Altar Servers

To be or become an altar server is a commitment. There are people counting on you. First, the priest depends on you. He needs to know you will be there on time. He needs to know you are prepared. You help the priest things go smoothly.

Remember also the people in the assembly count on you. Without you an important part of prayer leadership is missing. You have been called to serve. Your parish is grateful that you have responded to God’s call. I want to thank you for your dedication and time to serve God and our parish community.

Information Guide

Our priests rely on their Altar Servers to help the Mass run smoothly. As an Altar Server, you are responsible for knowing the part you play in the celebration of the Mass.

Keep the following rules in mind:

  • If you can’t serve at your assigned Mass, send an email to all other Servers requesting a substitute. (If you don’t have access to email, call other servers on our list.)
  • Skipping your assigned Mass without finding a substitute is not an option, except when there is a valid emergency!
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your Mass.
  • Make sure your clothes are appropriate and your shoes are clean.
  • If you are wearing a watch, make sure the alarm is turned off!
  • Pay attention to, and participate in, the Mass.
  • In the Sanctuary, show respect for where you are.
  • Don’t talk or laugh with other servers when you are on duty.
  • If you are unsure about what you are to do, ask the priest before Mass or an experienced Altar Server
  • Be helpful to our visiting priests. If they cannot find an item or if they forget to dismiss the children for the Children’s Liturgy (at 10:00 a.m., except during baptisms), help them as best you can.
  • After Mass, hang your cassock or alb NEATLY on the rack on the appropriate hanger.

Altar Server Dictionary

Sanctuary - the sacred space elevated before the congregation

Altar - the table of the Lord in the sanctuary

Altar Cloth - the table cloth for the Altar, always white

Lectionary - the book of scriptures read read at the liturgy of The Word

Lector - the person who reads the scriptures during Mass

Sacristy - the room where the priest vest before Mass

Vestments - special robes worn by the priest, deacons and altar servers

Alb - white robe worn over street clothes

Cincture - cord used as the belt for the alb

Chasuble - coloured vestment worn only by the priest

Cassock - black/red/white vestment worn by altar servers

Altar - the table of the Lord in the sanctuary

Altar Cloth - the table cloth for the Altar, always white

Purificator - small white cloth used with the Chalice

Corporal - small white cloth placed in the center of the Altar over the altar cloth

Altar Vessels - sacred vesels used during the celebration of the Liturgy

Chalice - gold cub used by the priest/eucharistic ministers for the Blood of Christ


gold cup with a lid for the Body of Christ in the Tabernacle


the ornate receptacle used to place the Body of Christ

Credence Table

the small table to one side off the sanctuary for sacred vessels


rung during the Consecration of the Mass

Paschal Candle

the large ornate candle used at funerals, baptism and Easter until Pentacost

Procession Cross - the cross carried in and out of the Mass

Procession Candles - the candles carried in and out of Mass and during the Gospel

Cruets - small pitchers of water and wine for the Mass

Finger Bowl - small bowl for priest to wash hand during the Liturgy of the Mass

Boat - container for Insense

Aspergillum - the Holy Water sprinkler

Sacrarium - this provides for the proper disposal of sacred substances

Baptismal Font