Training for New, Current, and Returning Altar Servers
Altar Servers perform an indispensable function in the celebration of the Eucharist. They assist the priest, the deacon, and (when he is presiding) the Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach at liturgical functions at our Cathedral of St. Ignatius. Altar servers help prepare the altar, assist with the preparation of the gifts of bread and wine, and lead processions during liturgies.
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy (hymns, responses, etc.), by looking alert, reverent, and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), 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.
Altar servers must attend every Mass that they have been scheduled. When a server cannot be present they must arrange for a replacement.
Altar servers are on duty from the time they enter the sanctuary at the start of Mass until they finish cleanup after the end of Mass. During the Mass their duty station is the sanctuary and a server may not leave the sanctuary except as directed by a priest, deacon or bodily necessity.
Altar servers must have received first confession and Holy Communion.