Altar Servers have the privilege and duty of assisting the priest in the celebration of Mass and other sacraments and services. This gives them the opportunity of being closely involved with the celebration while acting reverently and unobtrusively.
This role is open to any parishioner, boy, girl or adult who has received their First Holy Communion. The age range of current Altar Servers is from primary school and teens to adults and retired so everyone could find a fellow spirit in the team.
No previous knowledge or experience is required and new recruits will normally be tutored before Mass and unobtrusively on the Sanctuary during Mass. As their knowledge and level of comfort progress they will be given more active and responsible roles. Whether responsible for candles (acolytes), incense (thurifer), bells, books, offertory or cruets all servers will become multi-skilled and capable of eventually taking on any role as required. They will over time progress to the point where they are comfortable taking the lead role at Mass as the Master of Ceremonies (M.C.) leading the other servers.
As time passes they will find themselves passing on tips to younger recruits. When the new servers reach an acceptable level of competence they will be invited to join the Guild of St Stephen, the patron saint of altar servers. Guild medals signifying their qualification as full members are awarded at the annual St Stephen’s Day Mass (Boxing Day) and are then proudly worn by the servers when performing their duties.
Long service is recognised at 5 and 10 years and we currently have several servers wearing their 10 year service silver medals.
As most people tend to go to the same Mass each week we do not at present operate a servers’ rota but rely on servers to assist at whatever Mass they attend. Cassocks and surplices are provided for the team; all we ask is that servers wear simple, cheap black pumps for quietness and uniformity.
Anyone wishing to join the Altar Servers’ team should contact either Fr Vincent or Victor Gould who leads the team, via the parish office:firstname.lastname@example.org
All adults in the team are DBS checked (old CRB).