The role of server is integral to the normal celebration of the Mass. Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. Servers respond to the prayers and dialogues of the priest along with the congregation. They also join in singing the hymns and other chants of the liturgy.
At St. Eugene Church, altar serving is open to children in the 3rd Grade and up who serve Mass at all Weekend Masses, Weddings, Christmas, Holy Week, Easter and Special Parish Masses throughout the year. Each year a new class is recruited and properly trained and installed for service during the Season of Advent. Senior Altar Servers are those in parishioners in high school who serve as
Masters/Mistresses of Ceremonies at all Masses. Adult Altar Servers help at daily Masses and Funeral Masses during the week.
It is a great honor and privilege to serve at Mass. It is your most important activity of the week, for at Mass you come to spend time with God and receive Jesus in Holy Communion. As Servers, you have a special place close to the Altar. Servers must always come to Mass prepared to meet Jesus. We prepare our bodies by fasting (not eating or drinking anything except water and medicine) one hour before receiving Communion. We also go to confession regularly to prepare our souls to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We come to Mass dressed modestly so as to give a good example to others. We act, dress, and talk in a way that is fitting for the church, which is God’s house.
Serving Mass is a very important responsibility. When we are scheduled to serve, the priest and the people are counting on us to be there. We must always be prompt for Mass. Servers need to arrive with enough time (15 minutes) before Mass to help the priest set up. Servers need to be responsible for coming to serve when they are scheduled, or for finding a replacement and calling the Rectory Office to notify us. Servers should only miss serving Mass for a very good reason. Servers are to be examples to others at Mass. So, we should always know the responses to the prayers and join in singing the hymns. Servers have an important role in the Mass, and so we need to take that responsibility very seriously and always do our best to serve Mass well. Proper dress for servers does not include sneakers, tank tops or other inappropriate clothing for church.