Altar Servers

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SERVING THE CHURCH

Every day there is a mass in one of our churches throughout the parish. People arrive for Mass. Men, women, children, some old and some young. Some come as families, mums and dads with their children. Others are walking along to the church with friends. Many come alone. All of them will soon be gathered together as one family, the family of God. It is the Mass which makes this happen. We all have a part to play in the liturgy, and it is up to each one of us to understand fully what we are doing, and to carry it out as well as we can. The server must be aware of what he or she is doing and understand its inner meaning. 

The server has a very important role to play, since he or she is with the priest on the sanctuary the whole time, and can help more than anybody else to create the right atmosphere. A few people have special tasks. Among these are the altar servers. Boys and girls, men and women. Server is a good word because it really tells us what the job is – to serve, to help, to assist. The name “altar server” means that most of our serving happens at or near the altar. To be an altar server is important. We do things which build up the Church, the body of Christ. We work as a team with each other and also with other lay people such as readers or collectors etc. 

Servers have special responsibilities which only they can carry out. We help the priest by holding the Missal for him, carrying the water and wine when they are needed, and many more actions like that. Anyone can become an altar server at anytime, boy or girl, man or woman, young or old, although we do have a six week training period, usually in October and November. This can be for new servers or for anyone you wants to refresh their relashionship with serving.

New servers are asked to serve a probationary period of 12 months and then they are enrolled into The Guild of St Stephen where they receive their medals. All servers can serve at any of our churches throughout the parish.

The objectives of the Guild

To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church's liturgy and so contribute to the whole community's participation in a more fruitful worship of God. To provide altar servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing so that they may serve with increasing reverence and prayerfulness and thereby be led to a deepening response to their vocation in life. To unite servers of different parishes and dioceses for their mutual support and encouragement.

St Stephen

The name Stephen means "crown", and St Stephen was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The Apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.


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