“Serve the Lord with gladness… for the Lord is good” Psalm 100
For hundreds of years, the usage of altar servers has brought about countless priestly vocations. "To serve at the altar, as to sing in the choir, is next to the priesthood the highest privilege which a human can enjoy. He represents the faithful and takes a most intimate part in the rich treasures of the church's liturgy and ceremonial. Those sacred ceremonies should be carried out with devotion, dignity and attention to detail." – Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Griffin.
When Serving in the presence of Our Savior and surrounded by His Heavenly Host it is both wise and necessary for a server to perform all assigned duties with attention, dignity and reverence. Just as Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant . . .” servers should set aside their own preferences and attend to every action of the Divine Liturgy as a team, all rehearsing the Divine Celebration in the same manner and style as directed by the parish priest and performed by their companion servers.
The server, participating as instructed, will enter into a fuller participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while assisting the priests and deacons as the mysteries of the Upper Room and Calvary are represented to God’s people. All actions of the server are woven from signs and symbols whose meaning is rooted in the works of creation and in human culture, specified by events in the Old Testament and fully revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is imperative that all servers do their assigned tasks in the prescribed form and manner.
To An Altar Server
To be Christ's page at the altar,
To serve Him freely there,
Where even angels falter,
Bowed low in reverent prayer.
To touch the throne most holy,
To hand the gifts for the feast.
To see Him meekly, lowly,
Descend at the word of the priest.
To hear man's poor petition,
To sound the silvery bell,
When he in sweet submission,
Comes down with us to dwell.
No grander mission surely Could saints or men enjoy:
No heart should love more purely,
Than yours who serve with joy.
God bless you child forever,
And keep you in his care.
And guard you that you never Belie the robes you wear.
For white bespeaks untainted
A heart both tried and true:
And red tells love the sainted
And holy martyrs knew.
Throughout your life, then, endeavor God's graces to do right;
And be in heart forever God's witness and God's knight
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