Altar Server Duties for Sunday Mass
There should be three Servers for each Mass. Please see Mr. Perry, Mr. Ouimet, Mr. Kelter, Mrs. Webster or the Priest to see about getting a third Server if one is available in the Congregation. Two Servers can serve the Mass if they are experienced.
1. Before Mass change into your alb. Choose the chord that matches the color of the chord hanging on the mirror next to the closet. Please be dressed in your albs and chords and be at the Vestibule (Main Doors) with the Cross 15 minutes before Mass. Any instructions will be given to you at this time.
2. Decide who will be the Cross Bearer and who will hold the book.
3. When told to line up, the Cross Bearer goes first followed by the other Servers.
4. Proceed to the Altar; after arriving, bow and go to your places on the left side of the Altar. The Cross Bearer will put the Cross in its stand.
5. After the opening blessing and prayers by the Priest, the Priest will say “Let Us Pray”. Whoever has been designated will go and hold the book for him.
6. After the Prayers of the Faithful read by the Lector, the Altar Servers will go to the Credence Table and bring the Chalice, pix if being used, any Ciboria and the small covered chalice, if being used, to the Altar. (Fr. Matt says “Bring everything that’s gold to the Altar”). Bring the book up next. It may be on the book rack so be careful bringing it up. Then go to the Priest who will give you the gifts from the gift bearers. Take the gifts to the Altar.
7. Two Servers stay at the Altar and hold the water and wine cruets, giving them to the Priest or Deacon as he asks for them. When the Priest or Deacon is finished, bow to the Priest and take the cruets back to the Credence Table. Then one server takes the bowl, one the towel opened up and the other the water pitcher. (If there are two servers, one server takes the bowl and the the towel, and other takes the water pitcher.) Go up to the Altar for the washing of the Priest’s hands. After the Priest washes his hands, bow and return the bowl, towel and pitcher to the Credence Table and go to your seats.
8. During Mass servers generally stand, sit and kneel with the congregation. For Holy Communion go up to the Altar to receive Holy Communion. Then go back to your seats.
9. During Holy Communion one server should go up to the Altar to get the Ciboria cover(s) and bring it up to the Tabernacle.
10. After Holy Communion one server takes the water cruet to the Priest or Deacon so he can wash the Chalice and Ciboria. Bow and take the water cruet back to the Credence Table when finished.
11. When the water cruet is brought back to the Credence Table, the other Servers should go to the Altar and receive the Chalice and Ciboria if any and the book from the Priest. Bow and carry them to the Credence Table.
12. At the end of Mass just before the final Blessing, the Priest says “Let Us Pray”. The book holder will bring the book and hold it for him.
13. After the final blessing, as the Priest (and Deacon if he is assisting) goes up to kiss the Altar, the Cross Bearer gets the Cross and proceeds to the center aisle with the other servers falling in behind. Wait for the Priest, Deacon, the Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers to bow at the Altar. Turn and slowly proceed and lead the others to the Vestibule at the back of the church. The Servers then go quietly downstairs and go to the Altar Servers room to return the Cross and change out of your albs and chords. Please hang up the albs and chords neatly in the closet.
Being an Altar Server is a valuable and rewarding service to the Church. But remember that you are also attending Mass. Please conduct yourselves appropriately. Pay attention to Mass at all times. There is no talking, laughing or fooling around during Mass. Remember, because you are on the Altar someone in the church is always watching you! Thanks for your service.
Click here for an informational slide show on items used during Mass. This is for informational purposes only and may differ slightly from St. Mary's procedures.