Ministries Links

Altar Servers

Boys and girls in the Parish are invited to serve at any of the Masses. Altar servers range in age from Grade 2, after receiving their First Communion, through High School and University. This provides a wonderful opportunity to participate in the Liturgy, to serve the Lord, and to develop leadership skills. Training is provided.

Guidelines for Altar Servers Revised September 2013

The most important thing to remember when altar serving is to pay attention during Mass and to come to pray. Altar servers play an important role.

The basics for conduct should include:

  • Ensuring that you get ready for Mass quietly and remain quiet during Mass.
  • Making sure that you do not chew gum, talk, fool around or fidget unnecessarily while serving.
  • Wearing appropriate attire (no questionable slogans on clothing please).
  • Being at the church about 10-15 minutes early in order that you can find an alb that fits you and be ready on time.
  • Making sure to check the schedule for times and dates that you are serving. A schedule will be sent/emailed to each of you. There is also one posted on the wall near the photocopier.
  • Calling/emailing someone from the altar servers phone/email list provided to replace you if you are unable to serve on your scheduled day. If you are unable to serve on your scheduled day, it is your responsibility to call/email someone from the altar servers phone/email list provided to replace you for that date.
  • Ensuring that the area where you get ready is kept neat and tidy. When putting the albs away, hang them up or ask for help hanging them up so they do not end up on the floor.

Workshops will be held twice a year (once in Sept/Oct and once in January) as a refresher for those who already serve and allow new servers to learn and participate.


Altar Server Duties

Before Mass:

  • Light the candles on the altar (the lighter is in the sacristy)

Entrance Procession:

  • starts at the back of the church
  • cross bearer goes first (only if there are 2 servers)
  • 1st and 2nd servers follow with the candles
  • walk up the aisle slowly
  • each altar server bows when they reach the front of the altar
  • if you do not have anything to carry (cross or candles) please keep your hands in prayer postition
  • when servers reach the front, put the candles to the right of Father’s chair and the cross back on its stand.
  • 1st server picks up the binder and holds it ready for Father. Father will signal when he is ready to read. Stand in front of him with the book held open so he can read.
  • 2nd server sits to the left of Father. 1st server and Cross Bearer sit in the altar pew on the left side of the altar. (When the Deacon is assisting at mass, all servers sit in the altar pew).

Gospel Acclamation:

  • During the "Alleluia", the 1st and 2nd servers pick up the candles and prepare to lead Father to the pulpit for the gospel.
  • Servers stay there until the end of the gospel, then put the candles back and sit down.

Offertory:

  • After the "I Believe in God..", is the offertory hymn.
  • At the beginning of the offertory hymn, the cross bearer goes slowly down to the back of the Church (only if there are 3 servers). Father is sitting at this time.
  • Then 1st and 2nd servers follow Father to the front of the altar and stand on either side of Father.
  • The cross bearer leads the procession - waits until Father gives the signal, he will bow and then the cross bearer starts the procession. When they have reached the altar, head is bowed and the cross is put away.
  • Father hands the gifts to the 1st and 2nd servers which they hand back to him at the altar.
  • The 1st server brings the book and sets it on the left side of the altar.
  • The 2nd server brings the Chalice to the altar (holding it with two hands).
  • The 1st server brings the other chalices to the altar.
  • Both servers stay standing at the right side of altar waiting to serve Father.

Preparation of the Gifts:

  • 1st and 2nd servers then get the wine and water at the credence table and go to the altar (right side). Turn the handle of the cruet toward Father.
  • When finished, servers bow their heads slightly and put the wine back on the table.

Washing of the Hands:

  • 1st or 2nd server then goes back to get the dish and towel. The towel is draped over your left arm.
  • If there are 2 servers, one has the dish and water, and the other has the towel – then go to the altar for Father to wash his hands.
  • When finished, servers bow and then place the water, dish and towel back on the credence table. Fold the towel, but do not put the water dish on the towel.
  • Go and sit down.

Consecration of Water and Wine:

  • After the "Holy Holy Holy", people kneel.
  • When Father lifts up his arms with the host, the 2nd server rings the bells. The same is done when Father lifts the chalice.

During Communion:

  • Servers should come out of pew to receive communion.
  • Father will give Communion. Servers should sit or kneel without fidgeting. They should be ready to help Father after communion. Please pay attention to Father.

After Communion:

  • The 1st and 2nd servers take everything on the altar back to the credence table.
  • Get water for Fr. Pay attention to when he needs it to clean the chalice.

Exit Procession:

  • After the blessing, 1st and 2nd servers get the candles and the cross bearer gets the cross.
  • The cross bearer leads and goes down the altar to the 3rd pew and turns and faces the altar.
  • The 1st and 2nd servers walk down to the 2nd pew and face the altar.
  • When Father turns around, all turn and walk slowly down the aisle.
  • Servers blow out the candles and walk through the basement of the church and back up to the sacristy to put the cross and candles away.
  • Hang up albs.