Last Saturday, a number of our parishioners began their period preparation to minister in the parish as Altar Servers.
You may remember last year that we announced the restoration of this ministry to the parish. For many years we have gone without acolytes or altar servers. What, then, has prompted us to restore altar service?
Firstly, a number of our parishioners suggested it as they believed it would be a good way to engage their children more deeply in the celebration of the Eucharist, by encouraging from them a increased level of active participation.
Secondly, in establishing the norms for the liturgy, the Church presumes that certain roles are required and are fulfilled for the proper celebration of Mass. The existence of these many ministerial roles helps to ensure that the liturgy is celebrated in a dignified manner, worthy of the praise and worship of God.
Following this, each ministerial role in the Church makes demands of those who undertake them. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal stipulates that “All… whether they are ordained ministers or lay Christian faithful, in fulfilling their office or their duty, should do only the parts that pertain to them (no. 91).
Without Altar Servers, other liturgical ministers, especially the priest and the Ministers of Communion, are required to “bridge the gap” by taking on their responsibilities. This means that their full attention can be diverted away from the needs of their own ministerial role. All ministries are needed, and all ministers must “play their part” for liturgical celebrations to be celebrated well.