Altar Servers and Senior Altar Servers
UPCOMING ALTAR SERVER TRAINING
Young people (entering Fourth Grade or older) are welcome as Altar Servers at Saint Kilian Parish. Training sessions for this ministry are scheduled for either Tuesday, August 6, 2019 from 9 am to 10 am or Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Church. You only need to attend one of these sessions which will last about one hour. Sign up is required prior to attending the training. Please contact Deacon Ralph at 724.625.1665 x2103 for more information or to register.
Children in the fourth grade or higher can act as Altar Servers. Training and scheduling is provided by Saint Kilian Parish staff. Altar servers perform most of the functions of the former minor order of ordained clerics known as acolytes from the Greek word akolouthos (attendant). Church writings from the second and third centuries discuss the role of acolytes, giving the office great importance and honor in the history of the Church. Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls. Altar servers are not ordained, they are commissioned by their parish priest.
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy by their actions, singing of hymns, responses of the people, looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.
Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest or deacon during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary.
Altar servers are chosen from among the faithful who display a desire to participate in an intimate way during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is an extreme privilege to kneel so close to the altar as our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, becomes truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity upon the altar.
A server is uniquely joined in the Heavenly Supper of the Lamb of God and serves in the company of myriads of angles eternally singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
For more information, please contact Deacon Ralph Bachner.
Senior Altar Servers
Senior servers are young men and women in Grades 8 and higher who are willing and able to assume a leadership position among the altar servers. After a special orientation, they are assigned to weekend Masses to assist the other servers and the priest and deacon preparing for Mass and during Mass. For more information, please contact Father Bober.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
At the 10:00am Mass each Sunday, preschool and first grade children are invited to participate in a special Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Younger children may attend if accompanied by an adult (or with an older sibling). The Children’s Liturgy of the Word begins with singing a simple Bible song or reciting a poem or prayer after which the Gospel reading is proclaimed from the Children’s Lectionary. An adult leader discusses with the children the basic meaning of the Gospel and explains in simple terms its foundation to our Catholic faith. Intercessory prayers and the Creed follow and if time permits a closing song precedes dismissal back to the general congregation (usually during the offertory collection). Adults are welcome to assist with this ministry. High school students are welcome to assist as junior helpers to assist the younger children. For more information, please please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the parish who are 18 years old or older, who have completed the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, and who are also compliant with the Parish Safe Environment Policy (clearances) are welcome to become Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion. At Mass, these ministers assist the Priest and Deacon in distributing Holy Communion. With additional training, they may also assist with the distribution of Holy Communion at nursing facilities and the local hospital. For more information on how to become a Eucharistic Minister, please contact Deacon Ralph Bachner.
Guidelines for Eucharistic Ministers
- Before Mass
Come to the sacristy at least ten minutes before mass and check in. Ask the priest if you will need to go to the tabernacle at communion time or if we will be consecrating enough hosts for that mass. When mass begins, you will be seated with the congregation in the pews. Please sit toward the front of the church so that you can come to the sanctuary with as little disturbance as possible. When you are to serve at mass, please dress appropriately.
- During Mass
After the sign of peace, come in to the sanctuary. At the rite of the breaking of the bread, while we sing the Lamb of God. The Eucharistic minister nearest the tabernacle (or as arranged before mass) should go to the tabernacle and bring the reserved Blessed Sacrament to the altar if needed. Another minister should bring the cups and purificators to the altar. The priest or deacon will pour the Precious Blood into the cups for distribution.
Remain standing at your place until you receive communion. Once you have received, go to your station to distribute the Eucharist. The priest or deacon will usually assign your station for distributing. If you are distributing the Precious Blood, move far enough away from those distributing the hosts to allow sufficient room for the communion line to move freely. Also, do not continue to offer the Cup should only a small drop be left in the chalice. Return it to the credence table or to the sacristy.
Remember to first offer communion, both Precious Body and Precious Blood, to those seated in the front pews. These sections are reserved for families where a member cannot easily walk to receive communion.
The ministers distributing the Blood of Christ will consume whatever remains in their cups, and then take the empty vessels to the sacristy or place them on the credence table. Please consume the remaining Precious Blood in the sacristy or discreetly at the credence table.
Interpreters for the Deaf
There is a deaf community which attends Mass each weekend here at Saint Kilian Parish. Interpreters are those willing and able to interpret for the deaf community. If you would like to serve in this capacity, please contact email@example.com.
As a minister of the Word, you bring forth the Word of God to the congregation. Lectors are needed for every Mass and other liturgical celebration. Confirmed Catholics over the age of 16 are eligible to participate in this ministry. For more information, please contact Deacon Ralph Bachner.
Guidelines for Lectors:
- Preparation for Mass
Preparation for serving as a lector begins at home. Advance preparation is very important to the proper interpretation of the Word of God. Further preparation also includes the proper attire for Mass. Please arrive in church early enough to go over the readings or the petitions and to check with the priest and organist for any special instructions. The Lectionary will need to be placed on the pulpit prior to the start of Mass. It is not to be carried in procession. You should not read from the missalette. One thing to check for is to see if there are any announcements to be made at Mass.
- Entrance Procession
In the entrance procession the lector walks directly behind the altar servers. During the procession, carry the Book of Gospels in front of you, about chest high. Upon reaching the front of the church, line up along with the servers. The priest will genuflect or bow to the altar; you simply bow your head. Take the Book of Gospels and place it on the altar. You move directly to your place in the sanctuary. If a deacon is present, he will carry the Book of Gospels, you would process only with the worship aid to join in the singing!
The first reading comes immediately after the Opening Prayer. When everyone sits down, proceed to the pulpit. Do not carry a missalette or anything with you to the pulpit.
Proclaim the readings in the following manner. Begin by reading the introductory declaration exactly as written, such as, "A reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians". Take a brief pause and then proclaim the reading itself. Read slowly and distinctly, and be careful to look at the congregation. After another brief pause at the end, conclude the reading by saying, " The Word of the Lord".
If the organist is playing the Responsorial Psalm, return to your chair and join the congregation in singing. If the Psalm is recited, pause momentarily (about 10-15 seconds) at the end of the first reading. Begin by reciting the antiphon, and then pause to allow the congregation to respond. There is no need to introduce it by saying, " The Responsorial Psalm is ..". Before proclaiming the second reading there should be another 10-15 second pause, regardless of whether the Psalm is recited or sung. At the end of the second reading you need to move the Lectionary so the priest/deacon can place the Book of Gospels on the pulpit. The Gospel Acclamation (the Alleluia) is not to be lead by the Lector.
- General Intercessions
After the profession of faith, move to the pulpit to read the General Intercessions. The priest will wait until you are in place to begin the opening prayer. You first give the response to the people, and then read each petition. At the end of each petition, pause for the people to respond. When you are finished reading the petitions, turn slightly to face the priest as he will conclude with a prayer. Do not leave the pulpit until he has finished with this prayer.
If you are reading at a Mass at which a Deacon is assisting, he will read the General Intercessions.
If there are any announcements, you or the deacon will make them after the Prayer after Communion. Step aside when you finish and wait for the recession.
When the musician begins the final hymn, line up with the servers. Do not carry the Lectionary or Book of Gospels out with you. You may carry a worship aid to use in singing the hymn as you process out. When the priest bows or genuflects, you also bow or genuflect depending upon the priest's action and then process out in the same manner as you came in.
Ushers and greeters are men and women who assist parishioners as they enter for Mass and in taking up the collection during Mass. For more information, please contact Father Bober.