St. Jude Parish Altar Server Guidelines
If you are going to be absent, it is your responsibility to find your own replacement from the list that you will be provided.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before Mass. If you are to receive communion, remember there is a 1-hour fast; this means no gum should chewed, too! As you prepare yourselves for Mass, please keep in mind the crowded atmosphere in the sacristy and maintain a quiet reverence as you dress. Everyone check to make sure the others serving with you are properly vested; albs are clean and long enough; cincture is properly tied. Dress properly.
---No sport jerseys, bright stripes, etc. that will show through alb.
---No frayed cuffs on pants.
---Clean shoes properly worn.
---No flip-flops or house shoes.
Newest servers carry candles - tallest server usually carries the cross.
NOTE:candles carried in the procession will be the candles normally placed on the corners of the altar, so you need to make sure those candles are in the sacristy before Mass, and lighted!
Procession (beginning of Mass)
a. Cross at the 3rd pew from the back.
b. Candles at each side of the cross.
c. 4th server behind the cross carrying hymnal.
When the choir starts to sing, start walking forward --- slowly, unless the priest informs you otherwise.
When the cross bearer reaches the bottom step, they should turn right, take the cross to the small hallway, place it in its holder, then go to their seat.
Candle bearers should take their candles and place them on the corners of the altar, then go stand in front of their chairs. The cross bearer should be seated to the priest’s left.
The priest and deacon will bow at the bottom step, reverence the altar, and then go their places.
If there is no deacon present, a server should sit on the priest’s right and hold the Missal (large red book) for him for the opening prayer and the prayer after communion. Hand the book to him, he will open it to the proper page, then hand it back to you to hold for him. Please use both hands and hold it steadily at the level at which the priest hands it to you. After the prayer is completed, place the book on the small stool between yours and the priest’s chairs (not on the altar).
Candle bearers stand at the chairs near the tabernacle after you have placed your candles on the corners of the altar.
Be seated when priest sits after the opening prayer.
After sermon and prayers, help deacon dress altar (If no deacon is present, just place the items on the altar for the priest to set up.)
a. Bring priest’s chalice and purificators first.
b. Bring ministers’ cups to altar.
c. Don’t bring the two ciboria yet.
When gifts are brought forward:
a. Stand when deacon (or priest, in the absence of a deacon) stands.
b. Candle bearers go to deacon or priest’s right, other to his left.
c. Wait for the deacon or priest to hand you the gifts.
d. Wine goes to right side of altar (please remove the stopper from the wine, return it to the credence table, and pick up the water cruet.)
e. Hosts in the ciborium go to the priest’s left side on the corner of the altar.
f. The Offering basket goes in front of the altar.
g. Host and offering servers go to step by rectory door.
h. Hand wine to deacon or priest, and then go to credence table.
i. Hand water to deacon or priest and wait.
j. Take water to credence table.
k. Take water bowl and towel to priest.
l. After priest washes hands, return bowl and towel to table.
m. Go to step by exit.
n. Kneel when congregation kneels, hands together in front (prayer pose).
At the Our Father, form a straight line behind altar with the priest and deacon.
After the Sign of Peace, the Fourth Server takes two ciboria to the altar and places them on the left corner of the altar. That same server then takes the Missal from the altar (the priest will usually hand it to you), and places it on the stool between the priest’s and deacon’s chairs.
Servers stand at both ends of line of Eucharistic Ministers. After you and all the ministers in the sanctuary have received communion, return to your chairs and be seated as the ministers go to their places for communion distribution.
After communion, assist the priest or deacon in clearing the vessels and cloths from the altar. The two candle bearers assist in this. Items will be handed to you or placed on the right corner of the altar- please do not take any vessel from any other place on the altar.
NOTE: Water will not be needed any more. Cleaning of vessels will occur at a later time. Be seated in your place when finished.
In the absence of a deacon, the server seated on the priest’s right stands to hold the book for the priest when the priest stands and says “Let us pray.” After the prayer is completed, close and place the book on the small table between the chairs.
As the closing hymn begins, Cross bearer goes to small hallway, takes cross to the second pew, then turns and faces altar; Candle bearers take the candles from the altar and stand beside the cross; the fourth server stands in front of cross. After about one verse of the closing hymn, priest and deacon will leave their chairs and walk directly out of the sanctuary-- no altar veneration, no bowing. As the priest and deacon reach the bottom step, turn and lead us down the aisle.
NOTE: Do not pick up the collection basket. The ushers will do that after closing hymn.
Hang up cross, hang albs and cinctures properly on hanger. Check area to make sure all is neat before you leave. Be sure that candles are extinguished and on sacristy countertop before you leave!
Thank you for your ministry.