Altar Servers

ALTAR SERVERS GUIDELINES

Introduction
We are there to assist Father as he celebrates Mass.
Pay close attention to Father at all times so you are ready to help if and when you are needed and you always know what is going on.

It is a privilege to serve our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, on the altar. Accordingly, a server has a solemn responsibility to do their job with attention, dignity and reverence.

It is important that you do your job quietly and steadily so Father and the people at Mass are not distracted.

When you are standing, sitting and kneeling, you should be still and up straight – never fidget or slouch.

When standing and kneeling, you should have your hands in the praying position. When sitting, the hands should be held on the lap or at the sides.

We are not performers in a show. In fact, we are doing our job best if no one notices we are there.

Requirements for serving at Mass
An altar server will usually have received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Exceptions may be made for those who have not yet received First Eucharist but will do so within the next 12 months.

A server should learn the main prayers of the Mass: The Gloria, Our Father, the Creed, Lamb of God, Lord, I am not worthy .A server should also know the names of the places in the Church (e.g. sanctuary, altar, sacristy), the items used in the mass and what they are used for (e.g. chalice, paten, corporal, alb etc).

Servers must be able to use properly the “tools of the trade” especially matches and candles. When lighting matches, always strike down and away from you. . Be careful not to flick the match to put it out, as hot pieces may fly off and burn holes in the altar cloth, your clothes or you!

Before Mass
If you are rostered for a Mass, make sure you arrive 15 minutes before Mass is due to start. On arrival, go to the sacristy and dress in the alb. Check in the mirror in the sacristy to make sure the alb is straight and tidy. You can also ask another server or the acolyte.
Genuflecting and Bowing
When entering the church, you should face the tabernacle and genuflect. Servers never genuflect when carrying anything, including the procession cross and especially candles. Servers should bow to the altar when passing in front of it.

Bell Ringing
The bells are rung three times during the Eucharistic Prayer.

1. When Father calls on the Holy Spirit to come upon the gifts. Watch his hands. Ring the bell (about 3 rings) when he holds out both hands flat over the bread and wine.

2. When Father elevates the Consecrated Host. When he lifts up the host, ring the bell.

3. Ring the bell when Father elevates the chalice containing the Consecrated Wine.

The elevation of the Body and Blood of Jesus are solemn times. We should ring the bell reverently.

After Mass
Extinguish the candles

Take the Lectionary (the book with the red cover) from the ambo as well as the cruets from the credence table back to the sacristy and leave them on the table for the acolyte to put away.

Take off your alb and hang it neatly in its proper place.

You can also help the acolyte by going through the pews and picking up any bulletins that people have left.