Altar Servers are lay boys and girls, who are designated to assist the priest and the deacon at Mass. Ordinarily, they are responsible for the cross and the candles. They hold the book for the priest at the chair, assist the priest during the preparation of the gifts, and they wash the hands of the priest. In general, they assist the priest and deacon when necessary.
Altar servers are baptized Catholics, boys and girls, who are mature enough to understand and carry out their liturgical function. They should have received their first Holy Communion and normally receive the Eucharist whenever they participate in the liturgy.
Formation is both technical and spiritual. Altar servers need to know the individual parts of the Mass and their specific meaning, the various objects used in the liturgy and their proper names, and the differing functions of the altar server during Mass and other liturgical celebrations. They need to understand their functions as a generous service to God and God’s people. Finally, they should be prepared to exercise their functions with reverence and proper decorum.
GUIDELINES FOR ALTAR SERVERS
Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence.
Please remember that your ministry is important, and many people depend on you to fulfill your responsibilities. The parish needs you as a part of our worship to help things run smoothly and prayerfully.
A good Altar Server is never a distraction to other people, always pays attention, learns and participates in the prayers, responses and singing and is reverent and prayerful.
It is important to know that sometimes no matter how well prepared we are, things still go wrong. Should something go wrong or should you make a mistake, stay calm and do not panic. Quick movements may lead to tripping and to further mistakes. Just think for a moment, try to correct the problem and continue on. The Priest and the Deacon will help you in whatever way they can.
The cassock and surplice, which the Altar Server wears, is a sacred vestment and should be handled with respect and care.
Even though you will be wearing an cassock and surplice over your regular clothes, appropriate clothing should still be worn. Wear your Sunday best! Black closed toed dress shoes are required for all. Black pants and a nice dress shirt for boys. Girls may wear dresses or dress pants as described above. Shorts and short dress attire are never worn.
Always arrive 20 minutes before the starting time of the liturgy.When you are attending a Mass for which you are not scheduled to serve, please check to see if extra help is needed and be dressed ready to serve.
If you are unable to serve, please find a replacement. You can use the database to request a sub or ask another server directly. Having a minimum of three Servers at each Mass is very important.