Our Lady of Grace Altar Server Procedure Updated: September 12, 2016

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1 Preliminary Notes: o Please be in the server s room at least 20 minutes before Mass, or you will be replaced o Please be dressed in an alb, long enough to cover your ankles. Place the silver cross around your neck (the chain of the cross goes behind the hood of the alb). Lastly, tie the white cincture, properly and securely around your waist, the knot of the cincture goes on your left side. o Report to the Priest s sacristy to sign in and stay there until the priest leads you in a prayer. We will pray five minutes before Mass begins. o After our prayer, you will go back to the server room to get the cross and to light the candles. Then we will line up for the entrance procession. If there are only two servers, we do not use the candles. Candles are only used when we have three or more servers. o Remember, during the entire Mass you are to be an active participant. Therefore, sit, stand, kneel, be attentive to what is going on, and recite all the responses when appropriate. Make use of the hymnals or worship aids that are provided. If a worship aid is being used, please take one to the server pew before Mass begins. Before Mass Begins (it is your responsibility to): o Light the altar candles using the gold candle lighter / snuffer. o Make sure the brown book (Roman Missal) is in the server pew. o Make sure there is water in the silver pitcher and that there is a towel on the table for the priest s hand washing. o Make sure the bells are under the kneeler. 1 P a g e

2 o Make sure the small clear cruet of water is on credence table. o Be sure to know how to prepare the altar by looking at the picture located on the bulletin board in the sacristy and on the credence table. 1. Entrance Procession: The priest will tell you to begin processing down the aisle. The servers are to walk slowly down the aisle in the following way: o The cross bearer will go first. o Directly behind the cross bearer are the two candle bearers. If there are only two servers, the candles are not used. o The fourth server will process 3-4 pews behind the cross and candle bearers. o The Reader will process 3-4 pews behind the last server. o The last person in the procession is the priest. o Once the cross bearer and the two candle bearers reach the bottom steps of the sanctuary, you will bow your heads and proceed to the right, going behind the sanctuary. The person carrying the cross should place it in the holder which is located on the floor behind the sanctuary. Then proceed to the server pew by crossing behind the sanctuary. Candle bearers will place the candles into the stands on the floor. Leave the candles burning and proceed to the server pew by crossing behind the sanctuary. o Once the fourth server reaches the bottom steps of the sanctuary, you will bow your head and proceed to the left side of the sanctuary. o All servers will sit together in the server pew, which is the first pew on the far left when facing the sanctuary. If you are the book bearer, make sure you are at the end of the pew (far left) at all times. The brown book (the Roman Missal) is kept in the first pew where the servers sit. 2. Gloria: During the Gloria, the book bearer is to hold the Roman Missal so that you are ready to approach the priest at the conclusion of the Gloria. 2 P a g e

3 3. Collect Prayer: The book bearer will take the Roman Missal to the priest when he says, Let us Pray. If the server is taller than priest, move over to your left and hold book to your right; otherwise, stand directly in front of the priest. When the priest is finished praying the collect prayer, he will give you a signal to close the Roman Missal. Then you will return to the server pew with the Roman Missal. 4. Liturgy of the Word: Remember, during the entire Mass you are to be an active participant. Therefore, sit, stand, kneel, be attentive to what is going on, and recite all the responses when appropriate. The Prayers of the Faithful conclude the Liturgy of the Word. 5. Liturgy of the Eucharist: When the ushers begin to pass the collection basket around, it is time to prepare the altar. Look at the picture on the credence table to see the appropriate way to prepare the altar. Four Server Procedure: o Cross Bearer: You will walk behind the sanctuary to retrieve the cross. Wait there until ushers/ people carrying the gifts assemble in back of church. You will lead the offertory procession 3 P a g e

4 down the aisle toward the priest. Once you get to where the priest and servers are, bow to the altar, then proceed to the right to place the cross back in the stand. Return to your pew by crossing behind the sanctuary. o Book Bearer: You will place the Roman Missal on the altar to the far left and return to the credence table. o The Book Bearer and the Remaining Two Servers: One server at a time will carry a vessel and place it on the altar in its proper position. Once you place the vessel on the altar, you will bow and then return to the credence table. The next server will bring another vessel over and place it on the altar in its proper position. You will bow and return to the credence table, and etc. Each Sacred Vessel should be carried with reverence. Once all the vessels are placed on the altar, be seated in the server pew. Three or Less Server Procedure: o Book Bearer: You will do the same as mentioned above by helping the other servers in preparing the altar. o Cross Bearer: If needed, you will help prepare the altar, then you will walk behind the sanctuary to retrieve the cross and lead the offertory procession. 6. Offertory Procession: 4 P a g e

