Mark Emory Graham Chapter

St. Julian's Now Has a Verger!

Verger Atlanta
The Rev. Brandon Duke and new Verger Earnell Morris                   Photo: Chuck Dale

The Rev. Brandon Duke and new Verger Earnell Morris                 

Photo: Chuck Dale

Earlier this year Bishop Whitmore wrote to the Rectors and Priests in Charge of all Parishes in the Diocese.  His message was developing leadership.  Accompanying his letter was a copy of Verger Customaries developed by the MEG Chapter.  Shortly thereafter, The Rev. Brandon Ford at Julian’s in Douglasville asked Earnell Morris to become a verger and gave him the Customaries.  Needing a little assistance to get started, he contacted the MEG Chapter.

On March 14 Lorie Tola, Chair MEG Chapter (St. Patrick’s – Dunwoody), Chuck Dale (St. Augustine’s – Morrow) and Paul Davison (St. Christopher’s – Perry) joined Ford and Morris to lend a hand.  Their role was to suggest slight adjustments to what St. Julian’s already does with their liturgy, such as where to seat the verger, how to manage the processions, incorporating the architecture of the building and the desires of the rector. A particular concern was with the fairly small space around the altar, which makes timing and paying attention by all participants very important. We walked through the processions several times until Fr. Brandon and Earnell were comfortable with the adjustments. The goal was to blend the role of the verger into their current practice so that the role of the verger does not appear to make major changes to the liturgy.
After Holy Week, Morris reported:  “Everything went very well and successful in my first time as a verger. I've been working closely with Fr. Brandon and he's been very pleased with the results and my involvement as a verger. I served as a verger during Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Easter Vigil.”  So far, so good for a first time verger. 
Then reality set in on Easter Day.  One of the altar ministers was a “no show” and Earnell filled in at the last minute while continuing his other verger duties.  All vergers can relate to his “baptism under fire.”    All in all, this was a very successful debut for the first verger ever at St. Julian’s.