I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator
of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried. He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again
to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness
of Sins, the Resurrection of the body, and Life Everlasting. Amen.
The Our Father
Our Father, Who are in heaven, hallowed be
Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this daily our daily bread; and forgive
us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us fro evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with
You! Blessed are You among women, and blessed is the fruit of You womb, Jesus.
Holy, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Glory to the Father
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to
the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
- the space at the front of the church within which most of the actions of the Mass takes
Aspergillum- also called holy water sprinkler.
Main Altar- the large, high table usually located in the middle of the sanctuary where
most of the actions of the liturgy of the Eucharist take place.
Thurible- a metal container extended from a chain or chains in which charcoal and incense
are burned. It has a lid which can be raised. It is also called a censer.
Altar Cloth- a long white linen cloth draped over the altar ends as a symbol of the upcoming
meal and also the cloth wrapped around the body of Jesus when he was buried.
Boat- a small metal container which holds the incense to be put into the thurible.
Candles- usually two altar candles are lit to signal the start of the Mass. The pure wax
candles symbolize the purity of Christ as the Light of the world.
- help us distinguish who the various ministers are during the Mass.
Paschal Candle- a very large candle which is placed in the sanctuary. It is a special
reminder of the risen Christ among us. It is used during Baptisms and Funerals.
Cassock- the long outer garment worn by the priest and servers.
Tabernacle- it is a small box, usually especially decorated, in which the Eucharist is
kept when Mass is not being said. It is a place which should be given special reverence.
Alb- long, white, dress-like vestment which can be used by all liturgical ministers.
Credence Table- a small table on which is placed the things which are used during the
Cincture- a long cord used to fasten the alb at the waist to hold it in place and adjust
it to the proper length.
Lectern- the place from which the readings are done, the Gospel is proclaimed and the
homily is given.
Stole- a long cloth ornately decorated worn by the priest around his neck, letting it
hang down in from. This is worn by the deacon over his right shoulder and fastened at his left side like a sash. Its color
varies according to the feast.
Cross- the crucifix mounted on a tall pole which is carried at the head of the procession.
Chasuble- the outer vestment, slipped over the head, hanging down from the shoulders.
It is the proper Mass vestment of the priest. Its color varies according to the feast.
Bells- usually located near the altar. They are rung during the consecration of the Mass.
Dalmatic- a loose fitting robe with open sides and wide sleeves worn by the deacon.
- they are called "sacred" because they have a distinctive role in our worship.
Cope- a cape-like vestment used over the shoulders and hangs to the ankles. It is open
in front and clasped at the neck. It is worn by the priest during benediction, processions and other services.
Cruets- two small pitchers which contain the water and wine.
Benediction Veil- also known as humeral veil. It is a long, narrow, shawl-like vestment
used at benediction and in processions where the the Blessed Sacrament is carried.
Chalice- the large cup used at Mass to hold the wine which will become the Blood of Christ.
Surplice- a wide-sleeved garment, slipped over the head, covering the shoulders, and
coming down below the hips. It is worn over the cassock for services in which the alb is not necessary.
Paten- the saucer-like dish which usually matches the chalice. It holds the bread which
will become the Body of Christ.
Other articles used at mass
Ciborium- the cup-like vessel with a lid that contains the hosts which will be used for
communion. It is also used to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
Pall- the stiff, square, white cover that is placed over the paten when it is on the
chalice and over the chalice during the Mass to protect its contents.
Communion Paten or Plate- a plate with a handle which is used by the server to catch communion
Corporal- a white linen napkin usually starched, on which are placed the vessels containing
the bread and wine during the Mass.
Pyx- a pocket watched-shaped case in which Communion used for sick calls is carried.
Purificator- a triple-folded rectangular, white cloth used to cleanse the chalice.
Lunette- a thin, circular receptacle, having a glass face which holds the consecrated
Host used at Benediction. It slides into the monstrance on a track.
Finger Towel- a folded rectangular cloth, resembling a purificator, but much narrower.
It is used by the priest to dry his fingers after they have been washed during the preparation of the gifts.
Monstrance- a large ornate vessel used to hold the Blessed Sacrament for Benediction and
This stage is directed to those who have finished the two previous stages of the course.
It will cover the more difficult jobs that you will have to do. A head server ought to have completed this stage of the course.
Be able to maintain a high standard in what you have learned in the two previous stages.
Be able to use the thurible.
Be able to carry the processional cross.
Have some understanding of what to do on big feasts.
Show leadership qualities.
Anticipate and sort issues before they become problems.
Using the Thurible during Mass
The server carrying the thurible leads the procession and, after genuflecting, moves
to the altar where incense will first be used. The priest places incense into the thurible and with it reverences the altar
and cross. The thurible is then returned to its stand.
At the end of the second reading the thurible is brought to the priest, who puts incense
into it. The thurible will then be carried in procession to the lectern where it is used to reverence the Book of Gospels
At the preparation of the gifts, the thurible is used to incense the gifts, the altar,
priest and people.
The server may also offer incense when the priest shows the host and chalice to the people
during the consecration. At the end of the eucharistic prayer the thurible is then returned to its stand and is not needed
any more. At the end of Mass, the server processes out with the others taking with the collection for safe keeping.
Carrying the Processional Cross
The server carrying the processional cross follows the thurifer to the altar, or leads
the procession when there is no thurifer. The cross bearer bows to the altar and sets the processional cross in its place.
