Altar Server Guidelines

Guidelines for Altar Servers

1. Arrive at church at least 15 minutes prior to Mass.

2. Put on altar server vestments. (put on a cincture (rope) that matches Father’s vestments, check the calendar in the Sacristy as a guide.

3. Light candles on main Altar throughout most of the Ordinary Sundays of the year. Light Paschal [Easter Candle] and all 6 candles during the season of Easter). Light all six candles during the season of Christmas.

4. Bring Processional Cross to the entrance of the church (if it is not already there).

5. Cross-bearer leads the procession.

6. When Cross-bear gets to the front of the aisle, (bow your head when the other ministers bow from the waist, then place the Processional Cross on the stand at the right (north) side of the altar. Then proceed to the Presidential Chair (priest’s chair) and hold the Roman Missal for the priest. When Father says, “... one God for ever and ever” close the book and place it on the stand next to Father’s chair. Then go to the Servers’ seats, bowing to the Altar of Sacrifice, (not the Tabernacle) as you cross the Sanctuary.

7. If there is a second server, after bowing to the altar, go to your place (Server’s Chairs) in the Sanctuary.

8. During the Offertory Procession, set up the Altar, with the Deacon (Father), for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

a. Place Roman Missal with stand on the left side of the Altar.
b. Place Father’s Chalice at the center of Altar.
c. Place congregation Chalices on the right side of the Altar.
d. Wait for Deacon (Father) to get up for the gifts. Stand on right side of Deacon (Father) to receive gifts. (If two servers are present, stand on either side of Deacon (Father) to receive the gifts.
e. The Deacon (Father) will hand server(s) the Paten with hosts and the Cruet with the wine to the server(s). Place them on the right side of the altar (as you face the congregation).
f. Server(s) return to his/her/their seat(s).
g. After Father has presented the hosts, bring the water in the cruet to the altar.
h. Return water cruet to Credence Table. **If Incense is used, bring the Thurible and Boat to Father for incensing the gifts. After Father has incensed the gifts , and the Deacon as incensed Father and the congregation, return Thurible and Boat to their stand.
i. After Father has presented the wine, bring over water bowl and finger towel to wash Father’s hands.
j. Return water bowel and towel to the Credence Table. Return to seats.
k. When the congregation kneels for the Eucharistic Prayer, kneel with the congregation.

9. After the Sign of Peace, as the Extra-Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist come forward, move to the far side of the altar (with the Lector), the Extra-Ordinary Ministers will join you.

10. After Communion, remove the Roman Missal with its stand to the Credence Table.

11. After the Announcements, come the Presidential Chair and hold the Roman Missal for Father.

12. When Father has finished the Closing Prayer (or Solemn Blessing), return the Roman Missal to the stand (next to Father’s chair).

13. After the Closing Prayer, Cross-bearer gets Processional Cross. When Father (and Deacon) begin to move, carry Cross to front of Altar, (bow of head only) [with the ministers] and lead Procession down the aisle.
14. When you have finished at the entrance of the church, return Processional Cross to its location at the back of the church -- or -- after the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, to it’s location in the Sanctuary. Hang up your vestments for the next server(s).

*N.B. Anytime you are passing across the Sanctuary, bow to the Altar of Sacrifice (the front Altar).

Thank you for serving the church in this important ministry!
Lector Guidelines

Guidelines for Lectors

Preparation for Reading

Proclaiming the Word of God is much more than just reading. It can be a powerfully prayerful experience for you - one that you share with the entire assembly. The key to effective proclamation lies in understanding the meaning, the lesson, which is contained within the words you are about to read.

Spend some time in prayer and contemplation during the week before you will be reading. Familiarize yourself with all three readings, so that you understand the tone and the flow of the entire Liturgy of the Word for that Sunday. Review the commentaries in your Workbook for Lectors and Readers, which will help you understand something about the purpose of the author and the historical setting out of which the passage arises.

Once you have an understanding of the content of the reading, begin to consider the tone and the pace at which it should be read. Read through the reading several times aloud. Decide where it is most appropriate to pause, and for how long. Review any words that you find difficult to pronounce (There is a pronunciation guide in the workbook. When in doubt - ask!) Become so familiar with the reading that it would appear you know it almost by heart. This will let you feel comfortable enough to lift your eyes from the page occasionally, to make eye contact with the assembly.

