Usher Guide



Prepared by The Worship Ministry Team

Trinity Lutheran Church

Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

(Revised February 15, 2010)


Download a PDF copy of the current Usher Guidelines for printing.


  1. Please review the volunteer schedule on the church bulletin board and in the parish newsletter to determine when you are assigned. Mark this date on your personal calendar!
  2. It is very important that the proper number of ushers are on duty at all times. Therefore, if you cannot be present on the date assigned it is essential that you mark the volunteer calendar on the church bulletin board accordingly. If you make arrangements for your own substitute please make sure this change is reflected on the volunteer schedule on the bulletin board. (Mark the schedule yourself and e-mail or call the church secretary ( (587-1088). Please do this with as much advanced notice as possible.
  3. Be present at least 15 minutes before the service begins.
  4. Make sure the church is comfortable and in order.
  5. Greet the people as they enter and hand them a church bulletin. (Bulletins and other materials are always kept in the bulletin rack in the transept and on the pedestal stand in the rear of the nave.) Also please remember to hand out the children’s packets to worshippers with children.
  6. As the church becomes crowded, assist the worshippers in obtaining comfortable seating.
  7. At the time of the offering, assist in taking up the collection.
  8. A count of the people present is necessary for the church records. These include the nursery, choir, acolytes, etc. – and don’t forget yourself!
  9. When the count has been completed, record it on the form provided for that purpose; these forms are kept in the hymn book rack on the back of the last pew on the right side of the nave as you face the altar. Place this completed form in the secretary’s mail slot after the service.
  10. At communion, one usher will assist communicants on each side of the steps leading to the altar. People who are coming to the altar, but with great difficulty walking, should be directed to the closest available position at the communion rail. (Make it possible for them to walk as short a distance as possible.)
  11. At communion, the third usher will control movement to and from the table – beginning with the transept, back to front, and then from both sides (front to back) in the nave. (The communion rail holds about 15 people at a time.) (Note: Normally on Sundays when the pouring chalice and the common cup are used, the ushers on the transept side need to hold the empty tray for those seated in that area of the building; otherwise there can be congestion. (There is a stand for the tray of used glasses that can be set by the pulpit.) In turn, the usher on the organ side needs to offer empty glasses and receive them from choir members who choose not to use the common cup.) In addition, on special occasions a different procedure might be required. Whenever this is the case, you will receive specific instructions from the pastor.
  12. When the general distribution to the congregation is finished, those persons who are not able to come to the altar will receive the sacrament in their pew.
  13. When the service has ended and the worshippers are leaving, any windows that might have been opened should be closed, pews checked for articles left behind, bulletins removed, hymnals returned to racks and lights turned off.
  14. If you notice any visitors, show them the guest register and ask them to sign it. (If you are not sure if a person is a guest, check with the pastor if you have the opportunity.)
  15. At the close of the service, if the pastor is not at your door, it is suggested that you greet the people as they leave.
  16. Please direct any questions or suggestions to the pastor or to the chairperson of the Worship Team.
  17. The first person listed in the bulletin for a given service will be responsible for the coordination of the usher duties for that service.
  18. The ushers are responsible for operating the lights. Before the service the rheostats are dimmed to about 2/3 of full lumination. Prior to the announcements and confession they should be increased to full brightness. (On Saturday evenings and at the contemporary services, increase the lighting to the limit cards that have been placed on the rheostats.) Also, please make sure the paddle fans are turned on. After the dismissal following the closing hymn, the lights can be dimmed to 2/3 brightness
  19. Late arrivals: People who arrive during the Confession should be asked to wait at the back of either the nave or the transept until the Confession is completed. Then the ushers should assist those people to find appropriate seating near the rear of either the nave or the transept.
  20. A few concluding thoughts . . .
  • Common sense needs to inform the manner in which you carry out your duties.
  • Please dress in a manner appropriate for your duties. Please avoid casual attire.
  • Also, please avoid gum chewing.
  • Students involved in Confirmation Ministry who choose to serve as an usher to fulfill requirements of that program: a special training session will be offered in October to review the responsibilities of the ushers. Participation in this training session will be required in order to receive credit for this service.