Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Resources for Altar Servers
Servers at the Mass assist the priest at the altar. As such, they are first and foremost offering their service to God: although their service, when conducted well, also benefits the priest and the people who are gathered to worship. Their role is highly visible and practical. Because of this, good servers help to maintain the continuity and the flow of action in the Mass. More importantly, good servers help to emphasize the importance, the beauty, and the dignity of what is happening at the Mass. In this way, serving well at the altar becomes a concrete way of making an offering for the glory of God: of loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. This is precisely what we seek to do with our whole lives: and, in fact, serving at the altar lovingly and reverently is a beautiful way to prepare yourself for properly discerning God’s will in your life.
If that sounds like a high goal, that’s because it is! But thankfully we have a lot of resources to help you understand the importance of serving as well as the practical aspects of how to serve.
What exactly is involved if I decide to serve?
Servers can be more or less involved, depending on their availability and commitment. All servers will be expected to learn how to serve well, and to do so at least on Sunday Masses to which they are assigned.
As you serve, you will advance in rank from Novice to Altar Server to Senior Server. In order to serve in all of the usual roles at Sunday Mass, it is enough to become an Altar Server. Reaching this middle rank primarily involves practice (by serving at Mass) and some learning (mostly from the resources here). For servers who wish to be more involved, however, it is possible to advance to the rank of Senior Server, which also opens up the ability to serve as a thurifer. Senior Servers are encouraged to attend novice- and basic- training sessions in order to help direct younger servers and to answer their questions one-on-one.
Servers may also choose to serve certain daily Masses, funerals, and weddings.
Although not required, there will also be events available to the servers throughout the year simply to spend time with other servers and to have fun!
More information on all of this can be found in the Server Manual under “Other Resources” above or, as a hard copy, in the sacristy of each parish.
How do I get started as a server?
Here at the Fort Recovery Cluster, the ministry of server is open to fifth graders and up. In order to begin, you simply have to attend a Novice Server Training, which is offered towards the beginning of the school year each year. Please sign in for the training by contacting the main office. At the training, you will learn the basics of the program and receive a handbook. Once you have completed the training, you will begin to be assigned to Masses, at which you will have a mostly observational role until you have advanced to the rank of Altar Server: this will give you time to learn the ropes in person without the pressure of having to know exactly what you’re doing!
Schedule for Training Sessions and Events
General Training (taking place at Mary Help of Christians)
required for all current servers being brought into the new program
Advanced Training (parish specific – please attend at your parish)
optional training by parish for those who wish to enter the rank of Senior Server immediately