Altar Server Directions


  • Please come at least 10 minutes before the start of Mass and sign in at the Liturgy Table so that all preparations can be done in a calm manner.
  • Every time you come to Mass, check in at the Liturgy Table to see if there are enough servers for that Mass.
    • If the assigned server arrives in time, the assigned server gets to serve.
    • Volunteers: Don't get dressed earlier than 6 minutes before Mass so as not to scare away the assigned server.  
  • If there are not three servers, try to recruit someone you know is a server.

Before Mass Begins

  1. Report to the Ministry Table and Sign your Name under “Altar Server”.
  2. Find a robe that fits – ankle length from vestment cabinet.
  3. Don't wear so many clothes that you get over heated.
  4. Put on a cross (Rope is available – tie in square knot).
  5. Decide who will do what – three assignments/roles.
    1. The “Book Server”
    2. “Candle Server #1”
    3. “Candle Server #2”
  6. Check the Candles to see if wick is sufficient; Light Candles only a couple of minutes before Mass begins – carry candles level.
  7. Place the red book, the “Roman Missal” on servers pew.

During Mass

  1. Procession
    1. Both Candle Servers follow the Cross Bearer down center aisle – Book Server follows behind them.
    2. Cross Bearer and Candle Server #1 go to left in front of the altar – Candle Server #2 and Book Server to the right – Priest  (and Deacon if one present) in the middle – all bow.
    3. Candle Servers Place candles in stands by altar – Wait for Father  to kiss the altar – then all servers go to left pew.
  2. Opening Prayer: When Father says: “Let us pray”, the Book Server takes the Roman Missal (Red Book) to Father
    1. Father will open book – hold it open so he can read the prayer.
    2. Father will return book  to servers at end of prayer.
    3. Take the Roman Missal to servers pew.
  3. Scripture: Sit quietly during 1st and 2nd Readings
  4. Gospel
    1. As the Gospel Acclamation begins, the Candle Servers go to get their candles – wait by candle holders until Father/Deacon takes the Book of the Gospels from the the Altar – Stand on either side of Him.
    2. When Father/Deacon turns to the “Ambo” (where readings are proclaimed) two Candle servers lead to Ambo     and stand on either side facing each other while gospel is read. When Gospel is finished, return candles to their holders – bow together in front of altar and return to seats.
  5. Preparation of Gifts: When Collection begins...
    1. Book Server takes the Roman Missal (red book) to the altar and places it in the back center of the altar – so there is enough room for Father to put the bread and wine in front of it -  takes the stand for gospel book to servers table.
    2. Candle Server #1 – from servers table takes Father's Chalice (large cup) and water cruet (little pitcher of water) to the altar.
      1. Place Chalice to the right of Roman Missal.
      2. Place the cruet on the near right corner of altar then return to seat.
    3. After Father goes to the altar, Candle Server #2 goes to server table.
      1. Gets  the finger bowl and towel.
      2. Drapes towel over one arm – holds finger bowl in one hand and picks up water cruet from altar.
      3. When Father is ready, pour water over his fingers – let him take towel to dry his fingers.
      4. Take water cruet, finger bowl and towel to servers table and return to your seat.
  6. Eucharistic Prayer
    1. During the Eucharistic Prayer – kneel or stand in the same way the congregation does (Kneel on step when kneeling).
    2. Ring bell three times at elevation of Host and Chalice.
  7. Communion Time
    1. Servers receive communion with Ministers of Eucharist- then:
      1. Book Server gets the Roman Missal  from the altar and returns to seat.
      2. Candle Server #1  leaves large chalice on altar, places water on altar.
      3. Candle Server #2 stays at seat.
  8. After Communion
    1. When Father says “Let us pray” Book Server takes Roman Missal to him in the same way as for opening prayer. Take the book back to seat after the prayer.
  9. Exit
    1. During the closing Song, as Father starts to move from his chair to the altar, Candle Servers proceed to bow, in front of altar take candles from holders, Book Server stands to left of Candle Server #1, wait for Father to come from the altar, (cross bearer will be on left) – follow down steps to bow in front of altar – candles on each side, Father in middle.
    2. When servers get to sacristy blow candles out – gently so as not to spill hot wax on the floor – place them on stand on the sacristy counter.
    3. Hang up robe, cross and rope in vestment cabinet.


  1. “Reminder Sheets” This sheet of Directives for Servers can be taken with you to glance at if you need it when you serve. Always be thinking “What do I have  to do next?” Kindly return the sheet after mass.
  2. Schedules that will list when all the Liturgical Ministers are scheduled including servers, are available in the sacristy inside the server vestment cabinet.