The Catholic Altar Servers: Altar Holiness
On today’s edition of our Sunday Rice and Stew (Catholic catechism), we shall take a look at one of the ministries in the Church; the Catholic Altar Servers.
The Catholic altar servers is a ministry in the Catholic church alongside other ministry that assist in liturgical worship.
The altar server is a ministry that have no age limit or discriminates against one gender.
The major work of an altar server is to attend to the supporting tasks at the altar.
The church gives its stand about the altar servers in the new Roman Missal in the year 2021 and it accepted by all diocese in the world.
Firstly, Altar servers is a ministry comprising of male and female Christian lay faithful who primary aim is to carry out the functions of the instituted acolyte.
They should be matured enough to understand their responsibilities and carry them out well and with appropriate reverence.
Secondly, all altar servers are meant to know that the work on the altar is not gender based. All roles of service on the altar are assigned without considering the gender.
Thirdly, altar Servers should receive proper formation before they begin to function. The formation should include instruction on the Mass and its various parts and their meaning.
The various object used in the Liturgy and various functions of servers at mass and during other liturgical celebrations.
Altar Servers, should also receive appropriate guidance on maintaining proper Decorum and attire when serving mass and other functions.
Fourthly, altar servers should be seated in a place from which they can easily assist the Priest celebrant and Deacon.
Lastly and most surprising, with the permission of their Bishop, altar servers may distribute Holy communion.
Function of the Altar servers.
Having already established that the primary function of altar servers is to attend to the supporting task at the altar, let us look into this function in bits.
Altar servers carry out many functions which includes the following:
- Altar servers rings the bells for procession to call the attention of the people to the mass and also at consecration to all the attention of the people to Christ present on the altar of sacrifice.
- The altar servers carry processional Cross, processional candles, hold the book the book for the Priest celebrant when he is not at the altar.
- The altar servers also carry the Thurible and censer during the procession, incensing, reading of the gospel, incensing of the Paschal candle and the congregation.
- The altar servers also function during the liturgy of the Eucharist by helping the Priest to prepare the Host and Wine for consecration and also gives the Priest water and towel for washing of his Hands. At the distribution of the Holy communion, the altar servers also help in holding the communion plates
Holiness In the Altar Servers Ministry
The common slogan of the altar Servers which is “Nearer to the altar, Nearer to God” can deceive her members if personal Holiness is not sought after.
Holiness is a gift from God extended to the church. Holiness according to the Catechism of the catholic Church, is not tantamount to spirituality. Spirituality should be seen as a part to Holiness.
All Altar servers are called to follow the path that leads to Holy life. If indeed they are nearer to the altar, and wants to be nearer to God, then they should follow the path of Holiness which consist of prayers, community life, the sacraments, morality and Gospel values.
All altar servers are called to live Holy lives and to be role models especially to the younger congregation.
The altar servers can live Holy life through the following ways:
- Personal prayer before wearing the Alb or altar vestments should be practice.
- Altar server should always be in the state of grace to enable them serve the priest very well at mass. Being in the state of means also that the altar server will receive communion at mass too. This is also a way of teaching the congregation that we are all called to be Holy.
- Altar servers are called to pray alongside the Priest and congregation that is, they are to respond to the prayers and dialogues of the Priest along with the Congregation. They are also to join in the singing the hymns and other Chants of the Liturgy.
The ministry of the altar servers is meant to in stir Holiness to its members. Parents and Guardians are encouraged to allow their children to be part of this noble association for indeed, her members are while being closer to the altar are also Closer to God.
May God bless this teaching in your hearts and beautify you with many graces as you start this new week. Happy Sunday.