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Rules and Guiding Principles

of the Ministry of Altar Servers

I. IDENTITY
a. The official name this ministry shall be: MINISTRY OF ALTAR
SERVERS (MAS)
b. The Ministry of Altar Servers is one of the Lay Liturgical Ministries
under the Commission on Liturgy and Popular Religiosity (CLPR) of the
Mary Immaculate Parish.

II. MOTTO
a. The motto of the ministry is Called to Serve.
b. It is the motto came from Jesus Christ Himself. To serve and not to
be served.

III. PHILOSOPHY
a. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to
that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations
which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation
by the Christian people as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty
by reason of their baptism.
b. In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and
active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before
all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the
faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit. (Sacrosanctum Concilium
#14)
c. The Ministry of Altar Servers believes that each Altar Servers play
a big role to make people participate actively on the liturgy.
d. Therefore, formations and trainings shall be a key to make them a
good example for all the faithful.

IV. GENERAL OBJECTIVES


a. Assign Altar Servers who will assist the celebrant during daily, Sunday,
and other Liturgical Services where the service of an Altar Server is
needed.
b. Provide liturgical formation to members so as to promote active
participation to Daily, Sunday, and Solemn Masses.
c. Foster brotherhood and unity with fellow servers and with the parish
through series of spiritual formations.
d. Prepare the Altar Servers as future servant-leaders of the Church.
V. QUALIFICATIONS
a. An Applicant must be:
i. A recipient of the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy
Eucharist.
ii. Received first communion
iii. 7 to 20 years old;
iv. A good Catholic in faith and deed.
v. Physically and mentally fit.
vi. Willing to commit him/herself to perform his duties and
responsibilities as Altar Server.
vii. Willing to grow spiritually through this ministry by his/her
participation in all formation programs given by the parish and by
the diocese.
viii. Mature enough to understand his/her responsibilities and carry
them out with appropriate reverence

VI. PROCEDURE OF APPLICATION


a. Upon the day of application, an aspiring individual should prepare the
following documents to be submitted:
i. Baptismal Certificate
ii. Any proof of the First Communion (e.g. Pictures, Certificate)
b. After passing all the required documents, the aspirant must first fill up
an application form, and afterwards will be interviewed by the Animator
or the Formator.
c. After the interview, he/she will be given a personality test, and some
assessment.
d. After the personality test and assessments, he/she will undergo 4 weeks
of formation/training.
i. Orientation
ii. Basic Prayers, Sacraments, Sacramentals
iii. Liturgical Time
iv. Vessels, Vestments, Linens, Books
v. Handling church things
vi. Proper Posture
vii. Serving at the Altar (Weekday Masses)
viii. Serving at the Altar (Sunday Masses)
ix. Serving at the Altar (Serving on other places)
e. After the formation/training, the applicant will undergo an examination
(500 items)
f. If an applicant passes the very long examination, he/she will be
considered as candidate recommended for membership.
VII. MEMBERSHIP
a. An individual who joined the ministry will be considered an official
member through the Induction and Investiture.
b. A member can stay with the ministry until the age of 25.
c. A member will be considered removed from the ministry if:
i. He/She committed a major offense which will lead to his
dismissal. (Refer to the Disciplinary Actions)
ii. Or, he/she voluntarily resigns on the ministry. In this point,
he/she shall fill up the resignation form which indicates his/her
intention of resignation.

VIII. INDUCTION AND INVESTITURE


a. The induction and Investiture Ceremony of the Ministry of Altar
Servers is a rite in which the Ministry formally accepts candidates as
members.
b. On the Induction and Investiture, the Parish Priest will bless them as
well as their uniforms. They will also receive certificates and IDs that
certifies their membership.
c. The induction and investiture ceremony shall be held at least once a
year.
d. There is no limit on how many rites of induction and investiture per year
is required.
e. The requirements to make an induction and investiture ceremony
possible are the following:
1. At least 10 candidates
2. Letter of endorsement from the coordinator
3. Approval from the Adviser and the Parish Priest

