Altar servers are an integral part of the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. They assist the priest by preparing the altar and increase the reverence of our worship by ensuring that each part of the liturgy is performed seamlessly.
At the beginning of 2023, we finally welcomed the altar servers back to Mass from the pandemic hiatus. Parishioner Kathy Loos was essential in coordinating the return of our altar servers and continues to coordinate the altar server schedule.
“I received a lot of positive feedback from parishioners when the altar servers returned,” Kathy says. “Many were filled with happiness and joy at the sight of the altar servers walking down the aisle at the entrance procession of Mass.”
At St. Joseph, adults and children in fifth grade and up are encouraged to be altar servers. Before the pandemic, several adult servers served alongside the middle school and high school servers. The hope is to build back up a strong group of children and adults to serve at each Mass and other liturgical functions like Eucharistic Adoration and funeral Masses.
All altar servers are trained by Fr. Tim before they assist at Mass.
“Father is a master teacher,” Kathy says. “When I attended the middle school training, I learned a lot of things as Father explained why we do things the way we do during Mass.”
As Kathy notes, the middle school altar servers also serve at the Friday school Masses.
“One of the now-graduated eighth-grade boys, Christian Diehl, who was an experienced altar server helped the younger students learn the ropes earlier this year,” she says. “Recently, he came back to serve when his high school had no class.”
For children, being an altar server fosters understanding of, and reverence for Christ in the Eucharist, the priest, and the worship of Mass.
“I have also seen how it helps the adult servers feel closer to the actions and prayer of the Mass,” Kathy says.
Just as the parish was filled with a greater sense of happiness at the return of the young altar servers, the presence of the adult servers brings a unique witness to the celebration of the Mass.
“The altar servers remind us why we are there,” Kathy says, noting that they serve as an example of how we ought to revere the altar and enter into the prayers of the Mass.
“Altar serving provides a unique and more intimate perspective of what is happening at Mass,” she says. “It keeps the servers focused and gives them a new adoration for Christ in the Eucharist.”
All are encouraged to serve with this essential ministry. St. Joseph is unique in that it allows adults to serve. Parents and children serving together could be an amazing opportunity to unify families in the faith and bring about a greater connection with one another.
Altar serving training is scheduled throughout the year when there are enough people interested in serving.
If you are interested in becoming an altar server or would like to register your child, contact the parish office at 440-988-2848.