Altar Serving has a rich heritage that goes back to the life of Jesus himself. In preparation for the Last Supper, Jesus sent two of his disciples to ‘prepare the Passover’ in the upper room where he and the twelve apostles were to gather. Over many centuries how the Last Supper was celebrated became more stylised and detailed, and trained assistants (known as acolytes) were included.
The primary role of an Altar Server is to assist a priest who is celebrating the liturgy we know as Mass. This involves specific actions and behaviours which include setting an example to the congregation by actively engaging in the liturgy, participating in the singing of hymns and behaving attentively and reverently throughout the Mass.
For Sunday Mass an altar server carries the ceremonial cross ahead of the celebrant during the entry and departure processions, holds the books needed by the celebrant, carries the thurible and incense boat (if incense is used), accepts the gifts from parishioners at the offertory procession, presents the water and drying cloth when the priest washes his hands before the consecration and presents the wine and water to be consecrated.
Altar Servers are chosen from those who display a sincere desire to assist at Mass. It is a privilege to kneel close by as our Saviour becomes truly present in body, blood, soul and divinity upon the altar.
At present the Church of the Resurrection has approximately 60 registered Altar Servers, some of whom elect to serve well into their high school years and beyond. The ministry is open to anyone who has received their First Holy Communion. Training of registered servers continues throughout the year as well as in preparation for special liturgical occasions, to update Mass requirements and to prepare new servers. Each server is assigned to a roster of team of six to eight servers, and each team member chooses the function they will perform during the Eucharistic Celebration.
Contact Person: Marion Couto (Altar Servers Coordinator)