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To serve is to reign



We in the Saint John Henry Newman Guild of Altar Servers are grateful for the leadership of our Pastor, Father Lee Kenyon, for arranging for us to be enrolled in the Guild of St Stephen. Fr Kenyon is the Rector of the Canadian Sodality. Mr. Clanton is the MC for Saint John Henry's.

The Masses, celebrations of the Divine Office, and the Sacraments are well supported at St John Henry’s thanks to a very dedicated team of male altar servers who make up the Servers’ Guild which, on the Feast of St Stephen in 2021, became an affiliated branch of the Guild of St Stephen.

​The Solemn Mass on Sundays and Solemnities utilises a Crucifer, Thurifer, Boat Bearer, two Torchbearers, two Acolytes, and a Master of Ceremonies. Servers also assist at weekday Matins, Low Masses, at Evensong, and Benediction. Our vergers are Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Kirkwood. We have three Instituted Acolytes who assist with the administration of the Precious Blood, lead the Divine Office when required, and fulfil the role of Subdeacon at Solemn Masses with a Deacon.

Regular training is given, practices are held regularly, and there are also rehearsals before major feasts, and before the celebrations of Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. The Guild is a valuable fellowship and fraternity for boys and men, and new Servers are always welcome and encouraged to join.

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CANDIDACY | The policy at SJHN Victoria is that adult males must complete the CMG Connect Safe Environment Training program. Apprenticeship for boys: a brief interview is recommended with each child and his parent or guardian by the Pastor and/or Master of Ceremonies.

Who? What? Why?

The Catholic Church teaches that altar servers have a privileged place in liturgical celebrations. They are not just "helpers of the parish priest," but rather, they are servants of Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest [1]. When altar servers serve at Mass, they experience the presence and activity of Jesus Christ in every liturgy. Jesus is present in the community gathered to pray, in the words of Sacred Scripture, and above all, in the Eucharist [1]. Altar servers have the opportunity to be close to Jesus in the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of their bond of friendship with Him [2].

The role of an altar server goes beyond the church walls. They are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives, shining the light of the Gospel in their schools, families, and different social contexts [3]. Altar servers are encouraged to deepen and foster their friendship with Jesus, discovering that in Him, they have found a true friend for life [1].

The vestments worn by altar servers have a special meaning. They symbolize the baptismal garment, which represents being welcomed into the community of Jesus Christ [4]. Through their service at the altar, altar servers participate in the "authentic liturgical service" alongside bishops, priests, and deacons [4].

In summary, a homily on altar service would emphasize the privileged place of altar servers in liturgical celebrations, their role as servants of Jesus Christ, and the importance of their friendship with Him. It would also highlight the significance of their service extending beyond the church, as they are called to be witnesses of Jesus in their everyday lives. The symbolism of the vestments worn by altar servers can also be explained, emphasizing their connection to the baptismal garment and their participation in the liturgical service of the Church [1] [3] [4].


  1. General Audience of 1 August 2001

  2. General Audience of 2 August 2006: Special catechesis for the European Pilgrimage of Altar Servers

  3. General Audience of 1 August 2001

  4. General Audience of 1 August 2001

Cui Servire Regnare Est

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