The job of a Christian church usher is a volunteer position; ushers typically choose this type of position as a way to increase their service to God, their house of worship and their fellow man. Although the duties of an usher are generally the same from church to church, other particulars may vary. This may include the dress code, the length of time ushers spend on their feet and whether or not ushers are primarily male or both male and female.
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Greeter and Seater
Ushers in the Christian church greet members of the congregation as they arrive at the church and walk into the sanctuary for church service. They hand church members a bulletin (program) that explains the order of the services, words to songs the congregation will sing collectively, as well as names of congregation members that need prayer, congratulatory news and information regarding church events. Ushers also show parishioners to their seats and help individuals find seating when the service is overcrowded. In these situations, they may also retrieve additional chairs, or ask men to stand so that the handicapped, pregnant women or children can sit down.
Assist with the Service
It is the usher's responsibility to help the church service run smoothly. To this end, ushers distribute envelopes for church members to seal their offerings as well as pass out and retrieve the collection baskets. They also assist with communion. Depending on the type of service the church hosts, ushers may help parishioners to the priest or pastor so they can receive communion directly, or they might pass out wine (or grape juice) and crackers so the congregation can take communion on their own.
Provide Directions and Assistance
Ushers assist congregation members with anything they might need. This includes directions and/or assistance to the bathroom, directions to the lost and found, and directions to other amenities the church may have, such as a bookstore, a place to purchase a recording of the service or Bible study for children. Ushers should also know the answers to questions regarding the time, the length of the service and the times and locations of other church events that may be occurring throughout the week. In addition, ushers are typically trained in how to direct and assist the congregation in the case of an emergency.
Clean and Stock
Ushers ensure the church is prepared for the church service, or any other event that may be occurring. This might include sweeping the sanctuary before and after service, searching the pews for trash or items that should be put in the lost and found and stocking the pews with Bibles, hymnals, devotionals and any other materials the church leaves for its parishioners during service.
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