Altar Server Handbook

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1 St. Faustina Catholic Church Altar Server Handbook E. 12 Mile Road Warren, MI (586) Reverend Bogdan Milosz, Pastor

2 Thank you for answering the call to be an Altar Server here at St. Faustina Parish. May Christ, who has called you to this ministry, give you many blessings and countless graces as you carry it out. This booklet is to help you in your ministry. It explains all of the things that will help you be comfortable and confident as you serve at Mass. Serving Mass is a ministry and a privilege, but it should also be enjoyable. It is Father Bogdan s hope that you never feel anxious about needing to do the right thing. When you serve you are helping the congregation to pray. You will be leading the assembly in prayer by your example and attentiveness. When you serve well, it will lead others to Christ; the focus will be on the Mass and not you. Your willingness to serve Christ and the community is greatly appreciated.

3 Serving Mass at St. Faustina Parish Before Mass: 1. Fast (do not eat anything) for one hour before Holy Communion. 2. Arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled Mass. Remember: a. If you have to go to the restroom, please go before you vest. b. Hands and face should be clean. c. Appropriate shoes should be worn, no dirty or untied gym shoes. It is best for girls to not wear heels. 3. Say hello to the Celebrant (Presider). Introduce yourself to any visiting priests. 4. Go to the Server s Room and vest. (The knot in the cincture is on the left side.) 5. Using the Candlelighter, light the candles at the Ambo. Ask if the Paschal Candle should be lit. If so, ask for help. 6. The Celebrant may pray with you, depending upon what else is taking place prior to Mass. About five minutes before the start of Mass wait near the center aisle with the Cross until it is time for the Procession. The Procession: 1. The Cross Bearer leads the Procession followed by the other Servers walking side by side. 2. Start the Procession when the people begin to sing (not when the music starts). Move up the aisle at a dignified pace. Do not run down the aisle and do not go too slowly. Leave space between you and the Servers in front of you. 3. When the Procession reaches the foot of the Sanctuary, the Cross Bearer should proceed into the Sanctuary and place the Cross into the stand. You do not bow or genuflect when you have anything in your hands. The other Servers fan out in front of the Sanctuary and bow with Father. 4. Proceed to your seat and stand at attention with hands folded at your chest. Always watch the Celebrant for cues.

4 Introductory Rites: 1. During the Introductory Rites: a. Stand with your hands folded when not holding the Missalette. b. Sing all the songs c. Pray all the responses 2. During the last part of the Gloria prepare to take the Roman Missal to Father. Watch his cues for when you should walk over to him. (The Collect, or Opening Prayer is usually the red ribbon.) Hold the book steady as he leads us in prayer. When the prayer has concluded return the Roman Missal to the stand in the chair. Liturgy of the Word: During the Liturgy of the Word, remain seated with your hands in your lap. Look at the Lector and listen to the readings. Remember, do what the people do. When they stand, you stand. When they sit, you sit. Watch the Celebrant for cues. Preparation of the Gifts: At the end of the General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful), the people sit down, but you do not. 1. Remove the Gospel stand and place it under the chair. 2. Go to the credence table and bring the priest s chalice to the Altar. Place the priest s chalice on the right side of the Altar. 3. The Roman Missal should be brought from the chair and placed on the left side of the Altar 4. The Communion Chalices and purificators should be brought to the Altar. Place the Communion Chalices across the top of the Corporal. Place the purificators on the left side of the Altar. If there are any pyxes on the tray with the Communion Chalices, be sure to place them on the Corporal with the Communion Chalices.

