Altar Servers

Altar Servers are icons of the angels as they assist the priest in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. They have the privilege of standing within the altar and being closest to the Divine Mysteries. This role requires concentration, soberness, and holiness of life.

Young men, 7 years old and older, are invited to become altar servers. Please see Fr. Constantine if you are interested!

A Rule for Altar Servers

Adapted from an article by Archbishop St. John of San Francisco

1) To serve in the sanctuary, it is necessary to take the blessing of the priest, or at an hierarchical service, the Hierarch.

2) One must come to church before the beginning of the service.

3) When taking off the stikharion, it must be neatly folded or hung in its place.

4) In the sanctuary one should not engage in conversations, nor laugh, nor should one walk about the church, and particularly is this so during the Divine service itself.

5) They should not touch the Holy Table nor the Table of Oblation (proskomidi).

6) Even before putting on the stikharion, their hands must be clean.

7) In the sanctuary and sacristy, nothing should be brought that is not used in the Divine services.

8) Before taking candles or the liturgical fans out, the server should cross himself before the icon in the High Place and bow to the Hierarch or priest, who stands before the Holy Table. On returning, they should repeat this.

9) One must bear in mind that the sanctuary is the most holy place, and that it is required that one stand therein with the utmost reverence; in passing the High Place one must cross oneself, and one must always follow the service with attention.

N.B. These disciplines are not kept in exactly this way in every church, but they do indicate the seriousness with which such a great saint of our times as St John took the duties of the altarservers, and should remind us of the importance of this ministry, and the good order which should be observed.

From The Shepherd, Vol. XX, No. 11 (July 2000), pp. 8-9.