Grace Episcopal Church
The Ministry of a Verger
By Verger Dave Rubin
So who’s that guy in the black and grey robes carrying a stick who sometimes is in the Procession? That’s Dave Rubin, Grace’s Verger. I’m not ordained, like a Bishop, Priest, or Deacon; but am a member of the laity who has taken certain vows. In ancient days, the job of the Verger was to protect the members of the Procession from animals or people who might want to steal the holy vessels. Nowadays, the Verger can best be described as the butler of the church. I’m kind of a perfectionist; and it’s my responsibility to see that all the different parts of the Service, like Ushers, Readers, Chalice Ministers, Acolytes, and others all work together; so the ordained folk can do what they do best: lead the congregation through a joyous and successful worship experience here at Grace. At a cathedral, the Verger will lead the procession, setting a dignified pace and pointing out to visiting clergy where they sit for the service. Here at Grace, things are simpler. I may not be in the Procession or sitting behind the altar every Sunday, but you may be sure that I’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Additional duties of the Verger vary from church to church and may include such things as the monthly scheduling of Lay Ministries such as Readers, Prayer Team, and others; answering questions members of the congregation might have concerning liturgical issues; and working with the Clergy and office staff to ensure that the Service Bulletin is accurate for the current liturgical season. I find it a rewarding and enjoyable calling and would encourage anybody with an interest in the Church’s liturgy and in helping out behind the scenes to contact me or a member of the Clergy to discuss serving Grace as a Verger.