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									                                          St. Martin de Porres Church
Although the duties of the altar server are many and varied, the most important responsibility of the altar
server during Mass is to pray!
     Be in Fourth grade or above and have received First Holy Communion.
     Have a strong desire to serve the Lord.
     Must be committed to their fellow servers.
     Attend practices that are scheduled.
     Registered in the Parish Religious Education Program or attend St. Martin de Porres School.
The Altar Server must follow rules to continue to serve at Mass
     Appropriate Attire: Dress as you would go to anywhere important.
            o Male servers should dress in collared shirts, dress pants, or khakis.
            o Female servers should wear dresses, skirts, or some other appropriate attire.
                     Blue jeans, beach attire, gym clothes, and T-shirts are never to be worn at Mass.
                        Such clothing is not appropriate attire for serving at the altar.
            o Appropriate dress shoes should be worn (preferably black shoes for male servers).
            o Also, black sneakers are discouraged.
     Attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days whenever possible.
     Attend all Altar Server meetings.
     An altar server must attend every Mass they are scheduled for.
            o If for some reason the server cannot attend the assigned Mass, it is the server’s responsibility
                to find a replacement.
            o If there is a problem finding a replacement, contact Father Gui no later than Friday before
                the assigned Mass.
            o Remember, you are part of a team. When you miss your scheduled date, everyone suffers.
     Servers must demonstrate the ability to make use of the “tools of the trade,” such as matches, candle
        lighters, books and candles, etc.
     Arrive at church 10 minutes before scheduled Mass.
     Perform duties assigned to you as best as possible.
     People make mistakes, we are all human. Learn from the mistakes and you can perform better next
     Stay in a personal prayer position during Mass.
     Servers should know the responses and say them out loud.
     Stay at least 5 minutes after Mass to tidy up.
Typically, there will be three servers assigned to a particular Mass on Sundays. The three positions will be
defined as the following:
         Server One
         Server Two
         Server Three
Server One:
     This is typically the older or more “seasoned” server, who carries the cross during the Entrance and
        Closing Processions.
            o He or she will be responsible for ringing the bells during the consecration.
            o Bringing the water to the priests for the purification of the chalice after communion.
            o Server one should supervise other servers, and will make sure everything is in its proper
                place before and after Mass.
                                          St. Martin de Porres Church
            o If incense is used during Mass, Server One will be the thurible.
Server Two:
    Server Two will be responsible for the following tasks:
            o He or she will be responsible for holding the book for the priest during the opening and
               closing prayers (the “Let us Pray” prayers).
            o Bringing the book to the altar during the preparation of the gifts, going down to the foot of
               the altar with the priest to receive the gifts, holding the wine for the priest and deacon,
               assisting in the washing of the hands.
            o He or she will also be responsible for taking the book off the altar after communion.
Server Three:
    Server Three will be responsible for the following tasks:
            o He or she will be responsible for bringing up the chalice and paten to the altar, assist in
               receiving the gifts at the foot of the altar with the priest, holding the water for the priest and
               deacon during preparation of the altar, pouring the water when the priest washes his hands.
            o He or she will also be responsible for clearing the altar of the Ciboriae and the Chalice and
            o If incense is used during Mass, Server Three will be the boat.
Arrival for Mass
    Servers must arrive 10 minutes before their scheduled Mass.
    Sign the Altar Server Sign-in Sheet
    Quietly put on your cassock and surplice in the place assigned.
    Listen to any instructions given to you about changes at Mass.
Preparation for Mass
Wine and Water
    Fill wine and water cruets. They are found in the fridge in the room with the sink.
    Place cruets on offertory table in the back of church.
    Remove ciborium from where they are located.
    Place hosts in ciborium. Ask priest how many hosts should be used.
    Place the ciborium on the offertory table
Chalice and Paten
    Get a clean purificator (cloth) from the closet.
    Drape it over the lip of the chalice.
    Place one large host on the paten.
    Place paten on top of the chalice.
    Place the pall (heavy board-like cloth) on the top of the paten.
    Place the corporal on top of the pall.
