"The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and [your] joy..." -Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In his August 1, 2011, address to altar servers, Pope John Paul II said, "Your commitment to the altar is not only a duty but a great honour, a true holy service...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...Therefore 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."
Chirst Our King Catholic Church provides young Catholics with the opportunity to grow stronger in their faith and become more active in the celebration of the Mass by altar serving.
Young people who meet the requirements are invited and strongly encouraged to become altar servers.
- Altar servers should be baptized Catholics, who have received their first Holy Communion.
- Altar servers should be in the 5th grade or higher.
- Altar servers should belong to a family who is reqistered with Christ Our King Catholic Church.
- Altar servers should be individuals who strive to live a moral and faithful life.
- Altar servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities, and carry them out with appropriate reverence.
- Altar servers should receive Holy Communion in the masses they serve.
- Altar servers should be well instructed in what they are called to do, including proper behavior and attire.
- Altar servers should be able to respond appropriately to the parts of the mass, both recited prayers and various sung parts of the mass.
Altar Servers are members of the Assembly who wish to execute their ministry by assisting the priests at Mass. Altar serving is a quiet but important and dignified part of the service and an easy way to be involved with the Mass.
During Mass, altar servers may do any of the following:
- Carry the processional cross and candles.
- Assists in the opening prayer - the altar server holds the missal, so that the priest has both hands free.
- Helps the priest receive the gifts of bread and wine.
- Preparation of the chalice - Altar servers present the cruets of wine and water to put in the chalice.
- An altar server administers the water to the priest as he ritually washes his hands.
- Post communion prayer - As for the opening prayer, an altar server holds the missal in front of the priest.
- Ending procession: When the priest and the servers leave the altar, the processional cross is carried.
As a rule:
- Arrive 20 minutes before Mass
- If you're NOT scheduled, check 10 minutes before Mass to see if you are needed
At Christ Our King, generally 3 altar servers are present for Mass on Sundays. Besides Sunday Mass, altar servers may serve at weddings, funerals, and Holy Days.
In the Diocese of Charleston, the ministry of Altar Server is open to both men and women (boys and girls).
Did you know that new seminarians considering a vocation to the priesthood were Altar Servers over 70% of the time? Encourage vocations. Encourage children to participate in the Mass by serving at the altar!