"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." (Psalm 100:4)
As a Eucharistic Community of Faith, our spirituality is centered primarily on the celebration of Holy Eucharist (the Lord's Supper). We, therefore, invite both young people and adults to serve at the Table of the Lord as Altar Servers.
Serving God's People while also worshipping is a way of growing closer to God. Altar Servers help facilitate our Eucharistic celebration in a reverent manner. No one can see God, but when we do things for God's People we give honor to the Almighty... and truly encounter the living God!
Serving at the altar is a special privilege. Servers are close to the altar of God. They carry the Cross of Christ at the beginning of the Mass, they carry the light of Christ as the Gospel is proclaimed, and they assist with the sacred vessels during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They hold the Roman Missal (Book of Prayers), and they assist the priest throughout the Mass. Young altar servers wear an alb (the white robe of Baptism), which is a sign of their ministry in the community as baptized people.
The ministry of Altar Server is open to anyone who has completed 5th grade (or older). Being an Altar Server is a liturgical role, therefore one must also be baptized and have received First Holy Communion; it is out of one's Baptism into the Body of Christ that Servers are called to this ministry. Altar Servers may serve into their high school years--and beyond.
Once an Altar Server has been trained, he or she works as a team with one or two other Servers. The team of Servers chooses which function they will do at a given Mass (carry the Cross, carry the Processional Candles, hold the Missal/Book of Prayers, or assist with the gifts). At least two (2) Servers are needed at each Mass. If a Server is absent (or late) a volunteer Server can, of course, step forward to serve.
Initial training for Altar Servers is two one hour sessions. Other training sessions will be offered throughout the year to "polish" performance in this ministry; these session will generally be held immediately after Sunday Mass--and not last longer than 30 minutes.
Youth, adults, or family groups who wish to exercise the Ministry of Altar Server should contact Fr. Tom or Ms. Marsha Virgil at 773.238.6800.