Instructions for St. Luke Liturgist
- If you like advance notice of the scriptures you will read, find them on the website at the end of this page and prepare in advance.
- Sometimes the church administrative assistant marks the passages in the pulpit Bible with sticky notes, but not always. It is good to show up in time to do that if it is not already done.
- The first Sunday that you are liturgist in a month, please show up for church about 10:30 and make sure to see where everything is, try the microphone, find the passages in the pulpit bible, etc. After the first Sunday, you can make your own judgment about how early to come, but please be at least 10 minutes early each Sunday (meaning 10:40 a.m.)
- If you have to miss a Sunday that you agreed to do, it's not a problem. It's definitely preferable to let someone know in advance, but if you don't, someone will take over and do it and they won't be upset. And sometimes you may help out by doing it for someone else. We want everyone to find being liturgist an enjoyable experience.
- The pastor always reads the Gospel scripture, so you don't have to prepare for that.
- Generally speaking, we like for people to be liturgist for a month, starting on the second Sunday of the month and going through the first Sunday of the next month. On the first Sunday, you will also assist with communion at the end of the service.
- If we have a guest pastor, then the liturgist has some more responsibility than usual. If that happens and you do not feel comfortable with taking on extra parts, please feel free to ask to have someone who has more experience be liturgist that Sunday. (While it is preferable to decide that you need someone else in advance, it is also acceptable to ask for help on that Sunday morning.) Depending on the desires of the guest pastor, the liturgist or others might need to take over any of these: beginning the Passing of the Peace, doing Children's Time, the Prayers of the People, and/or the Benediction. If there will be a guest pastor, show up about 20 minutes early and go over the program with the pastor so that you are both clear about who will do what.
Details about preparing the scriptures in advance:
Some people just want to read them in advance and others want to print them out (maybe in a larger font) so they don't have to look them up in the Bible. These resources make it possible for you to do either of those. Most of us have trouble remembering that we are supposed to say something at the end. If you are printing the scriptures, I suggest you add this at the end. If you are just using the pulpit bible, I recommend that you have a "sticky note" at the end of the reading with the ending comment for each reading, such as "This is the Word of the Lord."
Which scriptures: Find the right date in the United Methodist Church listing of the lectionary. This gives four readings and we usually only use two of them. John usually uses the gospel reading, which he does, and either the Old Testament reading or the epistle reading. Please be prepared to do any of the four, or else ask John which he has chosen. Usually he has those chosen by the Thursday before Sunday.
Where to find them: We use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. If you print the scriptures out in advance, be sure you do it from a site which has that translation of the Bible. The easiest way is to use the Vanderbilt Divinity School site to find them. Check to make sure this has the correct scriptures for that date. It is not specifically a Methodist site, so there may be small differences between this and the lectionary used by Methodists. (When I have seen differences, they are usually in terms of exactly which verse to end on, etc.) been differences, but not often.