Altar Server – Reference Guide

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Quick Reference Guide for Altar Servers

***Remember to keep hands in a prayer form with fingers pointed upward at all times when standing

Team A – Four servers in seating over by ambo

  1. One captain will be in charge of the 3 other servers; one server (not captain if only one captain) may leave to accompany the Liturgy of the Word Teacher
  2. The captain will carry the flagons (wine pitchers) and make sure another servers are coming immediately with you with the chalice trays– it is ok to bring one at a time – captain remember to remove all purificators from the tray and place on altar and use one purificator to wipe the flagon lip and the chalices if pour one to another to even out wine and place used purificator on credence table when finished; remove all the flagons to the credence table and place on the spot where they were taken from
  3. The other two servers will set the altar under the watchful eye of the Captain – remember the paten with the gluten free hosts need to get to altar as well if they are there and to gently pick up book and stand and move to left on an angle – try to pick it up a little and not drag as it will move altar cloths
  4. One of these two servers will stand on the edge of the carpet with the water cruet ready to join with the Celebrant’s servers who gets the wine cruet at gifts to assist the Priest with the preparation of the cup; Father will take them from each of you, remain until both cruets are used, the bow and place on table.
  5. The other servers will get ready to wash the celebrant’s hands
  6. Captain will ring bell as usual – shake new bells to a mental one “Annunciation Catholic Church” when priests hands are out stretched and you hear the words “Body and Blood”; shake to mental three “Annunciation Catholic Church” when elements are raised – watch priests as they all have a different style
  7. At “Lamb of God” – you will line up on carpet for communion in front of gate
  8. Regular servers will clear altar leaving ciboria trays; servers sitting with priests-return to seats
  9. When communion is concluding, 2 servers will wait holding corporals for all the bowls to be returned, go cover trays, bring back to credence table – make sure you have room to place tray when you get corporals
  10. Will assist with clean up after mass as usual


Team B – Two servers sitting by celebrant- with proper number of servers, they will be acolytes in the procession and one will bring in the water pitchers when there is a baptism

  1. Two servers (one assigned captain and one other server) will sit on either side of the celebrant; if there is a concelebrant than the captain will stay on the priest’s left side and the other server will sit in the chairs with kneelers directly behind the Priest/Captain
  2. This captain will be responsible for the holding the opening prayer/closing prayer, prayer of the faithful opening and closing prayer (just after Homily) and any other book holding required at mass such as during Baptisms or dismissal of people studying to become Catholic.
  3. The captain and other server will be responsible for receiving the gifts with the Celebrant
  4. If you have paten (keep hands around it if it is flat) take it to Father behind the altar and hand it to him, bow, return to kneeler seats behind priest seats, if you have wine cruet, wiggle off top while walking, meet up with server with water at altar – Father will take them from each of you, remain until both cruets are used, the bow, place on table, return to seats behind priest’s chair unless due to server shortage they are needed to assist the other servers with altar setting or serving at the altar
  5. At “Lamb of God” – you will line up on carpet for communion in front of gate – after receiving communion return to kneelers
  6. When gates are closed – join Father at seats for closing prayer and departure as normal
  7. After mass captain B will straighten up server garments/sign service books and other server will get used purificator basket from sacristy and take the used purificators to back sacristy for clean up and return basket