When You Arrive At Church

Please be at church 15 minutes before Mass begins. Be sure to check to make sure that the Lectionary at the ambo is opened to the correct reading.

Then go to the entrance to meet the Presider and the other ministers.

Procedures for Mass

Lector carries the Gospel Book in procession. Hold the book reverently before you. As the procession reaches the front of the altar, the servers will stand to the right, Lector immediately goes to the altar and places the Gospel Book at the left or right of the Roman Misssal, reverently walks back to the front of the altar, bows with other ministers, and goes to the seat next to the ambo.
For the first reading, wait until the assembly is seated after the opening prayer and then approach the ambo. Before you begin, take a moment to compose yourself and to catch the attention of the assembly. Proclaim the reading with your whole heart! (Remember,
do not say, “The first reading is...”)

Proclaiming is not the same as reading! Pause at the end of the reading, and then say “THE WORD OF THE LORD!” with strength and conviction-because what you have just read is the Word of the Lord!

When proclaiming the Responsorial Psalm,
do not say, “The Responsorial Psalm is:” just proclaim the response and the congregation will respond.

Proceed with the second reading.
(Again, please, do not say, “The Second reading is...”)

After the second reading, Lector places the Lectionary on the shelf inside the ambo.

At the end of Mass, Lector joins the celebrant and ministers in the same position as at the beginning of Mass.

Points to Remember

As for all those in any liturgical ministry, if there is a chance that you will be unable to read at your scheduled time, YOU are responsible for finding a substitute.

Since ministries are not to be duplicated in the same liturgy, we ask that the Lectors not be engaged in music ministry, as a Eucharistic Minister or any other liturgical ministry while serving as a Lector

Please be aware that Lectors and other liturgical ministers set an example for the assembly. Appropriate dress is required for ministers who wish to convey the importance of giving God our “Sunday Best”.

Extra-Ordinary Minister Guidelines

Extra-Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist Guidelines

The instruction Immensae Caritatis states that the “wonderful gift of the Eucharist... demands that such an important mystery should be increasingly better known and its saving power more fully shared.” The same instruction goes on to state that “provision be made lest reception (of the Eucharist) become impossible or difficult owing to a lack of a sufficient number of ministers,” and further spells out the various circumstances in which a lack of sufficient ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion can occur, namely:

During Mass, because of the size of the congregation or a particular difficulty in which a celebrant himself finds himself;
outside of Mass, when it is difficult because of distance to take the sacred species, especially the Viaticum, to the sick in danger of death, or when the number of the sick, especially in hospitals and similar institutions, requires many ministers,

Therefore, in order that the faithful, who are in the state of grace and who with an upright and pious disposition, wish to share in the Sacred Banquet, may not be deprived of this sacramental help and consolation, it has seemed appropriate to the Holy Father to establish extraordinary ministers, who may give Holy Communion to themselves and to other faithful under the following determined conditions:

Local Ordinaries have the faculty to permit a suitable person individually chosen as an extraordinary minister for a specific occasion or for a time or, in the case of necessity, in some permanent way, either to give the Eucharist to himself or to other faithful and to take it to the sick who are confined to their homes. This faculty may be used whenever:

a) there is no priest, deacon or acolyte;
b) these are prevented from administering Holy Communion because of another pastoral ministry or because of ill health or advanced age;
c) the number of faithful require Holy Communion in such that the celebration of Mass or the distribution of the Eucharist outside of Mass would be unduly prolonged.

Local Ordinaries also have the faculty to permit individual priests exercising their sacred office to appoint a suitable person who in cases of genuine necessity would distribute Holy Communion for a specific occasion. (cf. 13) The above-mentioned Local Ordinaries can delegate these faculties to auxiliary bishops, episcopal vicars and episcopal delegates.

The suitable person to whom numbers I and II refer shall be designated according to the following order: lector, student of major seminary, male religious, female-religious, catechist, Catholic man or woman. This order, however, can be changed according to the prudent judgment of the Local Ordinary.

Since these faculties are granted only for the spiritual good of the faithful and for cases of genuine necessity, priests are to remember that they are not thereby excused from the task of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful who legitimately request it, and especially from taking and giving it to the sick.

The person who has been appointed to be an extraordinary minister of the Holy Eucharist is necessarily to be duly instructed and should distinguish himself by his Christian life, faith and morals. Let him strive to be worthy of this great office; let him cultivate devotion to the Holy Eucharist and show himself as an example to the other faithful by his piety and reverence for this most holy Sacrament of the altar. Let no one be chosen whose selection may cause scandal among the faithfuI.