IX. IDEALS OF AN ALTAR SERVER


a. Being an altar server requires higher ideals, because altar servers are
not only helping the priest. But by the virtue of baptism, they have been
sharers in the priesthood of Christ.
b. According to the Constitution on the Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council
says: Servers, Lectors, and Commentators out to discharge their
offices with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a
ministry and rightfully expected of them by Gods people. Consequently,
they must all be deeply penetrated with the spirit of the liturgy, each in
their own measure, and must be trained to perform their functions in a
correct and orderly manner.
c. The following are the ideals of an altar server:
i. Discipline - Discipline requires reverence to God and for the
sacred objects are the most important when someone serve as a
lay minister. Reverent Actions, peaceful and dignified behavior
should be seen by the people when you stand at the altar.
ii. Teamwork - even if a minister has to serve the Mass on his/her
own, they are a part of the team: priest and people. In the solemn
masses, the precise team-work helps to make the worship more
beautiful, peaceful and prayerful.
iii. Decorum - Decorum requires proper attire and grooming Imagine
an altar server wearing too small cassocks and surplices? How silly
it all looked. They lacked decorum, a word which means what is
proper.
iv. Piety -A pious altar server play his/her role in the liturgy
worthily and well. He/She will set out to practice a regular private
devotional life; including daily prayer, bible reading, visits to the
blessed sacrament, regular confession, and attending the Sunday
masses as well as on the holy days of obligation.

X. QUALITIES OF AN ALTAR SERVER


a. The primary purpose of being an altar server is to serve God and the
Church through the liturgical celebrations (see GIRM 100; 187-193),
except distributing or assisting in Holy Communion, and to become a
better Christian and person. Hence, his purpose for serving is not out of
mere desire to earn recognition at school or work, or of peer pressure or
any selfish motives.
b. The following are the essential qualities of an Altar Server:
i. An Altar Server is a man of God.
1. He/She is expected to live a morally-decent life. Hence,
he/she exemplifies good Christian character whether inside
or outside the parish. He/She is committed to spiritual
formation and personal spiritual growth in love for God and
for Mary.
ii. An Altar Server is a man for the Church.
1. He/She serves out of love and dedication for the Church.
He/She respects and lives out the teachings of the Church.
He/She respects, observes, and submits him/herself to the
direction and guidelines of the diocese and of the parish.
He/She gives his total self and commitment in service.
iii. An Altar Server is a man for others.
1. He/She initiates and fosters good fraternal relationship
with his/her fellow servers. He/She shows humility and
respect to his/her fellow servers, his Officers, and to
other parish workers, even ordinary parishioners or
churchgoers. Above all, he/she is a good model of service
and modesty to others, especially in his community.
XI. GATHERINGS
a. Spiritual Formation (1st sunday of the month, 1:00 4:00 in the
afternoon)
i. This is a gospel reading / sharing / meditation / prayer for Altar
Servers.
ii. This aims to deepen their relationship with God.
b. Catechesis (2nd Sunday of the month, 1:00 4:00 in the afternoon)
i. The Ministry of Altar Servers schedules a monthly Catechesis
given by the Commission on Catechesis and Religious Education
(COMCARE) per group.
ii. This gathering aims to give Altar Servers a chance to know basic
things about our faith.
c. Monthly Assembly (3rd Sunday of the month, 1:00 4:00 PM)
i. This is a monthly assembly in which the group will discuss
important matters about the ministry, announce upcoming
activities / schedules, and assign Altar Servers for different
masses.
ii. The program must be presided by the Coordinator, or in his/her
absence, the Assistant Coordinator.
iii. The program shall be, but not limited to, the following:
1. Opening Prayer
2. Attendance
3. Presentation of new recruits
4. Tax Collection
5. Checking of Last Months Mass Serve Schedule
6. Some Reminders and Announcements
7. Announcing next Mass Serve Schedule and other Schedules
8. Closing Prayer
d. Liturgical Formation (4th Sunday of the month, 1:00 4:00 PM)
i. In this gathering, the Altar Servers will be given liturgical
formations, as well as the proper liturgical training proper to their
ministry.
ii. This gathering aims Altar Servers to be equipped with knowledge
about liturgy.
e. Meeting of Officers (after every gathering)
i. Immediately after each regular gathering, the Adviser shall chair
an exclusive meeting with the officers in an area where no one can
interfere with them. This is a time to discuss things for the
upcoming events, programs, and even the sensitive issues which
can affect the ministry and its members.
XII. ATTENDANCE
a. Each altar Server has the responsibility of attending all the meetings,
events, gatherings, as well as the mass serve schedules that the ministry
has been required for them.
b. Following are the guiding rules:
i. An altar server, who is absent (Mass Services or Gatherings) shall
present an excuse letter duly signed by his/her parent. If an altar
server fails to present an excuse letter, his/her absence is
considered unexcused.
ii. An altar server who is absent in the monthly assembly will not be
given any mass serve schedule for the next month.
iii. An altar server may be suspended from the ministry if he/she is
absent (Mass Services / Gatherings) for 3 times.
iv. An altar server is required to serve at least one (1) mass a week
and is allowed to serve a maximum of two (2) masses a day except
for officers-in-charge.
v. An altar server who is late in his/her scheduled mass service is
not allowed to enter the altar except when there is no altar
server who serves the mass.
vi. An altar Server, who is late on the scheduled service or gathering,
is considered absent.

