It is a great honor and privilege to serve at the altar of our God.
“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 . . . 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.” (John Paul II, Message to Altar Servers)
To assist at the altar as a server is one of the greatest sources of graces. The server assists the priest and deacon at the Sacred Liturgy; a server is privileged to walk into the sanctuary. The Mass is the Sacrifice of Calvary. It is not a memorial but rather the Mass truly is the Sacrifice of Calvary. For that reason, all servers must display the utmost respect and reverence.
While assisting at the weekend Masses, the daily Masses, and other liturgical celebrations, it is important that servers be active participants in the liturgy that they listen, sing, and pray with the entire assembly.
This is important to understand because the an altar server does not simply mean doing something at Mass. After all, the priest and deacons could do those things. You are not there simply to be useful. The priest relies on his altar servers, yes, but the reason is far greater, more noble, more powerful, and more true than you might assume. In your role as an altar server, you are joining with the priest in leading the people of God, in the worship of God. If you understand this, you will come to see the real importance of what you are doing in a whole new light.
“Our worship on earth reflects the worship in heaven. What we do here at the holy sacrifice of the Mass is a kind of distant echo of what goes on in heaven. There, the Lamb of God is offered in one timeless and eternal sacrifice. There the saints and angels worship around the throne of the Lamb. In that city there is no sun, moon, or stars, for the Lamb Himself is the light of that city. This altar you see here is a reflection of the altar in heaven. This chalice is a sign of the eternal Precious Blood of the Lamb. This host is, on earth, the sign of the Eternal Bread of heaven. The priest is an icon of Christ the Lord.” (Fr. Dwight Longnecker)
Who then is the altar server in this image of the divine worship? The altar server represents and reflects on earth those we call the heavenly host – that is, the saints and the angels who surround the throne of Christ in praise and worship.
To become an altar server at Holy Rosary you…
1.You must have a strong desire to serve at the Altar of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2.Must be a third grader or older.
3.Have been baptized and received the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Penance.
4.Attend Mass regularly and know the prayer responses and a basic knowledge of the parts of the Mass.
5.Be alert and attentive.
Wear appropriate dress and shoes for serving on the altar. Kindly wear black, closed–toed dress shoes.
Altar Server’s Prayer
Open my mouth, O Lord, to bless your Holy Name.
Cleanse my heart from all evil and distracting thoughts.
Enlighten my understanding and inflame my will that I may serve more worthily at your holy altar.
O Mary, Mother of Christ the High Priest, obtain for me the most important grace of knowing my vocation in life.
Grant me a true spirit of faith and humble obedience so that I may ever behold the priest as a representative of God and willingly follow him in the Way, the Truth, and the Life of Christ.
St. John Berchmans, Patron Saint of Altar Servers, pray for us.