Altar servers assist the priest at the celebration of Mass and serve at other liturgical events. Duties may involve everything from carrying the cross or candles, holding the books used at Mass, preparing incense, joining in prayers, and ringing of the bells during the offertory. Boys and girls, generally 4th grade and above, are eligible for this ministry. Exceptions to the age requirement can be made for sibling servers and children with high motivation and maturity. Some servers begin in the third grade and some even at the junior or senior high levels. Altar servers must have had the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Training is emphasized in the fall although servers meet for dinner, training, and formation on the first Tuesday of every month from September to May at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. They serve weekend Liturgies, Holy Days, special liturgies, and at Stations of the Cross during Lent. An altar server may serve every other week or as needed. They need to arrive 15 minutes before the Mass they are serving. In addition to growing closer to Christ and His Church, the servers gain tremendous confidence and poise in being in front of hundreds of people even though some may have been initially reluctant or even fearful. Of great benefit to the new servers is their assignment as a “shadow” to a senior server, following them at every step during the Mass until they are confident to serve on their own.
Altar Server Ministry Contact Information:
Deacon Ben Hooks, 813-839-5337 ext. 206, email