Altar Serving

Children’s Altar Serving

Youth (grades 4-8 from the school and parish) who regularly attend Mass at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, are invited to participate in this ministry, which involves assisting our priests at the celebration of the Eucharist. The commitment involves serving at the Altar of God at weekend Masses and/or some weekday Masses, Holy Days of Obligation, funerals and weddings. After the first year of on-going training servers are placed on the quarterly schedule.

Please contact Mrs. Schenck at (408) 377-6545 x305, or by email at JSchenck@sfcschool.org to get the required forms for Altar service.

Children’s Altar Server Guidelines (parents please read):

  • Training is required. Meetings are held October – June
  • A maximum of 2 scheduled trainings may be missed (excused or unexcused) to remain on the active server list
  • Advanced servers are exempt from meetings when they have successfully passed the required training; assessment quizzes and are confident on the altar
  • Complete assigned readings and assignments as given in the “Called to Serve” book (supplied)
  • Bring the Called to Serve book with you along with a notebook and pencil to training
  • New servers will shadow until they feel comfortable serving
  • On the day of serving:
  1. Arrive 15 minutes prior to Mass (be sure to sign in and let the Sacristan know you are there)
  2. Put on your robe (as a sign of reverence please honor the dress code policy)
  3. Assist in setting up and lighting candles
  • Sign ups are online, but you can still call for your own replacement when you cannot serve (trading with another server is always acceptable)
  • Be sure to eat and drink something a couple of hours prior to Mass (we found this helps avoid fainting)

Dress Code Policy

The dress code is very important as another sign of reverence. The St. Frances Cabrini Parish policy includes: no jeans, shorts, boots, sneakers, flip-flops, logo tee shirts, or short dresses. Boys must wear dress shoes and girls flats are required (as high heels and slip-on shoes can cause safety issues).

Minimum Requirements

These requirements are from portions of the Diocese of San Jose Policy for Altar Servers (written by the Liturgical Commission and signed by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath)

From the early times of the Church the ministry of serving at the Altar of God has occupied an important place in the Liturgical life of the church. Below are some of the many guidelines for all Sunday Masses, funerals, weddings, daily Masses, Holy days and Benediction:

  1. Regular weekly attendance at Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation is an important condition for service along with a clear understanding that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of the Catholic Church.
  2. Attention to posture, gait, and decorum of the server’s visibility to the assembly. Active participation in the liturgical action such as responding to all sung and spoken parts proper to the assembly.
  3. All altar servers must be properly trained in their ministry, and it is the responsibility of the Pastor and or the DRE to determine the length, and details of this training.
  4. Training is to include the knowledge of the true presence of Christ Jesus under the Eucharistic bread and wine. He is present in the Sacraments, He is present in the person of the priest, He is present in His Word, and He is present when the Church assembly prays and sings.
  5. Knowledge of the Mass parts. The order of service and the responses in the Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Gathering, Listening, Giving thanks, Communion, and Sending forth.
  6. Practical basic knowledge of the proper names, descriptions and the uses of all the books, vessels, vestments, linens, furnishings, objects and where they are located and where they should be placed.
  7. Must follow the proper procedures that are set by the Pastor or Sacristan. Knows the tasks before Mass such as when to arrive, dress code, sign in, vest, setup, what to do especially during the Mass, and after- wards responsibilities for cleaning up.

Please contact Mrs. Schenck at (408) 377-6545 x305, or by email at JSchenck@sfcschool.org to get the required forms for Altar service.