The primary role of the Altar Server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy by their actions, singing of hymns, responses of the people, looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, hold the book for the priest when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the Priest or Deacon during the preparation of the gifts, or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the Priest, assist the Priest and Deacon as necessary.
Altar servers are chosen from among the faithful who display a desire to participate in an intimate way during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is an extreme privilege to kneel so close to the altar as our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, becomes truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity upon the altar.
Children who have made their First Holy Communion are eligible to become altar servers.
Photo by Fr Francis