Adult Altar Servers
They may serve in my sanctuary. . . and stand before the people and serve them. (Ezechiel 44:11)
The ministry of Altar Server, sometimes called an acolyte, is among the earliest of all liturgical roles. Only the ministries of the presider (priest) and deacon have a longer history and a place closer to the altar during the celebration of the Eucharist.
In the early Church, virtually all Altar Servers were adult men, usually men preparing to become deacons and priests. Until the Second Vatican Council, assisting as a Server was confined to males. Since that time, however, the bishops in most countries have recognized the importance of including women in liturgical worship and the Church has welcomed girls to ministry as Altar Servers.
At Our Lady of Refuge, all beginning Servers are trained by our parish Altar Server coordinator, are commissioned at a special ceremony, and assist during an apprentice year as Servers at weekday Masses. Upon completion of their apprentice year, Servers receive additional training which qualifies them to assist at our Sunday and holy day liturgies.
Any Catholic child in our parish, fourth grade and older, is welcome to participate in our Altar Servers' program. We are blessed to have nearly 100 young people presently ministering as either apprentice or senior Servers at Our Lady of Refuge. Apprentices serve approximately four times each month on weekdays and Saturdays; experienced Servers assist approximately twice each month at weekend liturgies.
This ministry serves during Funeral Masses and Memorials offering support and a mindful and prayful presence during the liturgical celebration to the deceased.
Barbara Schorr, 562 421-1107