My Dear Parishioners,
For this Youth Sunday, we want to focus on one of our youth groups to highlight its importance in the youth ministry; that group is the servers in our Church.
Being a server means serving God and his people at the Eucharist. That is what makes serving at Mass worth doing, and worth doing well. It is what makes good servers want to do their best as well. Serving therefore is a ministry , as genuine and as necessary as that of the priest.
“Ministry” is the word used for the kind of service which the ushers, readers, choristers, chalice bearers and priests give to God and to his people at the Holy Communion Service.. So this is why it is true to say that servers are really ministers for the name ‘server’ clearly points out what they do at the Mass: serve God and God’s people, by helping the priest and his fellow worshippers to praise God as well as they can.
But you may ask, “Why does the priest need servers to help him at the Eucharist?” From the early days of the Church, people have thought that the priest should not do everything at Mass, and so different kinds of people have helped him down the centuries: deacons, readers, and acolytes. Nowadays, servers do some of the tasks which acolytes did in the past, such as the preparation of the altar and sanctuary before Mass, and making the responses to the versicles (V and R).
The custom of having only boys as servers is very old and it is found in many places. But little by little these days girl servers are doing the tasks once assigned only to boys. As servers give of themselves to help the priest and people of God to worship better, they also receive God’s help and blessing for their important service.
But equally, part of the ministry of servers is to help ‘set the pace’ for all who participate in the Holy Communion Service. What we do there and how we do what we do can help others to understand the Eucharist better and help to make their love for God stronger. As a server, one should ty to become involved in the Church’s life and mission. Remember also that the worshippers in Church will be watching you carefully. They are not so interested to see if you make mistakes, but they like to see what it means to be really involved in the Mass. I believe that people will take more interest in the Mass if they see you taking more interest in it while you serve.
In worship it makes a difference whether and how we genuflect, whether we seem to be prayerful and interested in every aspect of the service. Indeed, our outward actions and
appearance tell others much about how we are feeling on the inside. At worship, our actions and appearance should show that we love God and his people. It should be clear to all who see us that we try to be the best we can be in demeanour and deportment. This is why practice is so important—very often it ensures perfection. Just listening to instructions from the coach and careful practice make a person a good athlete, so listening to the directions from your instructor and careful practice as a server will make you a good one. But practice is hard work that is why worshippers must be on time and be ready to learn more about Christ - ready to learn how to serve God and his people.
A Word About Posture During Worship: A ‘posture is how you are using the parts of your body at a particular time. Walking, bowing, genuflecting, kneeling, standing sitting, the use of your hands, your eye contact, and general appearance are all postures which will either enhance or violate the sacred space and time which are at your disposal. So at worship do not fidget nervously or slither around the Church. Be relaxed and be comfortable. Be yourself and remember to listen, sing and pray with the other worshippers who have gathered to praise God. Remember what an important service you are attending and give it your best.
With all good wishes and prayers Archdeacon Emeritus