In the Roman Catholic Church, altar servers (boys and girls) help the priest and deacon during the liturgy, especially the Holy Mass, funerals, weddings, and other special occasions. They have several supporting duties to carry out, such as carrying the processional cross and candles, carry the incense and thurible, holding the missal for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, assisting the priest when he receives the gifts from the people, washing the hands of the priest before the prayer over the gifts, removing items from the altar during communion, and assisting the priest celebrant as necessary. Altar servers wear the alb or the cassock and surplice during a liturgy.
Children who are in the 4th grade and above are encouraged to become alter servers. The active participation in serving at the altar of God gives people graces, joys and benefits. God blesses altar servers with additional graces separate from the graces received from participating in the Holy Mass. There are also joys from serving, such as satisfaction at helping the priest celebrate Mass and also satisfaction from praising God in a different way. There are also a multitude of benefits such as learning the order of Mass, a chance to meet new people and build self-esteem.
If this has encouraged you or someone you know to become an altar server please call the rectory or fill out the application form by clicking here and place it in any collection basket. We will be pleased to incorporate you in the alter server group at St. Joseph Church. There will be training sessions for new candidates.
All the altar servers are encouraged to serve at any celebrated Mass even if they are not scheduled to altar serve.