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Altar Server training with the Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman.

A week ago Saturday, three boys were accepted into the Guild of Altar Servers after a two-and-a-half hour training session which included:
  1. the meaning of ritual gestures: posture; bows and genuflections; hand position.
  2. liturgical movement and pacing for four processions: Entrance; Gospel; Sanctus; Dismissal.
  3. an introduction to prayers: vesting prayers; sacristy prayers.
  4. the character of the altar server and spiritual formation.
After the formal part of the training, when the new servers were encouraged to pray for each other, their families and the priests, one of the young lads confidently proclaimed that, "when I become an adult, I will be a priest". His comment was humbling and moved us all deeply.

The training session focussed on the Sung (Sunday) Mass and was led by two instituted acolytes and our pastor. All clergy and adult instituted acolytes function in complete compliance with a safe environment policy. All adult supervisors submit to police background checks. Ordinariate clergy and assistants must complete the Virtus® program.

The ministry of altar server in the Fellowship is reserved for males. After Mass, two long-serving women care for the vessels, altar breads, wine and altar linens. The women, core members of the Altar Guild, are ably assisted by a dedicated crew of young girls, guided by their grandmother, and are models of piety and service. The girls retrieve Mass booklets and sheets from the pews, and assist in storing kneeler cushions after Mass, among other essential tasks. Eventually, the junior members will be entrusted with additional Altar Guild responsibilities.

At the discretion of the Master of Ceremonies, in consultation with the pastor, the altar boys will graduate to additional responsibilities in the sanctuary.

  1. Primus (Apprentice): boat boy; torchbearer.
  2. Secundus: crucifer; patener.
  3. Tertius: cruet(s) and lavabo bowl/manuterge/ewer bearer(s); bell ringer; thurifer.