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Walking onto the Altar.

Serving Water and Wine

Bell and Ablutions

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3




The long prayer from the ‘Holy Holy’ to the ‘Our Father’ is called the CONSECRATION or the EUCHARISTIC PRAYER and it involves actions by the priest as well as praying. It is the most important prayer of the Mass because through this prayer God our Father changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The bell is rung three times during this prayer to call the attention of the people to the special happenings during this prayer.

The ‘Holy Holy’. Servers stay on their stools until the start of the ‘Holy Holy’, whether it is said by the people or sung by the choir.

First bell when the priest holds his hands together over the CHALICE. This is to show the Holy Spirit coming down on the wine and bread to bless them. The server on bell should be on the watch out and be ready when he/she sees this happening. Keep a close eye on the altar from the ‘Holy Holy’ on. There are four different EUCHARISTIC PRAYERS and sometimes the priest puts his hand over the chalice after a few sentences, sometimes not until after a long prayer. Ring the bell three times, swinging it up and down with one hand for better sound.

Second bell when the priest raises the HOST. This is the name we give to the breads when they have been blessed and have become the Body of Christ. Don’t ring until the priest has the host lifted level with his face because sometimes he raises it a little bit first and then says more prayers and this would be too early to ring the bell. Three rings as before.

Third bell when the priest raises the CHALICE as high as his face or higher. Three rings again.

Holy Communion. When the priest is drinking from the chalice all servers stand up. The server nearest to the baptism font leads the rest up behind the altar and all line up around the wall from the TABERNACLE and as they receive Holy Communion, each person continues walking then back to his/her own seat.

Ablutions. This is the official name of the pouring of water after Holy Communion and it means 'cleaning' (or washing up!). The server who has taken the board at the offertory is the only person to come up for the ablutions and the putting away of the ciboria and the chalice. Stay in your seat until the priest locks the tabernacle door. Stand up then and if necessary wait for the ministers to come down from the altar.

SERVING THE ABLUTIONS. As soon as you come up, take the cruet of water. Hold it by the handle AT CHEST HEIGHT with whichever hand you normally use for pouring and hold the other hand across your breast. Come forward to the edge of the altar and wait there until the priest comes to you. Keeping the cruet at chest height, pour the water over the priest's fingers. When he wants you to stop, he will lift his hands a tiny bit. Server and priest then bow to each other and server takes cruet back to the CREDENCE TABLE. Wait there until the priest puts away any CIBORIUM which he has left over and then the CHALICE. When you are finished, go back to your place.

All the other servers can remain seated until the server of the ablutions comes back after doing his/her job. At that point wait and see if the people kneel, because most times the priest has notices to read. When he has finished the notices he will go back to to altar. Servers come forward to kneel at that time, they will notice the people kneeling then and this will remind them of the right time.

End of Mass. When the priest is finished the blessing, all servers stand up with the people. Keep your places at the altar step. When the priest comes down he may stand for a while if there is a hymn being sung and he will then tell you to genuflect.