5 5. Using the Candlelighter, light the candles surrounding the Altar from the candles at the Ambo. After the Altar candles are lit, use the snuffer to extinguish the candles at the Ambo. 6. ***See the attached diagrams Once the Altar is set, prepare to lead the procession of gifts: 1. The servers proceed down the center aisle and lead the offertory procession to the front of the church. Remember to bow to the Altar before you go to the back of the church. 2. When you reach the front, stand on each side of the Celebrant. The Celebrant will receive the gifts first and then give them to the servers. 3. When you have received the gifts, follow Father back to the Altar. The server holding the paten of hosts will follow to the side nearest the organ/piano. The server holding the cruets of water and wine will follow to the side nearest the Ambo. The server holding the paten will hand it to the Celebrant, then proceed to the credence table to prepare for the handwashing rite. At the credence table, one server will pick up the lavabo bowl and water pitcher, and (if there are enough servers) one will pick up the hand towel. Open up the hand towel and prepare to hand it to Father after he washes his hands. If there are not enough servers, open up the hand towel and place it over your arm. The server with the cruets should hold them with the handle facing the Celebrant. Father will first place the wine in his chalice, then the water. Return both cruets to the credence table. Return to your seat and remain standing. 4. The server(s) with the lavabo bowl and hand towel should wait behind and to the side of the Altar. When the Celebrant turns to face you, come towards him, at the side of the Altar. If there is more than one server, the server with the water and bowl should be closest to the Altar. This server will pour a small amount of water on Father s fingers, over the bowl. Father will take the towel, dry his hands and return the towel to your hands (or your arm if you are by yourself). 5. The server(s) should bow slightly with their head and return the items to the credence table. Return to your seat and remain standing.

6 Liturgy of the Eucharist: During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, do what the people do. Say all the responses. Pray all the prayers. Sing all the songs. Remember, you are helping to lead the people in prayer. 1. During the Eucharistic Prayer, at the Consecration, one server will ring the bells at the elevation of the Host and the Chalice. Be sure you wait until the Celebrant has fully elevated the elements before you ring the bell. Ring the bell the entire time the elements are elevated. Communion Rite: The Communion Rite consists of the Lord s Prayer (the Our Father), the Sign of Peace and the giving of Holy Communion to the people. 1. Share the Sign of Peace with the Celebrant and then your fellow server(s). During the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), or when the Celebrant goes to the Tabernacle, one server will take the tray containing the patens from the credence table and place them on the right side of the altar. Another server should remove the Roman Missal and stand and place them back on the chair. 2. After the Celebrant receives communion, you will receive communion with the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in the sanctuary. After receiving Communion, return to your seat and kneel. This is the time to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of Christ that you receive in the Eucharist. Kneel quietly and reverently until communion is finished. 3. When the Celebrant has finished purifying the patens, remove them from the Altar and place them on the credence table. When Father is ready to purify his Chalice, bring him the water cruet and, when he holds it out to you, pour a little water into it. Return the water cruet to the credence table. When the Celebrant has completed purifying his Chalice and has

7 placed it on the Altar, you may return it to the credence table. Do not wait behind or at the side of the Altar for the purification to be completed. Dismissal and Recessional: After the Communion Rite has concluded the Closing Prayer will take place. Bring the Celebrant the Roman Missal when he motions to you, or at his words, Let us pray. After the announcements, the closing hymn will begin. When the closing hymn begins, the Cross Bearer should take the Processional Cross to the center of the aisle by the first row of pews. When the Celebrant kisses the Altar, the other servers will follow behind him to fan out across the front of the sanctuary on either side of him. Bow with the Celebrant. When he turns to process out, you turn and follow the Cross Bearer. The Cross Bearer will lead the procession to the first aisle on the right and process around to the back of the church, returning the Cross to its stand. Things to Remember: 1. Always arrive at least 10 minutes before Mass. a. Dress neatly. 2. Make sure your alb fits and goes down to near the top of your shoes. 3. When serving always move slowly and with reverence never run. 4. When in doubt, look at the Celebrant. He will direct you what to do! 5. If you feel ill, quietly leave the sanctuary.