XIII. FINANCIAL CONTIBUTIONS


a. All members and applicants are required to contribute PhP 5.00 every
gathering.
b. The fund basically goes to the operating expenses of the ministry such
as paraphernalias, photocopying, printing, communications, food, as well
as the expenses for other important events / activities.

XIV. REPORT CARD


a. All the members of the ministry are required to submit a photocopy of
their card (every semester or quarter). This is to monitor possible
failing grades and to give them a break on their ministry if necessary.
Because we are encouraging members to study first.

XV. MASS SERVICE SCHEDULES


a. All members are allowed to serve all the masses on the main church as
well as the local chapels of Mary Immaculate Parish.
b. Candidates are only allowed to serve the Following Masses:
i. Weekdays
ii. Anticipated Mass
iii. 6:30 PM and 7:45 PM Masses
c. Meanwhile, the altar servers of the Mary Immaculate Parish Special
School are only allowed to serve on the Following masses:
i. MIPSS Institutional Masses
ii. 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Masses
iii. And other MIPSS Sponsored Masses
d. Female Altar Servers are not allowed to serve the 6:30 PM and 7:45 PM
Sunday Masses due to some security reasons.
e. Here are the guiding principles:
i. For regular mass schedules, Altar Servers shall come at least 30
minutes before the Mass Service.
ii. For Solemn Masses, Altar Servers shall come at least 1 hour
before the Mass Service.
iii. If an Altar server is late in his/her scheduled mass service,
he/she is not allowed to enter the altar except when there is no
altar server who serves the mass.
iv. Parents are also encouraged to accompany their children when
they go to the church. This to avoid altar servers going to
Computer Shops, or going out with somebody without parents
permission.

XVI. LEADERSHIP OF THE MINISTRY


a. The Parish Priest is the head and has the absolute authority in the
ministry, in its activities and guidelines. As spiritual father and chief
adviser, he is entailed to cater the spiritual and holistic growth of the
servers through regular monitoring and formation series as provided by
the parish. Moreover, the Parish Priest has the foremost right to be
informed of and to grant permission to any activities or guidelines being
observed or proposed in the group.
b. Assisting the Parish Priest in providing series of formation and
assistance to the ministry is the Adviser, a competent individual who
undergo liturgical formation from recognized institute of liturgy.
c. The Adviser can either be a:
i. Parochial Vicar
ii. Parochial Administrator
iii. Guest Priest
iv. Deacon
v. Nun
vi. Religious Brother
vii. Seminarian
viii. or any lay person assigned by the Parish Priest.
d. There are two (2) councils who help the adviser for strategic planning
for the different programs of the ministry.

i. Senior Council Composed 8 selected senior members of the


Ministry.
1. The main role of this council is to help the Adviser by
suggesting activities and programs that will benefit the
ministry members.
2. The following will be the specific role of the Senior Council:
a. Handle formation programs of the Ministry.
b. Evaluate the overall performance of the Ministry.
c. Suggest programs and activities.
d. Plan the budget.
e. Make resolutions that will help the group.
f. To take the responsibilities of the Adviser when the
adviser is not around.
3. The Senior Council members shall be assigned to the
different tasks:
a. Animator (White)
i. He/ She is the Head of the Council.
ii. He/She shall preside the Senior Council
Meetings, and act on the place of the Adviser
when absent.
b. Red
i. Reviews the financial status of the ministry/
ii. Suggests programs that may help to raise the
fund.
c. Orange
i. Observes and reports the character of each
member
ii. Suggests for removal of erring members.
d. Yellow
i. Reviews the spiritual aspects of the ministry,
the spiritual life of each member.
ii. Suggests programs that will help the spiritual
needs of each ministers.
e. Green
i. Reviews the Health Aspects of members, and
suggests activities related to it.
f. Blue
i. Reviews the physical needs of the Ministry
(notebooks, papers, records, ballpens).
g. Indigo
i. He/She is in-charge of assessing the
intelligence or knowledge of members about
liturgy, catechism, and spirituality. And
suggests programs to improve it.
h. Violet
i. He/She records the minutes of the meeting,
compile resolutions, and to release it when
approved by the adviser.

