1 St. Philip Catholic Church Altar Servers Guide
2 St. Philip Catholic Church Altar Server Instructions Introduction To be an altar server is a special honor and a great privilege in the Catholic Church. Altar servers today can trace their roots or genealogy to the order of Acolyte, a ministry that once was reserved only for those who were going to be ordained priests. One can look upon being an altar server as a special and unique ministry by which you, a young person, can help to spread the word and the love of Christ through your actions and words. It is not difficult to be an altar server, but there are some things that you must know and remember. The diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls. Altar servers are not ordained; they are commissioned by their parish priest. The determination that women and girls may function as servers in the liturgy should be made by the bishop on the diocesan level so that there might be a uniform diocesan policy. 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 by their actions, singing of hymns, responses of the people, looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times. General Requirements Servers will be required to vest in alb and cincture as directed. Clothes worn under an alb should be clean, and free of slogans, decals or any other designs which will show through the alb. Required Basic Knowledge of the Mass A server candidate should know the principal prayers of the Mass: The Gloria, Our Father, Nicene Creed, Lamb of God, Lord, I am not worthy and Holy, Holy, Holy. All candidates should be able to recite the basic flow of the mass. They should learn this so as to perform their tasks at the proper times. They should understand all the liturgical items they will be handling and the purpose of each item. See the end of this manual for definitions. All candidates should demonstrate their ability to make use of the tools of the trade such as matches, candle lighters, books and candles, processional cross, preparation of credence table, chalice, mass colors, etc.
3 ALTAR SERVER'S DUTIES -- ORDINARY SUNDAY MASSES I. PREPARATION A. Arrive for your scheduled Mass 15 minutes prior to the start of the Mass. B. Wear clean shoes.. C. Select your alb. The alb should be long enough to come to the top of your shoes. Remember your alb is a sacred vestment and should be treated as such. II. POSTURE AND REVERENCES A. The role of the Altar Server is to assist the Priest and the whole community in the celebration of the Mass. Posture and attitude are very important. B. Hold your hands together unless you are carrying something or sitting. If you are carrying candles or the cross, you do NOT bow. C. Stand with your weight evenly placed on both feet. Do NOT lock your knees! D. Sit straight. Don t pick your nose. (just wanted to see if you were paying attention ) E. Pay attention to the Priest and the flow of the Mass. III. THE MASS PART 1 BE WAITING AT THE FRONT OF THE CHURCH WITH CROSS AND CANDLES FIVE MINUTES PRIOR TO MASS STARTING A. The Procession 1. Cross and candle bearers. 2. Lector 3. Communion Ministers 4. Principal Celebrant B. As the procession enters the sanctuary, they line up in front of the altar with the Cross Bearer closest to the musicians and each candle bearer to one side of the front of the altar. After Father bows, the Cross Bearer places the Cross in its stand on the altar. The candle bearers place their candles next to the altar and then proceed to their seats and stand in front of their seats. C. At the opening Prayer when the Celebrant says "Let us pray", bring the sacramentary to him and hold it so that he can read it. PART 2 START THESE DUTIES WHEN THE COLLECTION BEGINS D. Offertory (After the General Intercessions when everyone sits down.) 1. Place the Sacramentary on the altar. 2. Bring the Chalice and Corporal cloth to the altar. 3. Bring the communion cups to the altar 4. Bring the water basin and hand towel to the altar 5. Go with the Celebrant to receive the gifts. 6. One server takes the basket of offerings to the cross. 7. The other takes the tray with the cruets to the altar.
4 8. Bring the water pitcher, bowl, and towel to wash the Celebrant's hands and then take to the tray with the cruets, basin and towel to credence table. 9. Go to your seat. 10. Stand after the Amen. 11. Join hands with each other for the Our Father. PART 3 CLOSING OF MASS E. Bring the sacramentary to the Celebrant when he says "Let us pray". (Hold the sacramentary so that the Celebrant can read it. H. Close the sacramentary and return to your seat when the Celebrant makes the Sign of the Cross. I. When the closing hymn begins, the Cross bearer should get the Cross, candle bearers should get the candles, and all servers should go to their places in front of the altar. J. Turn and face the Altar. K. When the Celebrant, lector and communion ministers bow, turn and process at a normal walking pace to the back of the church. PART 4 AFTER MASS (CLEANING UP) A. Extinguish the candles. B. Hang up your alb (neatly) and any others that may have fallen to the floor of the closet. NOTE: If you cannot serve the Mass to which you are assigned, you should arrange for your own substitute. What Certain Things Are Called: Alb Ambo or Lectern Aspergillum Boat Chalice Ciborium Cincture The white gown that you will wear just as the priest and deacons does. Where the lector stands to read the Scripture readings and the priest or deacon proclaims the Gospel. The liturgical instrument used to sprinkle people and objects with holy water. A small liturgical vessel containing the incense that will be used with the thurible. A cup that Father will use to consecrate the wine into the Blood of Christ. A cup, which looks similar to a chalice, but is used to store consecrated hosts in the Tabernacle. A Ciborium has a lid where as a chalice does not. A belt made out of cloth worn around your waist; it acts like a belt.
