TABLE OF CONTENTS
Loving Father, Creator of the universe, you call your people to worship, to be with you and each other at Mass. Help me, for you have called me also. Keep me prayerful and alert. Help me to help others in prayer. Thank you for the trust you’ve placed in me. Keep me true to that trust. I make my prayer in Jesus' name, who is with us in the Holy Spirit. Amen.
DEFINITION OF ALTAR SERVER
It is a great privilege to serve at the Altar of our God and therefore Servers are chosen from those who display a desire for a more intimate union with our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. Our loving Savior becomes present on the Altar, just as He was at the Last Supper and Calvary. Accordingly, Servers have a solemn responsibility to do their assigned duties with dignity and reverence.
Our parish has Altar Servers (boys and girls), who start after their first communion and continue for as long as we can keep them. All people of good faith are welcome and those who think they may desire to serve are encourages doing so. All that is requires is a desire to server at the Altar of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
DRESS CODE FOR ALTAR SERVERS
· SHOES – dress shoes (preferably black or brown shoes for boys and brown, black or white for girls) should be worn.
· HAIR – Hair should be neat and trimmed, appropriate for boys and girls. Girls should have their hair tied back so that it is not in their face.
· JEWELRY – Do not wear anything that will make noise and/or will be distracting, or that will cause you to have problems serving. Girls may wear “appropriate” earrings to serve.
1. ROOKIE - Alb and Cincture
2. ALTAR SERVER – Alb, Cincture and Wooden Cross
3. ACOLTYE – Cassock, Surplice, and Wooden Cross
4. SENIOR ACOLYTE – Cassock, Surplice, and Metal Cross
ALTAR SERVER RULES
v Attend Altar Sever Training Classes
v Altar Servers should not leave the sanctuary after the start of Mass for any reason except bathroom emergencies, illness, or when directed to do so by the priest.
v Serve at every mass that you scheduled for, or make arrangements to have someone cover the mass
v Arrive at least 15 minutes before the Mass starts to get dressed and make sure that the Altar is prepared
v Make sure the candles are lit, bread, wine, water, towels, bowl, prayer book, and any other sacramentals are in their proper place
v Perform the duties assigned during the mass in the prescribed orderly manner
v Maintain a prayerful posture during all times in the Sacristy (if you are not doing something your hands should be folded in your lap)
v After the mass, return to the Sanctuary, Sacristy, and preparation areas to ensure that everything is set up for the next mass
v Be quiet and respectful when on the Altar, you are role models
v Be attentive and respond immediately when the priest asks for help
v Make sure that your alb and cincture are returned the way you found them
v PAY ATTENTION
ALTAR SERVERS STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
1. Arrive and be dressed 15 minutes before the Mass begins
a. Make sure the alb is the RIGHT SIZE, the bottom should be right above the tops of the shoes
b. Check the calendar to make sure the cincture is the right color
2. Check to make sure that everything is set up, on the altar, for the mass (If there is a visiting priest, talk to him ahead of time to see if you need to do anything differently for him)
3. Gather in the Community Room with the priest, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, and anyone else who will be in the entrance procession.
a. Make sure you talk to the other servers to determine who will carry the candles and be the cross-bearer
b. Remember, candles are only used if there are at least 3 servers
c. Light your candles and leave them on the table until after the prayer is done
1. After prayer, the altar servers will line up in the following order:
a. ALTAR SERVER #1-Cross-Bearer, who will line up in front of the Baptismal Font
b. ALTAR SERVERS #2 and #3 (Candle bearers)
i. If there is only one server, the person will carry in the cross
ii. If there are only two servers, then no candles will be used and the server will line up behind the cross-bearer
iii. If there are three or more servers then two servers, they will be candle bearers, and will line up next to each other behind the cross bearer
2. Once the choir has begun to sing, the altar servers will begin to process in
a. The Cross-Bearer will walk to the right of the Baptismal Font, along with the candle bearer on the right
b. The candle bearer on the left will walk on the left side of the baptismal font
c. WALK AT A NORMAL SPEED, Do not run down the aisle
3. The Cross Bearer will keep walking, bow their head when they reach the bottom of the steps, and go the right of the Altar, and put the cross in the stand (in the room behind the altar)
4. The candle bearers will keep walking, bow their heads when they reach the bottom of the steps, and go the left of the Altar, and put the candles on the counter in the room behind the altar (They stay lit the whole mass)
5. The servers go to their chairs on the left or right, and stay standing
a. The server who carried the cross in will usually be responsible for the Sacramentary
b. The servers that brought the candles in will usually sit in the chairs behind the pulpit
1. The priest begins the mass with the Sign of the Cross
2. The Priest begins with an introduction explaining the readings, or welcoming people to the mass
3. Penitential Rite-the priest asks us to recall our sins and ask God for forgiveness, we then respond with the “Lord Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy”
4. The Gloria will then be recited or sung
5. After the Gloria, the priest will say, “Let us pray…” which is the cue for the server with the Sacramentary to bring the book over for the priest to read the opening prayer. Stand on the left side of the priest (in between the priest’s chair and the deacon’s chair, so that the priest can look out at the whole congregation)
6. After the priest is done with the prayer, the server will close the book and place it on the altar (let side of the altar-closest to the priest). Everyone will be seated to listen to the first reading, the psalm, and the second reading.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
2. The psalm will be recited or sung (No action is required by the altar servers)
4. Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia)-When the choir begins to sing the Alleluia, the two servers that brought in the candles will go and get their candle, and stand on either side of the altar, facing each other (one hand holding the base, and the other hand holding the stem of the candleholder)
5. The priest/deacon will read the Gospel and then end with “The Gospel of the Lord,” and everyone responds with “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.” Once everyone has responded, and begin sitting down, the candles may be put back. After the candles are put back on the counter, the servers may go back to their seats and sit.