At the end of the Mass the cross bearer collects the cross and leads the procession out of the church.
Understanding what to do on Big Feasts
The server has to be able to assist at big feasts such as Christmas and Easter. These
are often more complex Masses and at this level you must be able to help as much as possible.
Displaying Leadership Qualities
At this stage you should be able to lead others who serve.
You must be honest and reliable.
You will need to make decisions and instruct others on what to do, especially new servers.
You must be friendly to the younger servers and involve them in conversation.
You must encourage the younger servers to reach their full potential.
You should also oversee what happens before and after Mass.
You should lead by example so that when the task is completed the servers say they did
Those who finish this part of the course will be qualified as head servers, where the
Maintaining a High Standard
You must be able to show that over a period of time you can maintain a good standard
in what you have learned in the two previous stages. This way you will set a good example to those who are following you along
Completion of this Stage
When you finish this stage of the course you will have reached a good level and you will
be able to take part in the community's liturgy more fully. Always remember the honour that you have been given in being chosen
to serve. Strive to develop your skills and improve the quality of your serving. Most importantly, remember the importance
of what you do and that you do it not for yourselves or your own gain, but for the people of God, the Body of Christ of which
we all are members.
Once we have finished with the theory you will be ready to start this next stage. When
you show full understanding and are able to put what is required of you into practice you are ready to move on to the intermediate
stage. It may take some time to get to the intermediate stage as you need a good basis on which to build for the future.
Time Keeping Always arrive in good time, at least 20 minutes before the start of Mass and 30 minutes on special
occasions. This will allow plenty of time for the Mass preparation required and will avoid rushing at the last minute.
Rota Make sure you know when it is your turn to serve. If you are unable to serve, it is helpful to let the MC
know in advance.
How to Dress It is important to realise that it is a great privilege to serve the liturgy of the Church and should
be reflected in how we dress and behave. Thus it is important that you wear appropriate clothes and footwear for serving at
the liturgy. Dress smartly and, if at all possible, wear a pair of smart, dark coloured shoes. No shoes with flashing lights
in. No watches that make a noise. No head gear.
Vestments Respect the vestments you wear; keep them clean and in good condition. Hang them up properly when you
have finished serving. Most importantly you should remember that looking after your vestments and the way you dress are your
How to Behave When in the sacristy or in church, show the greatest of respect for where you are and for those around
you. Do not distract others by the way you behave. Never talk on the sanctuary, except when participating in the Mass. Sit
and kneel in an appropriate manner. When you are not holding something, join your hands together. Never run or cause people
to look at you thus distracting them from their prayers. Remember to pay close attention to the things happening so that you
are ready to do what you have to when you have to. Take full part in the Mass including the singing of the hymns.
Before Mass It is important that you pay close attention to what goes on before Mass begins. Become familiar with
what is required for each Mass, where things are to be found and where they need to go.
During Mass It is important that you have a good attitude to serving and that you realise what you are doing, why
you are doing it and for whom. You will be expected to maintain a high standard of serving.
Tasks During the beginners stage of your training you will be expected to carry out
the following tasks.
Be able to carry the candles, and to know when they are used.
Be able to assist at the preparation of the gifts.
Be able to move around the sanctuary in a dignified manner to the positions that you
are supposed to be in without being prompted to do so.
Ring the bell at the appropriate times.
Carry the boat without spilling the incense.
Be able to maintain the high standards already set.
You will also be asked to do other tasks like putting out Hymn sheets etc.
It is important that you know what happens at the different parts of the Mass. You should
know what the responses are and be able to join in at the appropriate time.
Carrying the Candles During Mass The carrying of candles is a prominent feature during
the Mass. It is important not to spill the wax from the candles as this will damage vestments and carpeted surfaces. Be careful
not to burn yourself. Take notice of where the candles are placed and when they are required during the Mass.
The candles are carried in procession behind the thurifer and in front of the cross bearer.
They are placed in an appropriate place.
At the gospel the candles are processed up to and held either side of the lectern.
After the gospel the candles are returned to their previous location.
At the end of Mass they are collected and carried in procession out of church behind
the cross bearer.
Assisting at the Preparation of the gifts
The first bit is to lead the procession of gifts into the church.
Next assist at the altar by removing any wine not needed and supplying the water jug.
When finished with the jug and the flagon of wine place them on the credence table.
After this the incense is needed. Take the boat and follow the Thurifer up to the priest.
After incensing the altar the priest washes his hands and so you bring forward a bowl
containing water and a levabo. He dries his hands on the linen cloth. Return the items to the credence table after use refolding
Moving Around the Sanctuary You should now be able to move around the sanctuary in
a dignified manner that does not draw attention to yourself and distract others. Coupled with this you should also be able
to move to the correct places for the different parts of the Mass and be able to do this without prompting.
Ringing the Bell During the Eucharistic Prayer the bell is rung on three separate
The first time is when the priest places his hands outstretched over the chalice invoking
the Holy Spirit.
The second time is when the priest shows the host to the congregation at the Consecration.
The third and final time is when the priest shows the chalice to the congregation at
Join the other servers in the Sacristy in a prayer of thanks. Help bring all the items
from the sanctuary into the sacristy and put them away neatly. Note where things go. You are not finished till all the things
have been cleared from the sanctuary and been put away properly.
Completion of this Stage
This stage will be complete when you can do all of the above well and when you have shown
yourself to have the potential to be a good server. Faithful attendance is most important and you must maintain the high standards
you have shown.