Consequently, the following are the norms governing the extraordinary ministry of the Holy Eucharist in St. Charles Borromeo Parish:

1. Pastors/administrators and/or parish councils in determining the usefulness of this ministry in their particular pastoral situation.
2. At the same time, the pastor/administrator may nominate individuals for the exercise of the ministry by name, affirming that the quality of his/her Christian life makes this person a suitable candidate for this ministry.
3. The ministry of extraordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist is open to both religious and lay men and women, eighteen years of age or older (having been Confirmed).
4. It is the responsibility of the parish, under the direction of the coordinator, to provide the necessary training for the prospective ministers.

Distribution of the Blessed Sacrament at Mass:

The frequency with which extraordinary ministers function is to be determined by the pastor or administrator in consultation with the staff and in light of particular pastoral needs.

The extraordinary minister should see the task as more than the mere moments of distribution. He/She should be present for the entire celebration of Mass, and participate fully, especially by receiving Holy Communion himself/herself.

The liturgical role of the extraordinary minister should be kept visibly distinct from other liturgical ministries. The extraordinary minister e.g. should not assist the priest at the altar in the manner of the deacon. When serving at Mass the extraordinary minister should not function in any other liturgical role at that same Mass. The extraordinary minister should have an assigned place (e.g. in the sanctuary near the place of the lector or in front of the congregation.) He/She is to process with the priest(s) and other ministers.

The extraordinary minister should not wear the liturgical garb of an ordained deacon or priest (Le. stole) yet he/she should be dressed neatly in a way consonant with the dignity of this role (e.g. jacket and tie for a man.)

The extraordinary minister may participate by receiving communion under both kinds at Masses during which he/she will exercise his/her ministry.

After receiving communion from the priest, deacon or acolyte, the extraordinary minister distributes communion in the usual manner.

Holding the host slightly raised, he/she shows the host to the communicant and says, ‘The Body of Christ’; the communicant makes a profession of faith saying, ‘Amen’ and receives it; and/or holding the chalice, he/she shows it to the communicant and says, ‘The Blood of Christ’; the communicant makes a profession of faith saying, ‘Amen’ and drinks from the chalice.

If a fragment of the host adheres to his/her fingers, the minister cleans his/her fingers over the plate and, if necessary, washes them. The vessels are cleaned after communion or after Mass at a side table or in the sacristy. The chalice is cleaned with wine and water or with water only, which is then consumed by the priest, deacon, acolyte or extraordinary minister. If a host or particle falls, it should be picked up reverently. If any of the Precious Blood spills, it is to be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium.

Communion apart from Mass is only by way of exception for those who cannot receive within the celebration of Mass, and applies especially to the ministry to the sick in hospitals and in their homes. The pastor/administrator will determine the frequency with which the extraordinary minister distributes communion apart from Mass.

To establish the link between the communion of the sick and the Eucharistic celebration of the community, the extraordinary minister will ordinarily take the Eucharist from the altar after the Mass which he/she attends. The priest will prepare the host in a small pyx or container. Immediately upon receiving the pyx, the extraordinary minister will leave for the home of the sick person. (When this procedure is not possible, the extraordinary minister will take the host directly from the tabernacle.)

The person or persons receiving should be informed in advance that communion will be distributed by a extraordinary minister. A time should then be selected that will allow adequate reflection and attention by the communicant. When possible, relatives and friends should be encouraged to be present and they may also receive communion. 24. The rite to be used is found in The Roman Ritual, Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, Chapter II, 1.

A shorter rite (Chapter II, 2) may be used when communion is given in different rooms in the same building, such as a hospital. Elements taken from the ordinary rite may be added according to circumstances.

The shorter rite may begin in the first room, where the antiphon found in the ritual is said. The invitation to receive is said in each room, and the concluding prayer in the last room.

After the distribution of communion, if hosts remain, the extraordinary minister cleans his/her fingers over the pyx and returns the pyx to the tabernacle or he/she consumes any remaining hosts and particles during the ceremony.

The Extra-Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist is to participate in the Entrance and Recessional processions of the liturgy. As a minister you represent a valued part of the sacredness of the liturgy. Your presence in the Entrance and Recessional processions is important!