boys, girls, men and women who assist the Celebrant, Deacon and
Sub-Deacon in the celebration of the Mass, as well as at other
services such as Evensong.
When servers were almost all boys they were referred to as
'altar boys'. In the Anglican Church, as well as most Roman
Catholic parishes, girls and women also serve, so the term
'server' is both more accurate and comprehensive.
Servers are usually members of the laity, although some servers
are in training for the priesthood. Priests in training are
referred to as 'postulants'. Whatever their title, the role of
servers has long been considered an important one. Many priests
and laity served at the altar when young. Serving in this way
can enrich and deepen one's faith.
Servers serve at all the Sunday Masses and also during the
weekday Low Masses, as well as Solemn Evensong. Servers are
appointed by the Rector. St Dunstan’s Cathedral has long been
blessed with faithful servers who attend Mass faithfully Sunday
after Sunday and, in the case of weekday servers, all through
the week. Altar serving is particularly good spiritual training
for young people; besides that, there are the practical benefits
derived from serving, such as learning to stand and move before
large gatherings in a way that is both natural and reverent.
Servers are designated as follows:
This person guides those in the sanctuary party so they can
perform their roles effectively and unobtrusively.
This person carries the cross during liturgical processions.
The two torchbearers carry the torches symbolising the light of
The acolyte assists during the receiving and preparation of the
gifts during Mass.
This person maintains the censer and charcoal during Mass,
ensuring they are ready when incense is needed.
Throughout the course of the year the Servers' Guild also assist
at solemn liturgies to celebrate the various feasts of the
church calendar. These are:
The Epiphany of the Lord
The Presentation of the Lord: Candlemas
The Triduum ~ Maundy Thursday
~ Good Friday
~ Easter Vigil
Easter: The Resurrection of our Lord
Ascension of the Lord
Corpus Christi: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Michael and All Angels
assist at funerals, memorial services and weddings.
For more information about being a server or to sign up, please see
any of the clergy. They will always be willing to point you in the
More sacristans are needed - anyone who feels called to help
with this interesting work, please contact Jenny McMillan
083 533 3672