A Rubrical Guide For Altar Servers
By Louis J. Tofari
Basic Notes for a Missa Cantata (High Mass)
In the Sanctuary:
- The Communion Rail Gate should be fully opened.
- The proper amount of stools should be set up for the servers (see diagram).
- There should be nothing on the Altar steps (i.e., bells, cards, etc.).
On the Altar:
The Altar should be prepared as for Low Mass with these additions:
- The Missal should be opened to the Introit of the Mass.
- The Chalice should be set up on the Altar, with Corporal unfolded.
On the Credence:
The Credence should be prepared as for Low Mass with these additions:
- The bells should be on one of the forward corners.
- The back corners should be empty so the Acolytes may place their candles there.
On the Sedilia:
- If the Celebrant wears a Cope for the Processional, the Chasuble and Maniple should be set up in vesting order on the Sedilia.
In the Sacristy:
- The Celebrant’s vestments should be prepared as usual, unless the Celebrant wears a Cope for the Processional.
- The Acolytes' processional candles should be out and ready.
- The servers should prepare all other items necessary for their individual positions, e.g., thurible for the Thurifer, etc.
GENERAL RULES FOR SERVERS DURING HIGH MASS
- MC signals a kneel with two claps, to stand or genuflect with one clap.
- When with the Crossbearer (Cb) carrying the Cross, the Acolytes never make any form of reverence (i.e., bows, genuflections, etc.).
- When the Acolytes walk together, they always walk shoulder to shoulder, and when turning, they always turn towards each other.
- During the incensations of the Altar (except for the Gospel) Acolyte 1 gets the Missal and Acolyte 2 gets the Boat from the MC.
- During Mass all of the servers stand, except at these times:
- during the Preparatory Prayers (kneel).
- during the Gloria when C sits (sit).
- during the Epistle (sit).
- during the Credo when C sits (sit).
- during the Consecration (kneel).
- during the Second Confiteor (kneel).
- during the Distribution of Communion (kneel).
Copyright © 2007. Louis J. Tofari. All rights reserved.