We often see children and teens serving at the altar alongside the priest. It is certainly a perfect ministry for younger Catholics, as there are few ministries for that age group. Here at Immaculate Conception, we are lucky also to have a dedicated group of servers who are adult men. They can step in when needed, especially during the school day for funerals when it is difficult for children and teens to serve.
A funeral Mass has a very special place in the teaching of the Catholic Church. It is the perfect way to honor someone’s life, and it renews our faith in the Resurrection. Those in attendance pray for the repose of the deceased’s soul and proclaim the Paschal Mystery together. As with other Masses, it’s a way to offer our thanks to God.
Ten men are adult servers at Immaculate Conception. The parish typically has about 80 funerals per year — most with a Mass.
Fr. Michael Troha says there are many tasks that the servers help with at a regular Mass and even more at a funeral. First, they help the priest set up. They make sure that the pall that covers the casket is placed near the entrance to the church, as well as move the Paschal candle from the baptismal font to the sanctuary. During a funeral Mass, the Paschal candle burns at the head of the casket. The servers also set up the gifts, prepare the censer for the incense, process at the opening of Mass, and process out following the casket, in addition to the other usual Mass duties of a server.
Interestingly, most of the adult servers at Immaculate Conception were not servers as children or teens — many wanted to be a server but were not able.
“This has given them the chance to do so,” Fr. Troha says.
Fr. Troha appreciates the adult servers who generously give their time at Immaculate Conception. He would love to see more men step forward to help out. When there are several funerals in a given week, it helps to have more servers to call.
“I know that serving Mass has a definite impact on them,” Fr. Troha says. “Serving makes an impact on any server because they are close to the actions of Mass that take place close to the altar and sanctuary.”
Adult servers start by observing a funeral, and then they serve alongside an experienced server. Each funeral has at least two servers.
To get involved as an adult server, call Fr. Troha at 440-942-4500