Q. What happens if a server doesn’t sign in, but serves at Mass anyway?
A. They don’t get credit for being there.
Q. What happens if a server who is scheduled doesn’t show up?
A. Any server present at Mass can serve as an emergency substitute. There are some rules to remember here:
1. Go to the sacristy 30 minutes before Mass and check to see if all scheduled servers or their pre-arranged substitutes are present.
2. If there is possible need for an emergency substitute, wait until 15 minutes before Mass, consult with the crucifer, if accepted, sign-in and get vested. The crucifer will assign the duties.
3. If the scheduled server arrives after that time, they should allow the emergency substitute to go ahead and serve Mass in their place. DO NOT argue over this. The tardy altar server will be counted absent. Parents: this is crucial to your Altar Server, so please make sure that you are able to get them to the church in time to serve as scheduled.
4. Please DO NOT go to the sacristy early, put on a vestment and expect to serve if you are not scheduled and there is no need for additional servers.
Q. What happens if an unscheduled server has shown up early, puts on a robe, and expects to serve, even if all the scheduled servers or their substitutes eventually appear and sign in at the appointed time?
A. The senior-most server should quietly refer them to the copy of the rules in the sacristy. If they do not cooperate, ask for the celebrant’s assistance.
Q. What if a server doesn’t get all 20 Masses?
A. Did the server not get scheduled for enough Masses but attended all they were to serve? The office of the Director of Ministerial Discipleship and the Altar Server Coordinators are aware of this potential situation and exceptions are possible in these cases (it is possible, not automatic). However, there are plenty of opportunities to serve if you just have to be willing to explore the options outside of the more “popular” Masses at 9:30 and 11:30.
Q. Did the server have to drop out for a while due to circumstances beyond their control?
A. Discuss those circumstances with the Director of Ministerial Discipleship, Elizabeth Polito, before assuming the worst.
Q. Did the server miss several of their scheduled Masses?
A. An appointment needs to be made with the Director of Ministerial Discipleship to discuss eligibility of continuing this ministry.
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If you have a question about Altar Servers, and do not see it answered here, please fill out the form below. Please allow 1-2 business days for a response. If you need an immediate answer, please call 512-454-0384 ext. 213