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Liturgist Guide

updated April 6, 2013

Overall: The bulletin is usually finished by the Friday beforehand, and it can be emailed to you, or you can pick up a copy at the church. It's a good idea to read your bible passages ahead of time, and make sure that you know how to pronounce all of the words. The church has a Bible Dictionary which you can use to look up the pronunciation of names and places. There's also a good web site at which offers a pronunciation guide for Biblical words. If you would like to print a copy of your Bible readings, there's a site which offers the New Revised Standard Version at

Be sure to speak fully and clearly. During the parts of the service when the congregation is responding along with you (usually shown with bold print or italics in the bulletin), adjust your pace so that everyone stays together. A group of people speaks much more slowly than a single person! Also, any part of the Service marked with an "*" means that the congregation should stand.

Entrance: You will enter the Sanctuary along with the Choir and the Pastor. The Liturgist sits to the left of the pulpit (as you face the congregation), and the Pastor to the right. Remain standing until the Pastor sits down, then take your seat. Remain seated while the Pastor gives the Welcome, and the choir sings the Choral Introit.

When to approach lectern: When it is time for the Call to Worship, stand up and take your place at the lectern. You may want to adjust the microphone to suit yourself before beginning.

Call to Worship: Please begin with something like "Please join me in the Call to Worship that's in your bulletin".

Prayer of Invocation: Please begin with "Let us pray".

Hymn: Please introduce the Hymn by saying "Our hymn of praise is..." and then give the hymn number and title.

Call to Confession: The congregation usually remains standing after the first Hymn (indicated by an "*" on the left hand side of the page). Read the Call to Confession, then the congregation will join in with you on the Prayer of Confession. Remember to adjust your pace accordingly as the congregation begins speaking with you. At the end of the Prayer, allow about 30 seconds for Silent Confession before beginning the Assurance of Pardon which follows.

Assurance of Pardon: You don't need to say "Assurance of Pardon" - just say the words!

Prayer for Illumination: This typically follows The Peace. Please begin with something like "Please join me in the Prayer for Illumination". Again, remember to adjust your pace to stay with the congregation.

Old Testament and Epistle Readings: Many worshippers like to read these passages in the Bible while you are speaking, so it is very important that you read slowly enough that they can stay up with you. Be sure to give the Book, chapter and verse before you begin, and allow a few seconds so that people can pick up their Bibles and turn to the correct pages if they wish. Also, if you feel so inclined, it is good to do some research, and put the readings in context before you begin.

After the readings, the liturgist usually says something like "The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God."

After you have finished, just leave the pulpit and sit down with the congregation without ceremony.

Other Notes: "The Peace" is typically done by the pastor, but sometimes by the liturgist. It's a good idea to check with the pastor to see who is doing it!

During the Easter Season, the "Prayer of Adoration" usually follows the first Hymn after the Prayer of Invocation. The congregation should remain standing for this prayer.

-- Liturgist Guide as PDF file