Servers hold the book while the presiding priest proclaims the presidential prayers with outstretched hands. They bring and hold such things as books, thuribles, water jug and towel, plates and dishes, and microphones. They lead the entrance and concluding processions with the cross and candles; they escort the deacon (or priest) to the ambo and stand at his side while he proclaims the Gospel reading. They may, on more solemn occasions, accompany the procession with the gifts. They look after the thurible, prepare it for the priest or deacon and themselves may incense the assembly and other ministers.
The number of servers will depend on the circumstances and the tasks to be performed.
Celebrating The Mass 47
When the celebration of Mass is interrupted by things not being in the right place at the right time, it will usually distract people from their praying of the Mass. The servers' key role is to make sure that things run smoothly without distraction.
Servers are in a very visible role and it is important for the same reason that when they have no particular serving to do, they serve by simply joining in the prayer of the Mass with everyone else. That way if people do notice the servers they will receive a good example - the servers are still serving the assembly but in another way!
In both parishes, we encourage our younger people once they have made their First Holy Communion to become Altar Servers.
After training, they are comissioned to join the St Stephens Guild for Altar Servers and receive a medal to wear with their albs.
Once the servers are ready they come together in prayer before and after the celebration. This means they need to be supported to be good timekeepers and arrive with plenty of time to prepare.
This ministry is not confined just to our young people. There are occasions when they are not available such as most of our funerals where it would be great to have someone to serve and in particular to look after the thurible.
Our longest serving member of the team has recently stood down in his 80's having served since he was a boy!
Contact Deacon Mark at Sacred Heart email@example.com
or Kingsley Orji at St Pius Xth