The Proper Etiquette for Church Ushers

Written by noelle carver
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The Proper Etiquette for Church Ushers
Church ushers lead worshippers to their seats quietly and efficiently. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Church ushers help guide worshippers to their seats before a service starts. While church rules and forms of etiquette vary for each church, especially in different countries, basic rules of etiquette help an usher --- and a congregation --- know how to act appropriately.


Ushers greet each worshipper who comes into church. Proper etiquette calls for a nod and a smile, a handshake or, if the usher is friends with the attendee, a friendly hug. Small conversation is OK, but ushers need to be free to help the guests finds seats or point them to an open section.

Staying Quiet

Because the congregation may begin praying or singing or the pastor may start his sermon, ushers remain quiet when guiding worshippers to their seats. If a churchgoer shouts to a friend across the church, the usher may kindly ask her to take her seat quietly.

No Food or Drink

Ushers may not eat or drink anything while on duty. If an usher is in urgent need of a sip of water, he may go to the small room where the ushers keep their belongings to have a drink. After the service, some churches serve refreshments, which ushers, and the whole congregation, can enjoy.

Distributing Bulletins

Ushers can hand out the church's weekly bulletin or pamphlet to each church member who arrives. The bulletins may include information about that Sunday's service, the sermon and upcoming church events. If a worshipper does not want a bulletin, she can wave it away and the usher can kindly retreat.

Conflict Management

If the usher experiences any kind of problem, such as running out of seats or finding a guest unhappy with her seat, the usher reports the event to the head usher. The usher describes the problem or mix-up slowly and calmly, in a quiet voice, so that the head usher can resolve the conflict quickly and resourcefully without disturbing the congregation's worship.

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