6. The priest/deacon will then perform his Homily
7. After the Homily, the priest/deacon will go back to their seat, then the priest will stand for the Profession of Faith. Everyone stands to recite the Nicene Creed.
8. The priest will start the Prayers of the Faithful, and then lector or deacon will read the petitions of the church (Everyone responds “Lord, hear our prayer”). After the lector or deacon has finished the petitions, the priest will say a prayer. All will respond with “Amen,” and the congregation will sit down.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
1. OFFERTORY COLLECTION-After everyone has been seated, the ushers will walk forward with the baskets to collect money.
a. The Cross Bearer will check to make
b. While the cross bearer is going to the back of the church, one of the other servers will bring forward the Chalice, and put it on the altar. The server will then sit down and wait for the priest to accept the gifts.
c. The priest will
i. The servers will go up and stand on either side of the priest (If there is a deacon, then on either side of the priest and deacon)
Cross Bearer will
iii. The servers standing on either side of the priest will take the gifts after the priests accept them.
1. The server on the left of the priest will take the basket of money and put on the wooden stand in between the tabernacle and the cart that holds the wine glasses. They will then go over to the Credence Table, with the cross bearer, to help prepare the altar
2. The server on the right of the priest will take the wine decanter and place it on the altar. Then they will go over to the Credence Table, with the other servers to help prepare the altar
2. PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
a. One of the servers will bring THE FOUR COMMUNION CUPS TO THE ALTAR ON THE SIDE WHERE THE PLASTIC COVER IS LOCATED. Also bring over the four little cloths (purificators) to the altar.
b. One of the other servers should bring the cruet of Holy Water to the altar. Take the top off and leave it on the table. (DO NOT SET IT ON THE ALTAR) Wait for the priest or deacon to take the water, mix it with the wine, and then it will be handed back to the server. When the cruet is returned to the server, they will bow to the priest or deacon and put it back on the Credence Table.
c. The other two servers will then bring forward the small pitcher of water, the bowl, and the towel. The server will pour a small amount of water onto the hands
i. One server will hold the bowl and towel (Carry the towel on your left arm)
ii. The other server will hold the pitcher
d. The servers will then return their seats and remain standing, because the priest will then invite the congregation to stand as well to enter into the Eucharistic prayer
1. The priest then begins with the preface and then will enter the congregation into the HOLY HOLY, which will be sung or recited
2. The congregation, along with the altar servers, will kneel and the priest will continue with the Eucharist prayer by recalling the Last Supper
3. The priest will then proclaim the mystery of faith, which will be sung or recited
4. The priest will then finish up the prayer by remembering the saints, all those who have departed before us, and chant or recite, “Through Him, with Him, and in Him….”
5. The Great Amen will be sung or recited
6. All members will rise to recite the Our Father
1. The Lamb of God will either be sung by the choir or recited by the priest, and the congregation will join in
2. The congregation will kneel, while the servers and Eucharistic ministers will be lined up to receive communion.
3. The priest will distribute the Body and Blood of Christ
1. The priest will then stand, and then present the announcements.
2. Then the priest will ask everyone to stand and pray (the closing prayer)
a. The priest will say, “Let us pray…” which is the cue for the server with the Sacramentary to bring the book over for the priest to read the opening prayer. Stand on the left side of the priest (in between the priest’s chair and the deacon’s chair, so that the priest can look out at the whole congregation)
3. The priest will then conclude the mass with the Sign of the Cross
4. The choir will then start the final song
a. When the final song begins the cross bearer will go get the cross and leave the altar
b. The other servers will get the candles and stand next to each other in front of the cross bearer
5. The priest will then go to the altar and come to the bottom of the steps
6. The priest will then bow and turn (the servers will bow at the same time as the priest and turn around and process out)
7. The servers will walk out of the church and gather at the dedication plaque in the community room, the priest will say a blessing, and the servers will respond “And also with you.”
8. The servers can then put back the cross and candles (blow them out), and then hang back up their albs and cinctures