5 Corporal Credence Table Cruet Finger Towel A small cloth that sits on top of the altar where Father places the chalice, paten, and flagon. Its purpose is to catch any small crumbs of the Blessed Sacrament that may fall onto the altar. The table that has the chalices, Communion bowls or patens, finger bowl, water cruet and finger towel. The little pitcher that hold either water or wine for use during the Mass. A towel that Father will use to dry his hands. Lectionary Offertory Table Paten Purificators Sacramentary A large red book that contains the Scripture readings The table behind the last pew by where the gifts are placed. A small dish or bowl that holds the bread that will be used during Mass. The small towels that are used to clean the chalices during the distribution of the Precious Blood at communion The large red book from which Father prays during Mass. Sacristy Sanctuary Thurible The portion of the Church building where the priests, deacons, servers, and lectors meet to vest and prepare themselves for Mass. The area of the Church that contains the altar and the ambo. A metal vessel for the ceremonial burning of incense. The thurible is also known as a censer. THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING GOD'S CALL TO SERVE AT MASS
6 Holy Mass Explained The two most important parts of the Holy Mass are the Consecration and the Communion. But the Mass as we know is made up of two principal parts - the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist, plus introductory and concluding rites. 1- Introductory Rites: - Entrance Antiphon - Greeting - Penitential Rite (Penitential prayer, Rite of Blessing & Sprinkling) - Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy) - Gloria (Glory to God) - Opening Prayer 2- Liturgy of the Word: - First Reading, from the Old Testament, and the Responsorial Psalm, usually by one or two Laymen, man or woman - Second reading from a Letter (Epistle) of the New Testament, usually by a Layman, man or woman - Third Reading, from the Gospels, usually by the Priest, which starts with the Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia) Homily, by the Priest, Silence Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) or (Apostles' Creed - Children Only) General Intercessions (Prayer of the Faithful): For the Church, Public Authorities, Salvation of the World, Local Community... the sick, the poor Liturgy of the Eucharist: Preparation of the Gifts (Presentation) The priest prepares the altar and the gifts, prays over the bread and wine, and helps the assembly get ready for the tremendous Sacrifice that will take place in an unbloody manner. Includes the following: - Offertory Song... - offering of the Bread and Wine, - Preparation of the Altar - Preparation of the Bread - Preparation of the Wine - Washing of Hands - Invitation to Prayer
7 - Prayer over the Gifts Eucharistic Prayer: Introductory Dialogue Preface Sanctus Roman Canon: Eucharistic Prayer Thanksgiving Acclamation Epiclesis - Invocation of the Holy Spirit to consecrate the Host & Wine Consecration of the Bread... elevation of the Holy Host... adoration to the Holy Host Consecration of the Wine... elevation of the Holy Cup... adoration to the Holy Cup Offering Intercessions Final Doxology Memorial Acclamation Great Amen Communion Rite The Lord's Prayer Rite of Peace (Sign of Peace) Fraction Rite Breaking of the Bread Commingling: The priest places a small part of the Host into the Cup Lamb of God (Agnus Dei ) Personal Prayer Communion of the Priest Communion of the Faithful Silent Prayer Prayer after Communion 4- Concluding Rite: Immediately after the Communion Rite, should there be any announcements, these are made, but should be kept brief. Then just as the people were greeted at the beginning of the Mass, so now the presider greets the people again and blesses them in one of three forms, the simple one, or at his discretion a more solemn Blessing, particularly at various seasons or on specific feast days, or a Prayers over the people. Includes the following: Blessing Dismissal Entrance Procession People stand up, the priest goes to the Altar... Entrance hymn may be said by the faithful or sung
8 Greeting In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you. Penitential Act My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries, let us call to mind our sins: I confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you here present, to pray for me to the Lord our God. May Almighty God have Mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen. Lord have mercy... Christ have mercy... Lord have mercy The Gloria (Hymn of praise and repentance) Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your Glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer. for you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. Profession of Faith - Creed We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in on Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from Heaven (all bow) by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontious Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. Invitation to pray Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father... May the Lord
9 accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church. The Eucharistic Prayer The Lord be with you... And also with you. Lift up your hearts... We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God... It is right to give him thanks and praise. Preface: It is indeed fitting and right, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give thanks to You, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, who with Your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, one Lord... (Here the Priest says the appropriate Preface. This is part of the Preface of the Holy Trinity). Sanctus Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest Epiklesis (Invocation of the Holy Spirit And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist. The Consecration: The Lord's Supper The day before he suffered, he took bread in his sacred hands, and looking up to heaven, to you, his almighty Father, he gave you thanks and praise. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples and said: Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you. When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave the cup to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me. Let us proclaim the mystery of faith: 1- Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. 2- Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in Glory. 3- When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in Glory. 4- Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world. Final doxology Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours Almighty Father, forever and ever.
10 The great AMEN Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, is to You, God the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory, forever and ever. AMEN!. Rite of Communion Priest: Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the word our Savior gave us: The Our Father: Priest and Laymen: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come: Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. Priest: Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Laymen: For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Peace: Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever. Amen. The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you. (Let us offer each other the sign of peace). Lamb of God: Priest and Laymen: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace. Communion of the Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in your love and mercy, I eat your body and drink your blood. Let it not bring me condemnation, but health in mind and body. Communion of the Faithful: Priest: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper. Laymen: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. The Holy Host offered: The Body of Christ... Amen When the Cup is offered: The Blood of Christ... Amen