    Place the chalice and paten on the credence table on the left side of the church
    Check to make sure there is a key in the tabernacle.
            o If not, ask the priest to place the key into the tabernacle.
Bowl and Towel
    Get a clean cloth from the closet with the purificators. The bowl is already on the credence table.
    Place the cloth on the credence table
    Five minutes before Mass time, light the four altar candles using the candle lighter/extinguisher.

                                           St. Martin de Porres Church
     Properly extinguish the flame by pulling the wick into the lighter.
     If there is no wick, ask the priest or sacristan to place it for you.
General Instructions
     Double-check to make sure everything has been put out for Mass.
     Make sure the candles have been lit.
     At two minutes before Mass, move to the front doors where the priest will be waiting to start Mass.
Entrance Procession
     Cross is always first, the other servers follow, the Eucharistic Ministers, the Lector, then the priest.
     Wait for the music to begin, and then walk slowly up the center aisle.
     When you reach the foot of the sanctuary, walk up the stairs, the cross goes to the left side with the
        other servers.
     Move up to the side of Sanctuary.
     Server One places the cross gently on the cross stand, the other servers go to their respected places.
Opening Prayer
     After the priest says, “Let us pray…”, Server Two will pick up the Sacramentary and present it to
        the priest.
     The priest will open it and the server will stand holding the book.
     When the priest is finished, he will close the book and the book is returned to its place in the
        credence table.
     When the priest or deacon stands to read the Gospel, the servers must also stand and turn to face the
        priest or deacon when he reads.
     After the Gospel is read, you may sit and pay attention to the homily.
     When the priest sits after saying the intercession, Server Two will bring the book to the altar
     Server Three will place the chalice and paten on the altar.
Preparation of Gifts
     After the priest or deacons sets up the altar, Servers Two and Three will follow them to receive the
     The priest will hand the wine and water to Servers Two and Three.
     When all the gifts are received, all go up the sanctuary.
     Both wine and water are presented to the priest or deacon.
     After taking both wine and water, the servers return them to the credence table.
            o If the incense is used, Servers One and Three will help with the thurible and boat (incense).
            o When the priest returns after going around the altar, Server One will take the thurible and
                returns it to the stand.
            o While the priest goes around the altar, Servers Two and Three should be ready to wash the
                priest’s hands.
     Return all objects to the credence table.
Eucharistic Prayer
     After the Holy, Holy is completed, the servers are to walk down the steps to the kneelers provided
        on the steps.
     When the priest stretches his hands over the gifts to bless them Server One should ring the bells.
        (Please be attentive to this action, for it varies depending on what Eucharistic Prayer is used.)
     The bells are also to be used during the Elevation of the Host and the Chalice.
            o This is my Body which is given for you (Ring bells)
            o Do this in memory of Me. (Ring bells)
                                        St. Martin de Porres Church
    All servers are to respect the church’s right to pray, so no horsing around during the Eucharistic
           o The people are looking at you for guidance and will follow what you do.
           o You set the tone for the mass.
           o Remember they are looking at you so that they can follow your example.
    When the priest is giving Communion, the Sacramentary may be taken back to its place in the
       credence table by Server Two.
           o The servers may sit until Communion is finished.
    When Communion is finished, Server Three needs to help place the objects back onto the credence
    The Priest may ask for the water, Server One should be ready to give it to him when asked for.
    When finished, sit down until the priest says, “Let us pray…”
    Server Two will pick up the Sacramentary and present it to the priest.
    The priest will open it and the server will stand holding the book.
    When the priest is finished, he will close the book and the book then can be returned to its place on
       the table.
Closing Procession
    After the priest gives the final blessing, Server One will get the cross and go down the steps and
       wait at the third pew.
    The rest of the servers will follow Server One.
    As the priest goes around the altar the servers will wait until he bows and turns around.
    As the priest turns around, the servers will also turn and head down the aisle.
    Clear the credence table off and take the objects back to the sacristy.
    Properly extinguish candles by the altar with the candle lighter/extinguisher.
    Return the cruets back to the fridge and fill them with water and wine.
    Bring the chalice back to the sacristy and place on the table.
General Cleaning Duties
    Quickly remove you vestments and PROPERLY hang them back on the right clothing rack.
