Altar Servers' Guide
PRAYERS TO KNOW
To Parents and Altar Servers
ALTAR SERVER DUTIES
Commissioning of the new altar servers.
Know what you are to do while serving Mass and when you are to do it. Look as though you CAN do it. Don’t look as if serving Mass is the worst punishment or the most unpleasant thing you can think of. Don’t be afraid to smile as you serve Mass. An ancient prayer in this Bible says, “I will go to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth” (Ps. 42:4, Vulgate).
As you do what you are supposed to be doing be aware of what you need to do next. This will eliminate undesirable and awkward gaps during the liturgy.
Don’t fidget nervously or slither around the sanctuary. Be relaxed and comfortable. Be yourself. Remember to listen, sing, and pray with the other people who have gathered to worship God. Remember what an important service you are giving to God and God’s People. And do your best at all times.
THE IMPORTANCE OF POSTURE
1. Posture contributes to an environment, which fosters prayer and express the spiritual attitude of those taking part.
2. Posture allows us to pray with our entire body.
3. Our uniformity in standing, kneeling, or sitting is a sign of community and the unity of those assembled.
4. Uniformity of posture is a sign that we are no longer individuals but have become the gathered Body of Christ, so when we come together to worship, those who are physically able arc expected to put aside their personal preference and conform to the posture of the community.
POSTURE AT MASS
A posture” is how you are using the parts of your body at a particular time. A server has to carry out a number of different actions at Mass, and SO there are a number of different postures.
We do a lot of walking every day, and sometimes we get sloppy as we do it. Don’t walk down the aisle or around the sanctuary stiffly like a tin soldier, but don’t lumber around like a grizzly bear either. Walk with your back straight and your head held high.
When you bow to someone or something at Mass, it should he smooth, forward inclining of your head and shoulders. When you bow to the altar, bow deeply at the waist and bring yourself slowly to your full height. When you bow to the priest, bow your head slowly and gracefully. Don’t walk and bow at the same time, stop before bowing.
When you genuflect, keep your hands in front of your chest while you go down on your right knee. Keep your body upright. Don’t wobble back and forth, or you may look like a newborn lamb trying to walk. Be sure that you’re alb isn’t going to trip you on the way down or up.
When you kneel, your body should be upright and your hands should be in front of your chest.
Always stand up straight with both feet firmly on the floor about six to eight inches apart. This will give you balance and comfort at the same time. Don’t lean against the furniture or against the walls.
Sit down on your chair carefully and gracefully. And once you are seated, sit tall and don’t slouch. Place your hands in your lap in a relaxed manner. Watch how the priest holds his hands, and do as he does.
Unless you are sitting down or carrying something your hands should he kept Joined in front of your chest, whether locked together, palm-to-palm, fingers pointing upward. Hold your hands the way the priest does. Keep your hands high up on your chest. l you arc carrying something in one hand, hold the other hand flat on your chest.
During Mass, always look towards the place where the action is happening: the celebrant’s chair, the lectern, or the altar. When the reader is reading the Scriptures, you should he looking at the reader. When you talk to someone, you want that person to look at you, right? The same is true at Mass. Look at the priest and the other ministers as they speak and act in the sanctuary, and even look at the people in the pews. This tells the other people in church that you know they are there.