Eucharist.

As soon as I became a member of All Saints Church I received an invitation to join the Altar Guild and was very intrigued. Growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, I understood that only priests could touch the consecrated wafers, the chalice, or the tabernacle, where the consecrated wafers resided between Masses. The idea that I could actually set the table for our worship service was exciting and I accepted the invitation. Of course, the Roman Church now also has lay people involved in assisting with the Eucharist.

At first it seemed daunting to learn all the different names and identifying marks: What’s the difference between a chalice and a ciborium; a corporal and a purificator? It comes with time. The worship service became richer and more meaningful as I learned more about all these things. We work in teams and members are happy to answer questions for one another.

Being a member of the Altar Guild is like all other ministry groups here, one becomes a member of a community. We work together; laugh together; care for one another, and support one another. I’ve been part of this ministry for over 25 years. I love having a part in the worship service and most of all, I love being part of the community that sets the table for everyone.