The Altar Server: A School of Faith

by Consecrated Life, Mass, Sacraments, Vocation

Today’s video provides both an excellent explanation of some of the ideas behind the altar server together with practical tips on how to serve with reverence and understanding. As a reflexion, I would like to propose the idea that the liturgy, and above all the Mass, is indeed a School of Christian Living. There, in addition to receiving the sacraments, we learn keys, attitudes, and habits that need to be applied and irradiated in our daily lives.

In the case of the altar server, we become more aware of how our gestures are truly powerful means of communication. Even when we do not realize it, how we stand, how we sit, how we move, speaks to those around us: for better or for worse.

Being aware of our postures, educating them, mastering them so as to transmit the correct message, must become part of our daily efforts of conversion. An apostle must use all the tools at his or her disposition in order to transmit Christ!

The Altar Server

We learn a sense of reverence. Given the solemnity of the event, it is evident that we must pay attention to details. Things must be clean, well-organized, well-timed, etc… This in no way leads to a sterile formality, some kind of rigid and impersonal attitude. The contrary! Don’t we do the same when it comes to a long-awaited guest, a close friend, a loved family member? It is fruit of the realization that Christ is truly among us that impels us to give the best we have. This attitude, however, must not remain on the Church altar alone. It must become a part of our daily way of living and serving. Our reverence for Christ reflects in our reverence for others. How well do you attend and serve those that surround you? How often do you pay attention to details?

Lastly, I would like to mention an extremely important lesson that we learn and that is mentioned explicitly in the video: a transcendent vision. In the liturgy, we are confronted with the fact that many times the truth of things goes far beyond what we can see or touch. We discover that what is essential is above all in the interior. We are trained in a mentality that continually seeks for a deeper meaning, refusing to lazily accept the first impression that comes to mind.  We are trained in the ways of faith which remind us that God speaks to us constantly through symbols and whispered messages, yet many times we haven’t the eyes, the ears, or the heart to listen.

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