5 When the priest stands and moves to the front of the sanctuary, go with the priest to the front of the sanctuary steps to receive the offertory gifts. o The First Server will receive the offertory collection basket and will place it to the left side of the altar. Then you will go to the credence table and pick up the cruet of water. o The Second Server will receive the ciborium with the bread in it. o The Third Server will receive the pitcher of wine. Please be sure to take the pitcher by its handle. If there are only two servers, the priest will keep/ carry the ciborium of bread. o The server with the ciborium will carry the ciborium DIRECTLY to the altar and hand it to the priest. Do not place the ciborium on the altar yourself. o The server with the pitcher of wine will proceed to the first credence table, joining the server with the cruet of water. o The server with the pitcher of wine and the server with cruet of water will IMMEDIATELY move toward the priest and stand side-byside at the edge of the red carpet. The server with pitcher of wine will be on right and the server with cruet of water will be on the left. Remember to hold the pitcher and the cruet with the handles facing the priest. o Remain standing side-by-side until the priest has given back both the empty pitcher and the cruet of water. Bow to the priest and go back to credence table together, moving to the right of and behind the other two servers that have the pitcher, bowl and towel. Place the pitcher on the credence table behind the bottle of sanitizer. Place the water cruet on the nearest tray. 5 P a g e

6 o Two servers then come to the altar: One server will carry the silver pitcher of water and the silver bowl. You will stand on the right. The other server will carry the unfolded towel. You will stand on the left. o Once the priest has washed and dried his hands, you will bow to the priest and move together back to credence table. Place the pitcher, bowl, and towel on the credence table. o Return to the server pew. 7. The Consecration of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ: PAY ATTENTION! o When the priest holds up the large host ring the bells three times. o When the priest holds up the chalice ring the bells three times. The rings should be short but strong, pausing in between. (Father, Son & Holy Spirit). 8. The Sign of Peace: When the priest invites the congregation to offer the sign of peace, the servers will come up into the sanctuary to exchange the sign of peace with the priest. Then return to the server pew. 9. Communion: You will receive communion from one of the Eucharistic Ministers. 10. Removal of the Roman Missal and the Priest s Chalice from the Altar: After receiving Holy Communion and once all of the Eucharistic ministers have left the sanctuary to distribute communion, the book bearer will walk up and remove the Roman Missal from the altar and bring it back to the pew via the side wall aisle. Another server will come forward to the altar, place the priest s purificator over the priest s chalice, place the paten on top of the 6 P a g e

7 purificator, and lastly place the pall on top of the paten. Return these vessels (one hand on top to keep items from sliding) to the credence table via the other end of the pew. o In other words, as you carried the priest s chalice over as a set you are now taking it back to the credence table as a set. Nothing should be left on the altar except for the ciborium lids. 11. Prayer After Communion: Once the priest purifies the vessels, he will return to the presider s chair. When the priest stands and says, Let us Pray the book bearer will come forward with the Roman Missal. When the priest is finished praying the prayer after communion, he will give you a signal to close the Roman Missal. Then you will return to the server pew with the Roman Missal. 12. Recession: Once the post prayer after communion is prayed, the cross bearer and the candle bearers will go behind the sanctuary to get the cross and candles. Once the cross bearer and the candle bearers are ready: o The cross bearer will proceed to second pew in center aisle. You will turn around facing the sanctuary. o The candle bearers will follow the cross bearer to the center aisle. You will stand in front of cross bearer, facing the sanctuary. o The fourth server will come forward from the server pew and proceed to the center aisle. You will be in front of candle bearers, facing the sanctuary. o The priest will reverence the altar with a kiss, then he will move down to the bottom of the steps. o The priest will either bow or genuflect and all servers WILL BOW with him. o Turn around and process out. If the priest genuflects the servers only bow. 7 P a g e

8 Once we reach the baptismal font, one of the servers should take the priest s hymnbook and return it to the counter in the priest s vesting sacristy. The cross bearer will put the cross back in its stand. The candle bearers will place the candles in the stands and blow them out. 13. After Mass: Once the cross is put in its stand, remain vested. It is the cross bearer s responsibility to return to the sanctuary to: o Extinguish the candles using the candle lighter / snuffer. Do not blow out the candles or wax will go everywhere. o Empty the water from the silver bowl. o Make sure that the silver pitcher is at least half full of water for the next Mass Never set the pitcher inside the bowl. Once the servers are back in server s room, you are to neatly hang up your alb, place the silver cross, and cincture back in its proper place. REMINDERS: The alb you wear should be long enough to cover everything but your shoes. Dress neatly and present yourself well. Remember, you are serving in God s sanctuary. Know your current alb size (select a larger size as you grow). Always take time to properly hang your alb on its hanger. All albs should be kept clean and neatly organized for immediate use. Pick up your new schedule from the church magazine rack when announced at Mass. The schedule is also available online at: 8 P a g e

9 Please be faithful to your schedule and your ministry. When necessary, make sure to contact another server to substitute for you. On weekends when you are not scheduled to serve, get into the habit of checking with the priest in the sacristy to see if he might be in need of a server for that Mass. Wear nice looking and well-fitting shoes. Avoid shirts with loud or negative pictures. If there are any altar server training questions or concerns, please call: Pat Santia at or her at For altar server scheduling questions or concerns, please call the parish secretary, Donna Stewart, at THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS MINISTRY!! 9 P a g e

10 FIRST: Roman Missal SECOND: Priest s Chalice THIRD: Ciborium FOURTH: Communion Cups (carry two at a time) FIFTH: Communion Cups (carry two at a time) SIXTH: Four Purificators *BE SURE TO CARRY EACH SACRED VESSEL WITH REVERENCE* 10 P a g e

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