It is a great privilege to be an Altar server at Mass, and therefore servers are chosen by the Holy Spirit from those who display a desire for a more intimate union with Our Lord Jesus Christ. The photograph on the right shows the new altar servers receiving their medals at Mass (January 2009).
The altar servers role is originally of that of the instituted acolyte. Their main duty is to assist the priest in the Sanctuary during the celebration of mass and other church services. Their ceremonial duties are a vital part of providing and ensuring good liturgy, and this all depends greatly upon regular training and discipline.
It is now several years since Craig Szmidt (right) was our Head Altar Server. He is now an ordained priest serving in the Birmingham diocese, after training for the priesthood at Oscott following a prelimary year at the English College in Valladolid, Spain. Craig says “To be an Altar Server is important as we do things which build up the Church, the body of Christ. Working as a team with other Ministers, such as Eucharistic Ministers, Readers, Collectors and most importantly the Priest, Altar Servers have special responsibilities which only they can carry out. Building up the Body of Christ and making sure it works well is a job directed by the Holy Spirit. All people in the Church are given a gift, a talent, which they can use for the benefit of the Church. Serving at the Altar is therefore a gift and is a privilege”.
Altar Servers become members of the Guild of Saint Stephen, our Patron Saint. This Guild was founded at the beginning of the last century by Father Hamilton MacDonald. In 1906 the Guild of Westminster Cathedral was promoted to 'Archconfraternity.' This meant that branches of the Guild in other parishes could be linked with the one at Westminster Cathedral. In that way they could use the rules and wear the medal of the Guild.
Now just a little note on the Guild medal which all enrolled servers wear. The letters 'XP' (the greek letters chi and ro) on the Guild medal are the first two letters of the name Christ in Greek. At the top is the crown of victory given by God to everyone who overcomes evil, especially those who die for Him. At the bottom are palm branches, traditional signs of martyrs who died for Christ.
Altar servers receiving their medals
Craig Szmidt - one of our Altar Servers, who went on to become a priest
Cui servire regnare est
(To serve Christ is to reign)
The Latin words are the Guild Motto. They declare that to serve at the Altar is to serve Christ himself and that the reward of all good and faithful serving is a share in His kingdom. Here at Saint Wulstan's we have approximately 15 Altar Servers who regularly come to serve and assist us in our liturgy.
Servers in the sacristy with Father Dykes
Page maintained by the Head Altar Server