ii. Parents Council lead by the Parent-Adviser. This council is


composed of all parents and shall suggest programs and activities
that will help the spiritual growth of the ministry.

e. The Ministry of Altar Servers has 5 executive officers:


i. Coordinator
1. He/She presides meetings, over-all in-charge on
coordination with the Adviser, CLPR, PPC, Parish Priest, as
well as the Vicariate and the Diocese. He is considered the
Head of the Ministry.
2. He/She can give disciplinary actions to erring members.
3. He/She attends meetings with other altar servers
coordinators in the diocesan and vicariate level.
4. He/She attends meetings of the Liturgical or Vocation
Ministry (diocesan/vicariate/parish level).
5. He/She approves the membership of any aspiring candidate
as altar server.
6. He/She supervises the tasks and responsibilities of the
Officers and of the other servers.
ii. Assistant Coordinator
1. In the absence of the Coordinator, the Assistant
Coordinator shall take charge. He/She is not supposed to
overlap with the work of the coordinator.
iii. Secretary
1. He/She is one who keeps the documents, money, and the
property of the ministry in a safe place.
2. He/She is the one who assign mass services.
3. He/She is also the one to give attendance.
4. He/She is also the in-charge of score system per group.
5. He/She updates the calendar of activities of the ministry.
6. He/She is the one tasked to write violation report to the
parents.
7. He/She is in-charge of the social media accounts, as well as
the website of the ministry.
iv. Assistant Secretary
1. He/She assists the secretary on his/her duties.

v. Treasurer
1. He/She is tasked to collect monthly dues.
2. He/She is tasked to make a monthly financial report of the
ministry to be presented to everybody during the Monthly
Assembly.

f. The Ministry shall be divided into 2 groups namely: Knights of the


Altar for boys; and Ladies of the Altar for girls. Each Group has its
own group leaders. The following shall be the responsibilities of a group
leader:
i. To monitor attendance of each group.
ii. To recruit new members.
iii. To follow-up the newly recruit.
iv. To report any violations to the laws of the ministry
v. To call the attention of parents if a disciplinary action is being
taken place.
vi. To prepare the venue of weekly gatherings.

XVII. ROLE OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS


a. Parents and guardians play a crucial role in the spiritual and holistic
formation of the altar servers. Hence, they must remind and encourage
their children to attend to their respective liturgical services and other
schedules in the ministry.
b. Parents and guardians are encouraged to provide opportunities for their
children to deepen their spiritual growth and participation in parish life,
such as personal prayer time in the family, attendance in parish
formation series, or even in instilling vocation awareness to their
children.
c. Parents are obliged to attend the schedules meetings of the parents
council.
d. Parents are encouraged to help in financial needs of the ministry when
needed.
e. Parents are also encouraged to suggest activities, but not to dictate the
direction of the ministry.
f. The parents and guardians are required to elect one (1) Parent-Adviser
who will represent them whenever needed.

XVIII. LITURGICAL ATTIRE


a. The Liturgical Attire aims:
i. to promote the sense of pride of the ministry;
ii. to foster the feeling of community and belonging;
iii. to promote equality among members.
iv. to promote unity
b. The ministry complies with the prescribed liturgical attire for altar
servers as prescribed by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani Nos.
336 & 339.
c. Attire for Members
i. Boys:
1. Approved Liturgical Attire
2. Plain white undershirt
3. Black slacks or pants
4. Black socks
5. Black leather shoes
ii. Girls:
1. Approved Liturgical Attire
2. Plain white undershirt
3. Black skirt
4. Black socks
5. Black leather shoes
iii. Only members can wear the official liturgical attire.
d. Attire for Applicants & Candidates:
i. Boys:
1. White Polo
2. Plain undershirt
3. Black pants
4. Black socks
5. Black shoes
ii. Girls:
1. White Blouse
2. Plain undershirt
3. Black pants
4. Black socks
5. Black shoes
e. Former members, unless fully admitted, are prohibited from wearing the
official liturgical attire for present members.
f. Altar Servers are also required to wash and iron well their Liturgical
Attires after using.
g. Altar Servers vestment must be distinguished from the vestment of a
seminarian or habit of a religious brother.

