Normally 3 servers are scheduled to serve at each Mass. The lead altar server is the Crossbearer, or crucifer. The crossbearer is the leader of the altar server team and is the minister who carries the cross in procession. The crossbearer must know the responsibilities of each member of his or her team and ensure the duties are completed properly. The other two servers are called Candlebearers.
During Solemnities a fourth server is assigned. The fourth server is called the
because (s)he carries the incense in the entrance procession.
When the bishop comes for Confirmation or other special celebrations, such as the dedication of a new church building, two more servers are assigned. These two servers have special jobs: one takes care of the bishop's staff (crosier) and the other takes care of the bishop's hat (miter).
There are number of adults who assist the youth in the altar server ministry:
Deacon Pete Markwald
provides guidance regarding the Liturgy to the Altar Server Coordinators.
provides administrative support for the altar server ministry and oversees adult volunteers. He coordinates activities, secures resources, and maintains frequent communications with the altar servers, their parents and adult volunteers via email.
coordinates the registration and scheduling of altar servers.
Matt, Stephanie and Kathy Smith coordinate the training for servers.
assist in the development of the altar servers. One to three coaches may be assigned to each Mass. These coaches ensure proper preparation of the servers before Mass, provide informal feedback after Mass, conduct the monthly meetings with the servers, and help with annual training. Coaches also monitor all aspects of altar server performance: correct procedures, appearance, and adherence to schedule. The coaches take a positive and developmental approach and are the primary contact for altar servers and their parents.
have an important supporting role. They ensure their children dress appropriately and are punctual and prepared. Altar servers often rely on their parents for transportation to church, so parents should ensure the servers arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled Mass.