Altar Serving at Our Lady of Pompeii
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 actively participating in the liturgy (hymns, responses, etc.), by looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
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 priest/deacon during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, and assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. Servers are seated in a place from which they can easily assist the priest celebrant and deacon.
Altar servers must attend every Mass that they have been scheduled. When a server cannot be present he or she must arrange for a replacement.
Altar servers are on duty from the time they enter the sanctuary at the start of Mass until they finish cleanup after the end of Mass. During the Mass their duty station is the sanctuary and a server may not leave the sanctuary except as directed by a priest, deacon or bodily necessity.
Altar servers must have received First Penance and Holy Communion before they can assist in the celebration of the Mass.
It is a great honor and privilege to serve at the Altar of our God, as Pope John Paul II indicated in his inspiring address to altar servers on August 1, 2001. In that address the Pope encourages altar servers to understand the responsibility they have in this service to the Church. He said, “The altar server has a privileged place in liturgical celebrations. Those who serve at Mass present themselves to a community. They experience from close at hand that Jesus Christ is present and active in every liturgy . . . In the liturgy you are far more than mere “helpers of the parish priest”. Above all, you are servants of Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest.”
Our Lady of Pompeii has a training sessions for all new and interested young boys and girls. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Why Do We Need Altar Servers?
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrates what is occurring in heaven. Altar servers reflect the heavenly Mass in an earthly manner, which gives focus and meaning to all the promptness and reverence that altar servers give. Altar servers reflect the service of the angels and saints in heaven to Christ at the altar. The altar server reflects the true reality that is already occurring, which gives deeper meaning and understanding to why the altar server is reverent. They receive special training to understand the reality of the Mass and become familiar with the names of the objects on the altar.
We need altar servers to carry out their significant duties with reverence and promptness. Even their cassock reminds everyone of their unique position in the Mass and the church. We need altar servers to enrich the Mass experience and deepen its significance. The ultimate hope is that altar servers discern a call to the priesthood or religious life so that they may support and carry on the traditions of the Catholic Church for generations to come. by Rosemary Vaccari.
Why Should You Be An Altar Server?
There are many, many graces that come to those who assist at Mass.
- The Mass is Calvary continued.
- Every Mass is worth as much as the sacrifice of Our Lord’s life, sufferings and death.
- Holy Mass is the most powerful atonement for your sins.
- At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolement.
- Every Mass will go with you to judgement and plead for pardon.
- At Mass you can diminish more or less temporal punishment due to your sins, according to your fervor.
- Assisting devoutly at Holy Mass you render to the humanity of Our Lord the greates homage.
- He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.
- He forgives the venial sins which you have not confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.
- You afford the souls in Purgatory the greates possible relief.
- One Mass heard during life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.
- You are preserved from dangers and misfortunes which otherwise might have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory.
- Every Mass wins you a higher degree of glory in Heaven.
- You receive the Priest’s blessing which Our Lord ratifies in Heaven.
- You kneel amidst a multitude of Holy Angels, who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.
- You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
Why Do We Need Altar Servers? - Catholic-Link