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What do an usher's hand signals mean?

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Quick Answer

Ushers use hand signals to silently communicate during a religious service without disturbing the rest of the congregation. This silent form of communication enhances the worship experience for members of the congregation.

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Full Answer

Ushers begin in a neutral position known as the service position, then move into the other hand signals from this neutral position. The service position begins with the left hand behind the usher's back and the right hand straight down at the usher's side.

Most of an usher's hand gestures are performed with the right hand, including welcoming congregants and communicating with other ushers about how to best serve congregants.

Three double-handed gestures are used by ushers. These include the prayer position, the distress signal and the sign that it is time for the offering.

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