"But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves."
Altar Servers are girls and boys in grades 3-12, who assist the presider and deacon at the Lord's Table for all Masses and other liturgies. They are either parishioners of St. Augustine or students of St. Augustine School.
What a great way to serve the Lord! Your child will experience a closeness and sense of duty to God.
We seek to bring our children closer to God and to the parish community by helping our young altar servers deepen their friendship with Christ by growing in their knowledge and appreciation of the mystery and the power of the Holy Mass as they serve alongside the parish priest. Moreover, the tasks they perform help draw all of us to participate in the Mass in a fuller and more intimate way, thus bringing each of us closer to Christ.
Altar servers have a place of prominence and distinction in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. They assist the priest as he leads God's people in this great act of worship. They do this through the actions they perform and the way in which they perform them.
Altar servers carry the cross and 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; and assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. When appropriate, a server may also ring the bells as a signal to the faithful.
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. Servers are seated in a place from which they can easily assist the priest celebrant and deacon.
Occasionally, altar servers are needed to assist with special liturgies, weddings, and funerals.
Altar servers must receive proper formation and training before they can serve at Mass. Training classes are at least twice a year, normally on a Saturday morning in the church for approximately an hour and a half. Formation includes instruction on the Mass, its parts, and their meaning; the various objects used in the liturgy (their names and use); and the various functions of the server during the Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Servers receive guidance on maintaining proper decorum and attire when serving at Mass and other functions.
Boy and girls who wish to serve in the Youth Altar Server Ministry must meet the following guidelines:
Prayer and support, especially a kind word of thanks to the children who serve when you see them after Mass are always welcomed.
To learn about the next training or ask other questions, contact the church office: 202-265-1470.