8 Glossary of Terms Alb the white tunic worn by liturgical ministers during the Mass. Any baptized person can wear an alb. Altar the large table in the center of the sanctuary. It has been consecrated by the Archbishop and is the primary symbol of Christ in the church. Altar Candles the two large candles Altar Cloth the cloth that covers the altar. It is only removed on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Ambo the stand where the Lectionary is placed and from which the Scriptures are proclaimed. Aspergillum the sprinkler that the priest uses to sprinkle Holy Water on the people during certain rites. Bucket contains the Holy Water and the aspergillium Candlelighter a long-handled implement with a taper and candlesnuffer used for the lighting and extinguishing of candles. Censor also called the thurible. A brass vessel with a long chain which holds the lighted charcoal in which the incense is burned. Chasuble the large poncho-like outer garment worn by the priest for the celebration of the Mass. Ciborium vessel, like a chalice, used to hold the hosts or the Blessed Sacrament. The plate used to hold the Body of Christ for the distribution of communion is also called a Ciborium (plural = ciboria) Cinture the rope or cord tied around the waist. It is usually knotted on the left side. Collection basket the brown wicker baskets used to hold the gifts of money or food that people bring at the Offertory. Communion chalices the cups used by the Communion Ministers to distribute the Precious Blood. Corporal the large, square linen, usually with a red cross embroidered in the middle or on the bottom. Credence Table the tables that hold most of the things used in the Mass. Cruets small pitchers that hold the water and wine to be used at Mass.

9 Dalmatic the outer vestment worn by a deacon during Mass. Unlike a chasuble, it has sleeves. Hand towel small towel the priest uses to dry his hands after washing them. Genuflect to touch the knee to the ground in worship Incense sweet smelling, perfumed resins that are burned to sanctify certain objects and to represent our prayers rising up to God. Incense Boat Holds the incense and spoon used during Mass Large host It s large so that the people can see it during Mass. Lavabo bowl glass dish used at the washing of hands. Lectionary the large book which contains all the readings used in the Mass. Lector the minister who proclaims the first and second readings and sometimes the psalm. Pall a stiff square of white linen that can be used to cover the chalice during the Liturgy Parts of the Mass there are four main parts of Mass. 1. Introductory Rites includes the entrance procession, penitential rite, Gloria and opening prayer. 2. Liturgy of the Word the scriptures are proclaimed and we respond to them. Usually there is a reading from the Old Testament, a Responsorial Psalm, a reading from the New Testament, the Alleluia and a reading from the Gospel. The homily leads us in responding to the readings. The Creed is recited and the Liturgy of the Word ends with the General Intercessions. 3. Liturgy of the Eucharist the great prayer of thanksgiving of the Church and the proclamation of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. It includes the Offertory, the Preparation of the Gifts, the Prayer over the Gifts, the Preface and Eucharistic Prayer, the Great Amen and the Communion Rite. It ends with the prayer after communion. 4. Concluding Rites the shortest part of the Mass. Includes the Final Blessing and the Commissioning or sending forth of the congregation to make real in the world what we celebrated in Church. Paschal Candle the large candle, usually placed next to the Baptismal Font, that represents Christ, the Light of the world. Paten a small plate or dish, which holds the large host and sometimes small hosts that are used in the Mass. Presider s Chair the chair that the celebrant sits in and presides during the Mass.

10 Priest s chalice the ornate cup used by the priest during the Eucharist. It is usually made of gold or silver. Procession any movement of the ministers in the church. There is an entrance procession and an exit procession. There may also be a procession of the Gospel book or of the Blessed Sacrament at special feasts. The Cross Bearer usually leads a procession. Processional Cross the crucifix carried by the Cross Bearer to lead the procession. It lets the people know where the procession is in the church. Purificator small, folded rectangular linen used to purify or clean the chalice and communion cups. This helps to make sure that none of the Precious Blood is lost. Pyx a small, round container used to carry the Blessed Sacrament. Roman Missal the large red book containing the prayers used during the Mass. Sacristy the room where the priests and deacons vest. All of the vessels and linens are found here as well. Sanctuary the raised area at the front of the church. Stole -- a long strip of cloth worn by an ordained minister as a sign of his office. A priest wears the stole over both shoulders. A deacon wears it over one shoulder. It symbolizes a yoke or harness. Tabernacle the special place where the Blessed Sacrament is held in reserve so that it might be taken to the sick and the dying, or for adoration by the people. Vest to get dressed in vestments. For a server this means to put on your alb and cincture. Vestments special garments worn by those who have a special part in the Mass. The priest, deacon and servers usually wear vestments.

11 Credence Tables before Mass

12 Set Altar Table at the Preparation of the Gifts Set Altar Table before Communion

13

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