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.