The ushers were so late coming down the aisle with the offering that there was no way they would make it to the table with the plates before the sung Offertory Response ended. That meant the congregation would stand and wait for the plates to be shunted from usher-to-usher and onto the table before taking up the Prayer of Dedication. The ushers would feel the stress of that silence, for sure. Everyone would.
So they stopped. The response’s final note died out just as the first usher reached the front pew, a calm stop sign hand went up behind the table, and eight ushers in two single file lines of four stopped and held their position to the end of the unison Prayer of Dedication. The finished their work during the opening chords of the subsequent hymn.
Sometimes a holding pattern really is the thing.