Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam
A Verger is a committed lay minister within the Church who assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshalling of processions. Vergers can be full-time or 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.
The office of Verger has its roots in the earliest days of the Church's history. It shares certain similarities with the former minor orders of porter and acolyte. Generally speaking, Vergers were responsible for the order and upkeep of the house of worship, including preparations for the liturgy, the conduct of the laity, and grave-digging. Although there is no definitive historical survey of the office of Verger, evidence from Rochester, Lincoln, Exeter and Salisbury Cathedrals indicates the existence of Vergers as far back as the 16th century. A familiar sight in English cathedrals, Vergers have maintained the buildings and furnishings of the Church for many centuries.
Vergers in America are most often volunteers with a special calling to the ordering and conduct of the Church's liturgy. Clergy throughout the Church have come to appreciate the ministry of Vergers within their congregations. Vergers can relieve the clergy of the burden of liturgical detail so that they can concentrate on their priestly duties to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments. It is said there is a Verger in every congregation - whether one has been identifed as such or not. The Verger's role is often equated to that fo a Parson's Butler. As the butler runs the house of his Master, so the Verger runs the House of God.
St. Vincent's is home to the Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Contact: David Johnson