Altar Servers provide a vital service to the Church by assisting the Priest during Mass. They ensure that the Altar is prepared prior to Mass, provide the Priest with all the components required during Mass and ensure that the Altar is cleared after Mass. This includes: taking part in the entrance procession, carrying the crucifix and candles; holding the Sacramentary book; ringing the bells; handling the chalice, cruets and ciborium; holding the candles during the Gospel reading; and taking part in the retiral procession, carrying the crucifix and candles.
The Altar Server group supports the Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses every weekend, and other major celebrations (Christmas, Easter and First Communions). During school holidays, the servers may also serve at the weekday and Saturday morning Masses. They can also serve at Requiem Mass and Nuptial Mass on request (school-time permitting).
The Altar Server group is open to both girls and boys as long as they have received their First Communion – there is no upper age limit. Altar Server meetings are held a number of times per year, usually:
- Prior to the Easter celebrations (to prepare for the Easter Triduum)
- After First Communions (to allow new servers to attend training)
- Prior to Christmas (to prepare for the Christmas period)
Altar Servers are expected to attend their normal weekend Mass 10 minutes prior to the start time. This allows time for the servers to don their Alb and cincture, ensure that the Altar is prepared, agree who will provide which duty, and join the Priest in the Sacristy for the pre-Mass prayer and the entrance procession.
We currently have around 20 altar servers, but if you want to find out more about altar serving, contact Gillian Madden on 01698 810533.