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Altar Servers

Altar Server at St IreneAltar Servers assist the priest at Mass and liturgical celebrations. This ministry is open to both boys and girls.

Interested in Altar Service? Contact Deacon Dean.

Training sessions for new Altar Servers are scheduled based on need. Whether you are a new Altar Server, or an active Altar Server just needing a refresher on the role, St Irene's Altar Server Guide will help you prepare.

You can download the Guide in pdf format here

Or you can read the same guide online below:

Table of Contents

Altar Server’sGuide
St Irene Parish
Carlisle Massachusetts

“I go unto the altar of God; to God Who is the joy of my youth.”


Wear appropriate dress pants and shoes. Arrive fifteen minutes prior to the start of Mass to allow adequate time to get dressed and prepare the altar. Put on alb with cincture, (white robe with cord belt) and pectoral cross.  Light the candles next to the altar, then take the processional crucifix and wait with Father by the church entrance.



Hold the crucifix up high, walk down the aisle in rhythm with the music, and when you get up to the altar, bow with Father. Return the crucifix to its stand in the Sacristy.

Processional Crucifix right

Gloria (memorize)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his peo- ple on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the father: receive our prayer. For You alone are the holy one, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the most high, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Opening Prayer

Bring the Sacramentary book to the Priest and hold it high for the him to read. When Father is finished with the opening prayer, return the Sacramentary to the credence table and be seated for the readings.

1st Reading

From the old testament (pay attention).


Sing response with the rest of the congregation.

2nd Reading

From the new testament (pay attention).

Gospel Acclamation



Stay standing


Sit and pay attention.

Profession of Faith

The Nicene Creed (memorize)

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
God from God, Light from Light. true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Wait for the collection baskets to go through the first few pews, and then bring the chalice and the book to set the altar, as shown below. Then return to your seat.


When the Priest or Deacon nods, proceed to the front of the altar to receive the gifts. Remove the covers and place them on the altar as shown below.


After placing the gifts on the altar, go to the credence table and remove the stoppers from the water and wine. Bring the cruets up to the altar and give them to the Priest. When the Priest hands you back the water and the wine, go back to the credence table, set down the wine cruet. Then bring up the napkin, the bowl, and the water cruet. One altar server on the left holds the bowl with the napkin over one arm, while the altar server on the right (if there is one) pours the water on the Priest’s hands. When the Priest is done washing his hands, return the bowl, napkin, and water back to the credence table and then sit back down.


Liturgy of the Eucharist

When the congregation kneels, kneel on the pillows at the side of the altar. When the Priest raises up the host, ring the bells for a few seconds. Repeat the bell ringing, when the Priest raises up the chalice.

Sign  of Peace

Shake the other altar server’s hand (if there is one) then shake the Priest’s hand and bring up the silver common cups and set them on the altar as shown in the picture at right.


Receive communion, then return to your seat near the credence table. When the Priest returns to the altar after communion, bring the water for the Priest to rinse out the chalice.  When the Priest is done, bring the water, chalice, and book back to the credence table and sit down.

Prayer After Communion

Bring the Sacramentary book up to the Priest and hold it high for him to read. When the Priest has finished reading the prayer, return the book to the credence table, unless the Priest signals to leave it on the Altar for the final prayer. As soon as you or the other altar server sets the book down, get the processional crucifix.


When the Priest or Deacon nods, follow them to the front of the altar and stand behind them. The altar server without the crucifix stands in front of the altar server with the crucifix.  When the Priest bows, bow with him. The altar server carrying the crucifix does not bow. Then turn around and walk slowly down the aisle.

After Mass

Hang up Your alb, belt and cross in the Sacristy closet. Then extinguish all candles on the altar.




Eucharistic Ministers


Altar Servers

Presentation of Gifts

Children's Liturgy