1. After the priest and deacon kiss the altar, they will go to their respective chairs and stand in front of them.
2. Sprinkling Rite
: During the Easter season, there will be a sprinkling rite. Instead of taking his or her position in front of the altar servers' bench, the CR picks up the Roman Missal from the bench, walks up the stairs, and stands to the left side of the priest. The candlebearers each pick up a bucket of holy water with a sprinkler (aspergill) in it, which should be ready on the bottom step near the bench, walk up the stairs, and stand to the right side of the priest.
After the priest blesses the holy water, one of the candlebearers accompanies the priest as he walks down the center aisle and sprinkles the congregation. The other candlebearer accompanies the deacon as he walks down the side aisles and sprinkles the congregation in those sections. The candlebearers should walk slightly behind the priest or deacon, on the side with the hand holding the aspergill. When they return to the sanctuary, the candlebearers return the buckets to their original positions, and then take their places in front of the altar servers' bench. During the sprinkling, the CR remains near the priest's chair holding the Roman Missal.
3. The priest does not use the Roman Missal during the greeting and the penitential rite. However, near the conclusion of the Gloria, when you hear the words holy on "For you alone are the holy one"
the CR, if not already standing next to the priest, picks up the Roman Missal, walks up the stairs, and stands slightly to his left until (s)he hears him say, "Let us pray." At that point the CR steps forward, positions himself or herself near the priest, and hands the book to the priest (or opens the book to the Opening Prayer for the day. This requires the altar server to be familiar with the Roman Missal.) The server should stand erect with his or her eyes centered on the priest.
Monsignor prefers the server to stand slightly in front of him and to his left (at a 45' angle from him), with the Roman Missal centered in front of the server.
There is no Gloria during Lent or Advent. During these seasons the crossbearer (CR) needs to be ready to bring the Roman Missal to the priest immediately after the penitential rite.
4. The CR holds the Roman Missal until the priest completes the prayer. Then the CR takes the Roman Missal and returns to the altar servers' bench.
The TH should check the charcoal to make sure the coals are turning gray. Keep a sufficient number of coals burning, laying unlit coals on hot coals to get them ready for use. The TH should check supplies before Mass. (Tongs, tin, lighter, charcoal cakes are ready for use.)
Coals are prepared in a small baking tin. Once burning hot, the coals are transferred to the thurible using the tongs. Never use 1/2 charcoal. It is too small for effect.
5. The altar servers make all the responses along with the congregation.
6. Incense is used at the gospel reading during Christmas and Easter seasons, and on certain holy days. If incense is to be used:
a. The TH should go behind the sanctuary at the start of the second reading and check the charcoal. Using the tongs, transfer hot coals from the baking tin to the thurible. Pick up the thurible with your right hand and the incense boat with your left hand and stand behind the altar servers' bench until the second reading is complete.
b. As the Cantor moves toward the ambo (to lead the singing of the Alleluia), the TH walks around the altar servers' bench and stands to the deacon's right side. The TH hands the incense boat to the deacon, moves toward the priest and then lifts the lid of the thurible so that the priest can add incense. (The bottom section of the thurible should be held about waist high to the priest.) The deacon will hand the incense boat back to TH, and the TH should receive it in his or her left hand.
c. The TH proceeds immediately to the side of the ambo nearest the altar prior to arrival of the priest/deacon at his position behind the ambo. (The Thurifer should be facing toward the congregation and positioned near the deacon's left elbow so that the deacon does not have to turn to exchange the thurible with the TH.) When the priest (or deacon) says, "A reading from the Gospel according to-," he will take the thurible from the TH. When he has finished with the incense, the priest (or deacon) will hand the thurible back to the TH. The TH should remain standing to the left side of the deacon and facing the congregation during the reading of the Gospel.
d. When the Gospel reading is finished and the deacon has returned the Book of Gospels to the front of the ambo, the TH walks toward the rear of the sanctuary and returns the thurible and the incense boat to their storage positions behind the sanctuary. The TH puts another full piece of charcoal inside the thurible and lights it so it will be white-hot in time for incensing the altar and the gifts, i.e., during the Offertory.
e. Altar servers listen attentively to the priest while the homily is being delivered.