Guidelines for Altar Servers

Attendance

If you are scheduled for a Sunday Mass or another liturgy and you cannot serve, you are responsible to find a replacement. Any server with three absences within a 6 month period, without a replacement will    be taken off the altar server list.

Attire

Clothing: Your clothing should be clean, neat and appropriate for Church. No T-shirts, sweatshirts, half-shirts, halter tops, jeans, shorts or athletic wear.

Footwear: Dress shoes or dressy casual shoes are required. No open-toe shoes, sandals, sneakers or any kind of beach or water shoes.

Hair Style & Color

Hair Style: Your hair must be neat and groomed. No outlandish hair styles. For safety reasons, servers with long hair should pull their hair back in a pony tail or some other fashion.

Hair Color: For those servers who like to dye their hair other colors, be advised that bright, fluorescent and outlandish colors are prohibited. Some examples of bright, fluorescent and outlandish include pink, fire-engine red, orange, yellow, blue, purple and green.

Makeup, Jewelry & Perfume

Makeup: Makeup should be kept to an absolute minimum. If worn, makeup must be very light and muted. No bright colors. No glitter.

Jewelry: Jewelry also should be kept to a minimum. Bracelets are discouraged. Any earrings worn must be small and conservative. Dangling earrings and large hoop earrings are strictly forbidden.

Perfume & Cologne: The wearing of perfume and cologne is highly discouraged. Why? Because it remains on the alb after you have served. You may enjoy the aroma of a particular perfume or cologne, but the server who uses the alb after you may not.

Before Mass

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Arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time.

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Sign the attendance book.

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Vest in an alb that fits you well.

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Light the altar candles.

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Check the credence table (in the sanctuary) to make sure the chalice (with a purificator), the cruet with water, and the bowl and towel are there.

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Check the table (in the center of the church) used to hold the bread and wine for the Presentation of the Gifts. Make sure the ciborium of bread and the cruet of wine are there.

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Use the bathroom if you need to.

During Mass

bullet Always maintain an attitude and posture of reverence.
bullet No unnecessary talking. No joking around.
bullet Sit up straight. Do not slouch or lean against anything.
bullet Kneel appropriately. No half kneeling, sitting back on your heels or the chair behind you.
bullet Pray and sing with the congregation. Use the hymnal.
bullet Keep the playing with hair, dangling your feet and fidgeting with your hands to a minimum.
bullet Absolutely no eating. No chewing gum. No candy of any kind. If you are ill and are using cough drops, please let the priest or deacon know before Mass begins.
bullet No walking back into the sacristy unless you need to do so in the course of your serving (for example, to get the cross), or you are ill and need to get to the bathroom quickly.
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When serving, whether in procession or in the sanctuary, do not run. Take your time.

After Mass

bullet Put out candles with the candle snuffer.
bullet Bring the chalice (with purificator), water cruet, bowl and towel back into the sacristy.
bullet Hang up your alb neatly.
bullet Ask the priest or deacon if he needs you to do anything else.
Do I Genuflect or Bow?

When passing in front of the altar or tabernacle, you must bow or genuflect. The general rule is that you genuflect in front of a tabernacle and bow before an altar. However, since our tabernacle is directly behind the altar, there can be confusion about what to do when passing in front of the altar. Please observe the following guidelines:

During Mass: If you are not carrying a candle or the cross, you only genuflect when you come in with the priest and deacon at the beginning of Mass and when you leave with the priest and deacon at the end of Mass. At all other times during the Mass, you bow (since, during Mass, the altar is the primary focus of our attention). If you are carrying a candle or the cross, you do not bow or genuflect. Simply stand up straight and wait for the priest, deacon and other ministers to genuflect or bow.

Before and After Mass: You genuflect. This is because, outside Mass, the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle takes precedence over the altar.