ALTAR SERVER MINISTRY
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy (hymns, responses, etc.), by looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
Altar Servers are liturgical ministers of the parish. As a liturgical minister, they have special tasks to perform during liturgies, especially during the celebration of the Mass.
Altar Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. They should have already received holy communion for the first time and normally receive the eucharist whenever they participate in the liturgy.
Servers should receive proper formation before they begin their ministry. The formation should include instruction on the Mass and its parts and their meaning, the various objects used in the liturgy (their names and use), and the various functions of the server during the Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Servers should also receive appropriate guidance on maintaining proper decorum and attire when serving Mass and other functions.
Since the role of server is integral to the normal celebration of the Mass, at least one server should assist the priest. On Sundays and other more important occasions, two or more servers should be employed to carry out the various functions normally entrusted to these ministers.
Servers should normally be vested. Altar servers may wear a cassock and surplice, or alternately, an alb.
Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the clergy during the preparation of the gifts or assist them when they receive the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest and deacon as necessary.
ALTAR SERVER PRAYER
Loving Father, creator of the universe,
you call your people to worship,
to be with you and one another at Mass.
I thank you for having called me
to assist others in their prayer to you.
May I be worthy of the trust placed in me
and through my example and service
bring others closer to you.
I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ,
who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.