The Altar Server Ministry is a liturgical ministry consisting of boys and girls in grades 4-12 who have received their First Communion. It is a ministry to the liturgy of the Church, ensuring that the sacred rites are celebrated in a solemn manner, worthy of the mystery of God.
Liturgy means “work of the people”. This tells us that it is the responsibility of the faithful to work at worship. Altar Serving is a privilege to be approached with respect and humility.
Parents of Altar Servers partner with their child in this ministry. We encourage parents to remember that even though they are not serving directly in the ministry, their participation and opinions regarding service in this ministry, Fr. James and his Parochial Vicars & Deacons, the Acolytes, the Altar Server Coordinators, and the Director of Ministerial Discipleship, can affect a server’s desire to serve as well as their own formation as young disciples. The Baptismal rites of the Church explain that the parents are to be the first teachers of their children in the faith. Parenting an Altar Server is a perfect opportunity to embrace this commitment to God.
Altar Server Ranks
There are several ranks of altar servers. Each rank performs certain functions during Mass. The Altar Server Coordinators, made up of Acolytes and Senior Altar Servers, train all ranks of servers.
4th grade: Observer to Apprentice
5th-6th grade: Server
7th-8th grade: Junior
9th-12th grade: Senior
The Elevation Service generally occurs on an evening in October. Observers must serve a minimum of 10 Masses before they are eligible for elevation. The observation period may be as short as 4 months, but this depends on how often the observer is signed up to serve. Signing up to serve at Mass is the responsibility of the parents and observers by filling out an Information Sheet. The completed Altar Server Information Sheet is most beneficial to make sure that you are scheduled to serve Masses on a regular timetable.
The schedule for weekend Masses:
Saturday Vigil - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday - 6:00 a.m. (Spanish)
Sunday - 7:30 a.m.
Sunday - 9:30 a.m.
Sunday - 11:30 a.m.
Sunday - 1:30 p.m. (Spanish)
Sunday - 5:00 p.m. (Spanish)
St. Louis Altar Server Policies
Altar Servers must:
1. Attend the three mandatory Serviam Saturdays throughout the year as well as the fall business meeting unless there is a reasonable exception. Reasonable exceptions are:
- Family emergency
- Illness of the server
- Academic tutoring or other academic activity
- Sudden transportation difficulties
Since the frequency of the three Serviam Saturdays is not too demanding, every effort should be made to attend said meetings. Important information and materials are handed out at these meetings. All Servers are expected to attend. Rehearsals or practice attendance prior to Elevation Services are mandatory in order to be elevated.
2. Each server is expected to serve minimum 20 Masses per year. (July 1st – June 30th). This will keep the server in active status.
3. Four Important Items:
- Arrive 30 minutes early for Mass
- Sign-in on the Altar Server Sheet
- Dress in server vestments
- Perform duties as designated by your assigned position.
Note: If a server fails to sign in, that Mass will not be counted toward the attendance requirements.
4. Remember that we are Witnesses of Worship. The following are important guidelines for being responsible witnesses to the Assembly:
- Participate in all prayers, hymns, and responses during Mass. This is expected!
- Dress appropriately (long black pants and black shoes for boys, long pants or dresses and black shoes for girls)….school uniforms for school masses.
- Make sure hands are clean and hair is neat prior to vesting.
5. Prayer Posture - Maintain respectful posture on the altar at all times (hands out of pockets and held in