   1.   Ablution cup - covered dish of water on the side of the tabernacle used by the priest, deacon or extraordinary ministers
        of the Eucharist to wash their fingers after distributing Communion.
   2.   Alb - The full white garment worn by the priest, deacon, and in some cases the altar servers. The alb is symbolic of
        Baptism. The rope tied around the waist is called a cincture.
   3.   Altar - The place where the Eucharistic Sacrifice takes place. The altar is sacred and often contains relics of the saints.
   4.   Ambo - The platform, lectern or pulpit from which the reading and homily are given.
   5.   Aspergillium - The holy water sprinkler.
   6.   Cassock - A long tunic like garment which reaches from the neck to the heels which is worn by some servers and
   7.   Chalice - A cup of precious metal that holds the wine which becomes the Blood of Jesus after the consecration. All
        chalices should be placed in their places after Mass. If the Chalices were left unpurified by the priest or deacon for
        some reason they should be left out on the presentation table for purification by the priest or deacon. Never put an
        unpurified chalice away.
   8.   Ciborium - A large cup or container of precious metal with a cover of the same material which will hold the Body of
        Jesus after the consecration for distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful.
   9.   Corporal - A white linen cloth, usually with a cross in the center, used to protect any particles of the Precious Body and
        Blood of Jesus from falling to the altar cloth. It is always folded and unfolded as to protect any particles from being
        lost. The corporal is like the body winding sheet used to hold the crucified body or Our Lord in the tomb.
                                           St. Martin de Porres Church
10. Credence Table - The table in the sanctuary where the cruets, chalices and ciborium are kept before and after the
11. Cruets - The vessels containing the water and wine used at Mass.
12. IHS - the first three letters of Jesus’ Name in Greek and often used to decorate the altar and other church facades.
13. Lectionary - The book of reading used for the Liturgy of the Word. It usually contains all the biblical reading used for
    the three-year Sunday cycle of reading and the two-year daily Mass readings.
14. Lunette - A thin, circular receptacle, having a glass face that holds the Consecrated Host used for Adoration and
    Benediction. It slides into the monstrance on a little track.
15. Monstrance - This is a large, ornate vessel used to hold the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration, Benediction and solemn
    Eucharistic processions.
16. Pall - A square piece of cardboard or plastic, which is covered by linen and used to cover the chalice.
17. Paten - A small saucer shaped plate of precious metal that holds the Host. Servers should be very careful when they
    have to handle it their official duties.
18. Purificator - A linen cloth used by the priest or deacon to dry the chalice after washing and purifying it. Used
    Purificators must always be placed in the proper container for sacred cloths.
19. Pyx - A case, about the size of a pocket watch, in which Communion is carried to those who are sick or unable to come
    to church.
20. Sacramentary - The book containing the prayers said by the priest during the Mass.
21. Sacrarium - A sink with it drain going directly into the ground usually fitted with a cover and lock, which is used for
    the disposal of the following: The sacred linen wash and rinse water, used holy water, used baptismal water, and blessed
    ashes. No other use is allowed.
22. Sepulcrum - The cavity on the altar in which the relic(s) of the patron saints of that church or chapel are incased.
23. Stock - The metal containers used to hold the oil of the catechumen, the oil of chrism and the oil for anointing the sick.
24. Surplice - A wide sleeved, linen worn over a cassock by clergy and altar servers in some parishes.
25. Thurible - The special vessel which holds burning charcoal and into which incense is placed. The device holding the
    incense is called the “boat.”
                                         ALTAR SERVER’S PRAYER

                            Open my mouth, O Lord, to bless your Holy Name.
                          Cleanse my heart from all evil and distracting thoughts.
                              Enlighten my understanding and inflame my will
                              that I may serve more worthily at your holy altar.
                          O Mary, Mother of Christ the High Priest, obtain for me
                         the most important grace of knowing my vocation in life.
                            Grant me a true spirit of faith and humble obedience
                       so that I may ever behold the priest as a representative of God
                                       and willingly follow him in the
                                    Way, the Truth, and the Life of Christ.


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