Altar Server Guidelines
Order of Mass | Serving Procedures | St. Tarcisius | Glossary
First of all, thank you. We are grateful for your
volunteering to help us celebrate our liturgies to the best of our abilities.
Being an altar server is a position of leadership, service, ministry, and prayer
all at once. You will learn a lot about yourself, and also have a deeper
appreciation of the Eucharist and other sacraments at the same time.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Responsibility. The people who attend Mass count on
you as part of our prayer leadership. You help to ensure that things go
smoothly. Our Sunday Masses are too important to be sloppy.
- Showing Up. We need you to serve every time you are
scheduled. If you are sick or out of town, please get a substitute and let Diahne
Goodwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Deacon Charlie
- Mistakes. No matter how well you are prepared,
occasionally things go wrong. There is no such thing as perfect. When something
goes wrong, stay calm. It is okay to make a mistake - that's how we learn.
Don't be afraid to ask a more experienced server or Fr. Walter or Fr. Paul or
- Smile. Sometimes we forget the joy of being loved
by God. All of us, Fr. Walter, Fr. Paul, Deacon Charlie, the Lectors, Musicians,
Eucharistic Ministers and the people in the pews are learning with you how to
be more relaxed and smile in church. Perhaps you can teach us how to smile
- Posture. Remember that your respect for the
Eucharist is shown through your posture. You are a symbol of service to God.
Please stand and kneel straight, fold hands and pay attention to what is going
- Participate in the singing and the prayers. Try it
- you might like it!
Thank you so much for being part of our Liturgical
The Order of Mass
Since servers are very important ministers of the celebration, you need to
be familiar with the order of mass.
- Procession. Usually done from the back of the church down the center aisle. When we celebrate a baptism at Mass, this happens after the welcoming rite of Baptism.
- Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water sometimes replaces Penitential Act during Easter Season.
- Penitential Act. We say the Confiteor (I confess to almighty God, and to you ...) or Lord Have Mercy.
- Gloria. This hymn is sung or said on all Sundays outside of Lent and Advent.
- Opening Prayer.
Liturgy of the Word
- First Reading. Read by the lector, usually from the Old Testament.
- Responsorial Psalm. Led by the cantor (song leader).
- Second Reading. Read by a lector, usually from the New Testament.
- Gospel Acclamation. Sung.
- Gospel. Taken from one of the Gospels, it is read by the priest or deacon.
- Profession of Faith.(omitted when we do a baptism)
- General Intercessions. We also call these the Prayer of the Faithful or the Universal Prayer
Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Preparation of the Gifts – the gifts of bread, wine and the offering are brought to the altar, the priest or deacon prepares the chalices and the priest blesses the offerings and the cleanses his hands.
- Eucharistic Prayer. The parts of the Eucharistic prayer are:
- the Holy, Holy;
- the Institution;
- the Memorial Acclamation;
- the Great Amen.
This begins with the Our Father and ends with the Prayer after Communion which the priest leads from the chair
- Brief Announcements.
- Sending Forth.
- The ministers leave in procession, departing the sanctuary area in the order in which they entered.
Patron Saint of Altar Servers
Memorial. August 15
Profile. Third-fourth century layman. While taking
Communion to prisoners, Tarcisius was attacked by a pagan mob, and died
defending the Host. Martyr. It is said that when the pagans searched him
after beating him to death, there was no trace of the Sacrament.
Prayer of an Altar Server.
O God, You have graciously called me to serve You upon Your altar. Grant me
the graces that I need to serve You faithfully and wholeheartedly. Grant too
that while serving You, may I follow the example of St. Tarcisius, who died
protecting the Eucharist, and walk the same path that led him to Heaven.
St. Tarcisius, pray for me and for all altar servers.