Hints to Servers
People who serve
This is the server who does most to help the priest.
Acolytes usually serve in pairs and at solemn Mass they carry candles at the beginning and the end of the Mass, as well as at the gospel.
When carrying candles, the outside hand holds the candlestick and the inside hand is placed under the base. When you accompany the processional cross you do not bow or genuflect.
The server who carries the processional cross at the beginning and end
of the service and at other processions.
Because the cross is so important you do not bow or genuflect when carrying it. Make sure that the figure on the cross faces the front. Hold it high enough so that you do not catch the base of the ankles as this can be painful.
Server who carries the thurible.
Sometimes accompanied by a boat bearer, who carries an incense boat.
Before incense in put in hold the thurible with your left hand, under the plate at the top of the chains. The right hand is then free to slide open the cover of the thurible and then to lift the lower part so that the priest may easily put in the incense. When you are swinging the thurible it is best to hold it with your right hand.
Often a server is required to hold a book while the priest reads from it.
You do so by placing your hands under the bottom of the opened book, with its open pages facing away from you, and your thumbs supporting the back of the book so that it is upright.
Torches are always held in the outside hand with the other hand on
your chest. While in procession, the bottom of the candlestick should be just clear of the floor. When you are kneeling or standing the bottom of the candlestick rests on the floor.
Master of Ceremonies
The server who guides and helps other servers to do their job well.
Serving means teamwork – working with the priest and the other servers.
Be aware of what the priest is doing.
Be aware of your fellow servers.
Know the responses.
Take an active part in the mass.
Do not call attention to yourself.
Which means: serve reverently.