St. John's Lutheran Church

In the City for Good!

St. John's Lutheran Church participates in God's mission to bless, save, restore and reconcile the world through meaningful worship and faithful witness in the city of Des Moines and around the world.

St. John's Lutheran Church invites and welcomes all people to experience the Good News of God's grace, forgiveness and unfailing love. The Good News calls and empowers us to share God's love in word and deed throughout our city, nation and world.


return to Worship Assistant Home Page



Before the Service: Plan to arrive at church 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the service. Go to the sacristy, vest, and do a quick check to make sure that the processional cross is in the back of the Sanctuary. Altar Guild members will be in and out of the sacristy if you have any questions. A few minutes before the service the pastors will gather everyone in the sacristy for a word of prayer. After the prayer, you will walk with one of the pastors to the back of the church via the downstairs hallway.

 The Processional: The opening hymn will begin after a short announcement from the front. The pastor who is processing in with you will tell you when to go. Walk with a measured pace. It’s easy to walk fast! Even with short hymns you have a lot of time. Hold the processional cross slightly away from your body and as high as is comfortable for you. Be careful about tilting the cross forward. Once you pass underneath the organ, you can raise the cross a little higher. Make your way to the top of the chancel stairs, turn to face the congregation, and continue to hold up the cross. The pastors will stay at the bottom of the stairs and motion to you when it is time to move. When you receive the signal, place the cross in its holder next to the lectern. Make sure you secure the latch.

Receiving Communion: At the end of the communion liturgy, as “Lamb of God” is sung, all those helping with communion will gather in front of the altar to receive communion. The pastors will motion you forward.

During Communion: Your primary job is to refill the wine chalices and bring the pastors more bread. Extra wine is in the decanter on the altar. If that runs out you can refill it on the landing by the sacristy hallway. Extra bread is also on the altar and on the landing. When you’re not getting more bread or wine, stand in front of the altar and pay attention to those serving communion. They will motion to you when they are running low. Bring them bread or wine as needed.

After Communion: Help the pastors clear the sacraments from the altar.

The Recessional: At the appropriate time during the closing hymn, get the cross and go to the top of the chancel steps. Face the congregation. You will only be there for a moment or two before the pastors will tell you to start the recessional. Make you way to the cross aisle, stop, and turn to face the congregation again. Continue to hold the cross, do not rest it on the ground. After announcements you may exit the sanctuary and place the cross in its holder.

After the Service: Hang up your vestments. Let members of the Altar Guild know if there were any problems with the cross, sacraments, or anything else.

 600 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa  50309 - 515.243.7691 - a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America