Altar Servers

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ALTAR SERVER GUIDELINES

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them…” (Romans: 12:6)

Before Mass begins:

1. Altar servers should arrive at least 15 minutes BEFORE Mass is scheduled to begin. If they are not able to serve, they are responsible to find another altar server to fill in for them (a list of altar servers with contact information is available). There are three altar servers: A (Altar), B (Book) and C (Cross).

2. Altar servers should check off their name on the list in the Liturgical Ministers Room then find alb (robe) and cincture (cord). The alb should reach the ankle. The correct color for the cincture is listed on the schedule.

3. Ten minutes before Mass begins, all liturgical ministers will pray together in the Liturgical Ministers Room. Altar servers must be vested and ready to go by then. After the prayer, C goes to get the Cross. All go into Church.

During the Mass:

1. When the Altar Servers process in, all go to the right side in front of the Altar. A and B bow to the Altar. C takes the cross up as A and B go directly to the left to their pew. The Altar Servers will sit on the left side of the church by the organ because the credence table will be there. C walks behind the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to go to their pew.

2. As members of the assembly, altar servers pray and sing with everyone else, sit prayerfully and participate fully.

3. Book Bearer (B) takes the book up to the priest 3 times during Mass. First is after the end of the opening hymn. Second is after the end of the Creed. Third is after communion as soon as the priest stands up. B should stay alert and not miss coming forward.

4. After the Prayers of the Faithful, all 3 Altar Servers go to the left of the handrail to the credence table. C takes the corporal and spreads it on the altar, B takes the Roman Missal and A takes the priest’s chalice with its purificator. C places them on the corporal. The path to the altar is behind the Presider’s chair. A goes back and brings up the water which C places on the corporal. B removes the stand of the Gospel Book from the altar and puts it on the credence table. A, B and C each carry 2 of the small chalices to the altar, C places the chalices on the altar. Then all return to the credence table and wait.

5. After the collection is completed, the Gift Bearers bring up the candles, collection, bread and wine and place them in front of or on the altar. Then all 3 Altar Servers move to the altar with B taking the bowl and towel. The priest will give C the wine pitcher, then C will take the wine pitcher to the credence table to place it on the credence table next to the tray and then C returns to the pew. The priest will give A the water for hand washing. A and B will stand directly behind the priest, not on the side. A and B will take the water, bowl and towel and place them on the credence table next to the tray and then A and B go to their pew.

6. Altar servers fully participate by saying the prayers, singing and offering those nearby the Sign of Peace. Altar Servers receive communion near their pew.

7. During the Closing Hymn, when the priest moves toward the altar, C gets the cross and stands behind the priest. A and B stand on either side of C. When the priest bows to the altar, A and B bow, then A, B and C lead the procession out. A and B open the doors to the narthex (if they are not already open) continue into the Narthex to the Liturgical Ministers Room; C returns the cross to its place. Then altar servers hang up albs, snap the tops (so the albs won’t fall off the hanger) and put cinctures in the correct container.

Revised 11/15/2013