XIX. GOOD GROOMING


a. Hair
i. Extreme haircuts are not permitted in the ministry (extreme
being any haircut that is considered to be significantly different
so as to cause distraction to others.)

1. Examples of haircuts not permitted include:


a. Very long hair
b. Skin head
c. Tram lines or equivalent
d. Shaved sides with longer hair across the centre.
e. Use of hair products such as gel.
f. Use of hair dye or other ingredients that changes
the natural color of the hair
ii. For Ladies here are the guiding rules:
1. Short hair is not allowed.
2. Only Siopao Rounded Bun hairstyle is the only hairstyle
allowed.
b. Make-up
i. Altar Servers are encouraged to be simple. Make-ups (with the
exception of baby face powder and lipstick) is not allowed.
c. Jewellery
i. Altar Servers are encouraged to be simple. Therefore, wearing
some Jewellery is not allowed (with the exception of watches).
d. Fingernails
i. Fingernails must be kept clean, short and simple. Colored, long or
dirty fingernails is not allowed.

XX. FORMATION PROGRAMS


a. Every individual who joins the Ministry of Altar Servers shall receive
formation programs of the ministry for them to become well-formed
individuals.
b. The following areas shall be covered by the formations:
i. Catechism
ii. Liturgy
iii. Spiritual
iv. Technical
c. On the other hand, the following shall be the basis to let them move to
another stage of formation.
i. Written Examination
ii. Oral Examination
iii. Technical Evaluation
iv. Character Evaluation
v. Officers Evaluation
vi. Advisers Evaluation
XXI. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES IMPLEMENTED BY THE MINISTRY
a. The following measures are employed by the Ministry of Altar Servers
to correct erring members, to safeguard the name of the ministry and
its members, and to help in its progressive development.

i. WARNING
1. After the failure to fulfil some of the basic requirements,
the attention of the member and his parents will be called,
and a violation report will be send to the parents.

a. Not observing the proper grooming on Meetings,


Activities, and Services.
b. Not observing proper attire on Liturgical Services.
c. Liturgical Attires that are not being ironed well or
dirty.
d. Not paying the Weekly Contribution for 3
consecutive times
e. Using offensive languages and/or bad words inside
and outside the parish especially on the social media.
f. Being absent on one particular mass or gathering.

ii. SUSPENSION
1. After committing a Minor Offense, a member will be
deprived of serving the mass. The attention of the minister
and his parents will be called, and a violation report will be
send to the parents. Suspension is lifted only after a
conference and agreement with him/her or and his/her
parents.

2. Behaviours which are considered minor offenses are the


following:
a. Committing 3 warnings.
b. Being absent for 3 consecutive scheduled mass
services or gatherings without excuse letter.
c. Unintentional or Intentional damage to the Church
Equipment, Vessels, Vestments, Linens, and Books.
d. Using gadgets during weekly gatherings or mass
services.
e. Sleeping during Mass Service.
iii. DISMISSAL
1. After committing Major Offense, a member will be
dismissed from the ministry without any reconsideration or
review. He will be removed from the list of official
members forever.

2. The following are considered as Major offenses:


a. Parents failed or refused to have a conference with
the Adviser 4 weeks after a suspension was given.
b. Serving as an Altar Server on the period of
Suspension.
c. Direct or Indirect way of disrespect to the Adviser.
d. Any disrespectful acts in the parish compound and to
the church especially the Adoration Chapel (e.g.
playing, eating, sleeping, vandalism)
e. Stealing
f. Smoking
g. Being a GAY / LESBIAN
h. Involvement to any crimes.
i. Threats, intimidations, bullying, hazing, blackmails,
etc.
j. Involvement to any organization not recognized by
the ministry and the parish such as fraternities,
gangs, etc.
k. Taking the place and functions of officers without
due consent.
l. Assault upon others as well as uttering defamatory or
libellous statements against them.
m. Forgery.
n. Using the name of the ministry on a manner that is
undesirable.
o. Any misconduct which endangers the good name of
the ministry and its members.

XXII. AMENDMENTS
a. These guiding principles shall take effect immediately upon the approval
of the Parish Priest, and the Adviser.
b. Any proposed amendment to any of these rules may be initiated by a
majority of Members and shall be subjected for approval from the
Adviser and the Parish Priest.
c. The Parish Priest and the Adviser may overrule any proposed amendment
to these rules and guiding principles.
d. Approved on this 9th day of October, in the year of our Lord Jesus
Christ 2016.