Mark Emory Graham Chapter

Why vergers?

Mark Emory Graham Chapter of the Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) mission is to promote and support vergers in their ministries.  The chapter has the resources and capabilities to assist those that would like to learn about the ministry of the verger and to provide current information and support for those that are already vergers in their home parish.

There is a verger in every congregation whether one has been officially identified by the title or not. If you believe you are that one person, the MEG Chapter offers you a community in which to share, learn and continue to grow in your love of history, liturgy, and tradition within our church as your serve our Lord and the people of your congregation.

The role of the verger is a unique and fulfilling lay ministry of the Episcopal Church largely exercised behind the scenes. Vergers provide support for all those who participate in the worship, whether lay or ordained. Vergers can be full-time, part-time, paid or volunteer. Their duties can be purely ceremonial, or include other responsibilities such as parish administration, leadership of the worship committee or sexton.

Most often vergers are facilitators for all services of worship. The goal of the verger is to enhance the worship experience for those worshiping. Vergers ensure everything and everyone is in their proper place and that the service runs smoothly. Verger efforts, specific to each parish and under the direction of the rector, typically include coordination of lay readers, altar guild and acolytes. Other duties may include the care of vestments and Eucharistic vessels, scheduling training events and giving church tours. The verger, the protector of the procession, provides the clergy logistical support in order that the worship service will take place smoothly.

The verger serves at the pleasure of the rector.  Appointments are not taken casually by the rector.  The rector is looking for many traits including leadership capabilities, success in dealing with people (especially children and parents), knowledge of the liturgy, being respected in the parish, willingness to accept direction and not become overbearing when performing the verger's duties.  Having a close working relationship between the rector and the verger is essential for success.