What Being an Altar Server Means to Me – Harris Craycraft

Being an Altar Server for St. Andrew has a two-fold effect. First and foremost, it is a great opportunity to help out the St. Andrew community. There are many pieces to the puzzle to make the Mass run smoothly, and I am always grateful to be able to contribute to that through being an Altar Server.

Harris Craycraft

Secondly, it is a two-of-a-kind position on the altar that the congregation does not get to experience. Being closer to the Priest and eventually the Eucharist is another blessing that should not be overlooked. Being an Altar Server means serving the community, the Church, and God at the same time.

 

What It Means to Be an Altar Server – Jesse Hardin

Jesse HardinMy name is Jesse Hardin and I am a junior at Archbishop Moeller High School. I became Catholic in the first grade by choice and it was the greatest decision in my life. In the fourth grade I decided to become an Altar Server. It isn’t a requirement, but for me it was a choice that I love. It is a choice to serve the Lord. I feel more connected to the Lord while serving than any other time. I feel like I am directly helping the Lord while on the Altar. Servers are right there by the priest when the bread and wine are changed to the body and blood and I feel the power of the Lord working as I watch.

When you are serving at Mass or at a special liturgical service, you see things from a different viewpoint than the rest of the congregation. I was serving at the Easter Vigil and all the lights are turned off during the beginning of this service. The Deacon began to slowly raise the Bible at the Gospel. I was behind him with the thurible (a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services) and the other server was gradually turning the lights to full power. The lights are gaining in power and the Deacon is slowly raising the Book. The choir starts singing softly and then louder as the lights came up, I felt the power of the Lord working. This moved me enough that I smiled and I was filled with the Spirit.

I also am moved when I am using the thurible. I serve at many funerals and when we are sending the body from the church, the priest incenses the casket. Some priests put the incense right above the head of the casket. This is touching because you can almost see the soul rising to heaven. I love the experience of being a server, as I said, I feel so much closer to God when I do it. I am so glad I became a server. I love Sundays when I get to serve the Lord.

 

 

Everyone Who Listens to My Father and Learns From Him Comes to Me. Jn.6:45

At seven in the first grade, I was a Baptist going to a Catholic school. My parents asked me if I wanted to stay a Baptist or to convert to Catholicism. Converting was one of the greatest decisions in of my life. ‘The doors open wide at the very thought of your coming’ took on new meaning for my family. I was baptized on February 28, 2009 when in the first grade. I continued my grade school education at St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school. In second grade, I made my first communion and reconciliation with my mom. We never miss Sunday mass, it is very important to us.

In fourth grade I made another decision to become an Altar Attendant. Another great choice! I enjoy serving, it is fun for me and I truly love to serve at the altar. I have been told by parishioners that they love it when I serve. It makes me happy that people think I am a good server. In the summer going into sixth grade, I started serving funerals. It is honestly very hard to serve funerals. Seeing people crying is tough and it’s hard not to cry with them. Before one funeral I asked if I could try to use the incense and Deacon Tim said yes. Using incense really changes people, including me. I now participate more and I understand the Mass more. Using the incense made me want to learn more about God and Jesus’ ministry.

I am now going into ninth grade and will be attending Archbishop Moeller High School. I participate in a National Volleyball league and when we are out of town, my parents and I to find a local church that’s meets our match schedule. I love being Catholic because it connects directly back to Jesus and God. I think it’s pretty amazing that the same Mass is said around the entire world. I invite you to come to Mass, and more importantly become involved the Mass as an altar attendant, a lector or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Fully participating helps you to receive Jesus and God and special gifts and graces.

Oh God, please help people during their decisions to become a more involved Catholic. Shine some light on them so they can make the best decision possible for their family and for their lives.

Jesse Hardin is 14 years old and has been a member of St. Andrew parish for 7 years and an Altar Attendant for 5 years. His volleyball team placed first in the state and 7th in the nation. He works at Grand Sand Volleyball Club as a referee. He is an only child, grateful to be Catholic and has two of the best parents God ever created.Jesse Hardin