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Altar Servers

Contact: Father David Vidal

About This Ministry

Testimony by Ave Maria Parishioner Paul Dinan:

"What does it mean to be an altar boy? I have asked myself that question countless times over the last ten years, I have had the privilege to don a cassock and surplice and assist at the altar: at the holy and eternal altar of sacrifice, where ‘even angels falter, bowed low in reverent prayer.’ The altar server truly is at the service of both Christ and his ordained ministers... swinging the thurible and watching the smoke rise to heaven with the prayers of the people…clasping the communion plate with trembling hands while Father retrieves a Host laying on its surface…holding the canopy steadily over our Eucharistic Lord in procession, while trying to ignore the sweat trickling down your forehead…watching intently as God descends into the hands of the priest only a few feet away…this is both the glory and the responsibility of an altar boy. And yet, I have gradually come to see that servers have one duty which surpasses any other, namely to remain always prayerful and attentive to the miracle unfolding before our eyes. If any wandering eyes from the congregation were to fall on him, they should be lead through his example back to Christ on the altar. He must at every Mass echo along with all the angels and saints at his side ‘not to us Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory!’ I was asked what some of the graces and benefits I have received and why I feel called to be an altar boy. Top on my list would be the increased peace I have experienced in my life … gaining a better understanding of the Mass learned from firsthand experience … and a bonus to serving--it is a fun and exciting way to participate in the Mass.”


The role of server is integral to the normal celebration of the Mass so there should be at least one altar server at every Mass but more appropriately two or more servers.

- Boys who are parishioners and have been baptized and received First Holy Communion.
- Mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate
- Assist the priest and deacon at the altar of sacrifice.
- Ability to follow directions, work well with others, and be attentive to what is taking place.
- Attend training and practice sessions that include such things as instruction on the Mass, various sacred vessels and articles used in the liturgy, functions and responsibilities during the Mass, processions, and maintaining proper decorum.
- Know and respond to the prayers and dialogues of the priest and participate in the parts of the liturgy where appropriate.
- Dependable, serving when scheduled or finding a replacement of equal maturity and experience.
- Wear attire appropriate for Mass (trousers and black shoes) and be of neat appearance and cleanliness.
- Be fingerprinted and take Safe Environment Training (SET) if eighteen years old or when reaches the age of eighteen.


Father David Vidal

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