Serving in the Holy Altar is a very special privilege and honor. The altar is a place where Christ is always present both spiritually and physically in the amnos, or consecrated bread, that is kept there constantly. Wherever Christ is present, the angels are also present, praising Him and ready to serve Him in whatever way is needed.
When in the altar, the altar server too is surrounded by these invisible angels and even more, he also represents them in a visible way. It is his duty to serve the priest in any way that might be needed. The robes that he wears represents the glory of the angels and of heaven; the sash that crosses his back represents the wings of angels; the candles that he carries during the entrances represent the light of God which follows wherever he is; and when he processes with the priest during the Small and Great Entrances he represent the angels escorting Christ.
Altar Groups for 2016-2017
The Altar groups for 2016-2017 have been posted. Please click the image below to download the groups and schedule.
Remember to be on Time - Honor our Lord.
9:50 unless you are a leader. Leaders 9:40 to prepare the Antidoron
Altar Boy Guidelines
Altar boys are very privileged because you are here to serve Christ. The sanctuary is Holy ground, the “Holiest of Holies” and the place of Sanctification. Your behavior, your attitude, your service should reflect “Fear of God, Faith in God and Love of God”. Laymen of women are not permitted to enter the Sanctuary except in cases of urgent need and then with special permission. As an Altar Boy you have received such permission. This is a very special privilege.
Rules and Regulations
BE ON TIME: Be in the Sanctuary at least 10 minutes before the start of the Divine LIturgy. This is a must! To do otherwise is an insult to God. If you rely on transportation to get here you must insist that you leave early enough to be here at the proper time. The Sunday liturgies begin at 10:00am and you need to be here no later than 9:50am. This is IMPORTANT!
BE STILL AND ATTENTIVE: Do not wander in the preparation area or the restroom or any other area during the service. Do not use the restroom during the service. Be attentive to the Altar and your duties. Stand straight and do not lean on the walls. Don't look out at the chanters or congregation during the service by leaning over the tile into the granite. It looks bad from the pews. Stay attentive at the line between the granite and tile.
BE PROPERLY DRESSED: Altar boys must wear neat pressed pants, a white shirt (plain colors acceptable) and a tie. You hair should be cut and neatly combed. Your hands and fingernails should be cleaned and your shoes polished. Wear dark socks. No shorts, T shirts, polo shirts, tennis shoes or sandals are permitted.
BE QUIET: The Leader of the Altar Boy team should direct with hand signals. Altar boys should avoid speaking or whispering, or moving about as much as possible. When not engaged in an assigned duty stand attentive facing the Altar.
DO NOT WALK IN FRONT OF ALTAR: Only the Clergy - Bishops, Priests or Deacons are allowed to stand or walk in front of the Holy Altar.
PREPARE TO RECEIVE COMMUNION: Come prepared to receive Holy Communion when you serve as an altar Boy. Do not eat any of the Andidoro or drink water before Communion is served.
RESPECT THE CLERGY: Bend and kiss the hand of the Priest or the Deacon whenever you hand them something or when they return something to him.
FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: Follow the direction of the team leader. Do not leave the Sanctuary until you have received the permission from your team leader.
RESPECT YOUR ROBE: Hang up your robes and belt with respect.
REPECT THE HOLINESS OF THE CHURCH: You are an example and a role model for all the younger youth in the Church. Be strong in your faith and know it well.
These rules must be followed. Being an Altar Boy is a privilege.
Get up early like you would on a school day.
Make sure you are properly dressed.
When you enter the Cathedral, light a candle and venerate the icons in the Narthex.
Enter down the right Aisle of the Nave and into the entry door behind the chanters.
Say an prayer and make your cross when entering the Sanctuary.
Select a robe that fits and comes down to the top of your shoes along with the appropriate length belt. - Shelby to demonstrate.
Put it on and hold the the belt with reverence for the Priest to bless before putting it on. Kiss the Priest’s hand after he blesses it.
Stand attentive along the line between the tile and the granite.
Duties of the Leader
The Leader should be the first one to arrive.
When he arrives in the Cathedral he makes sure the candles are lit and that everything is ready for the Divine Liturgy.
Prepare the Andidoro.
Help and instruct new altar boys.
Check oil in candles.
Start a fresh Charcoal in the censer during the Doxology just before the Liturgy begins.
Prepare the water in the water heater.
The leader should be near the Priest at all times during the Divine Liturgy. He is responsible for assigning specific duties to altar boys. He has authority to temporarily discharge uncooperative altar boys.
The Leader sees that all altar boys not assigned a specific duty stand on the line between the tile and granite.
He assigns the following tasks:
Assisting Priest and deacon with administering Communion
Taking andidoro to the Sunday school and the attendance list to the Sunday School office.
The Leader is the last one to leave. He needs to check to see that everything has put back into its proper place (especially the robes) that all the candles are extinguished and that the area where the andidoro is cut is clean and orderly.
Duties during the service
Doxology - Start a new charcoal in censer
Small Entrance - North Door - two candles precede Deacon with Gospel. Bow at center of Solea and stand on either side of Royal Doors. After Priest enters Sanctuary, bow at center and return through north doors. Have censer ready when reading of Epistle begins.
Gospel Reading - North door - two candles and the cross. Candles always go first. Go to Ambo and when deacon finishes go to stations on either side of the Royal door. At conclusion of Gospel bow and reenter through both doors. Have censer ready at conclusion of Gospel.
Great Entrance - North Door - Candles Cross, Cherubs and censer. When Priest gives signal exit and walk slowly down the right aisle to back of Nave and then up center aisle. Take positions on either side of Royal Door. After Priest enters Sanctuary bow and renter through both doors.
Turn up heat on water
During the consecration (When Priest lifts up the Chalice and Paten) prostrate yourself facing Altar. After consecration have censer ready for Priest. Bring Andidoro to Altar for blessing while Deacon finishes censing.
After Lord’s Prayer pour boiling water (Zeon) into container and bring to Altar.
After Priest and Deacon receive communion prepare to exit to assist in serving communion and distribute Andidoro. Take tray of Andidoro to Sunday School along with attendance sheet to Sunday School office.
After communion is complete return to Sanctuary. Afte Decon finsihes petitions prepare to exit with Priest through North door when he goes to deliver sermon and sit quietly in the front row. When priest is finished and as soon as he begins to return to the Sanctuary, quietly and orderly return through North door to Sanctuary.
If there is a Memorial (Leader should check at the beginning of service to find out about any special services or processions) After Priest gives Prayer in front of icon of Christ, one altar boy is assigned to light candle on table on Solea and others take out two candles and the censer and stand on either side of the memorial table.
After the Dismissal prayers and any announcements take out the Andidoro for distribution by the Priest.
Do not disrobe until you are given permission by your group leader.
Hang up robes and belts carefully.
Make you cross when you leave the sanctuary and when you leave the Nave of the Cathedral.
The Leader is responsible to see that the area where the Andidoro is prepared is spotless clean.
Once the distribution of the Andidoro is complete then the lead altar boy should empty the bowl and tray and put any left over Andidoro in small sandwich bags (Cut up partial loaves). Ask clergy how many they need and the rest can be give to altar boys or taken to the Social hall to give to parishioners to take home for use during the week. Sweep up all crumbs from the floor and put ALL crumbs into a sandwich back for proper disposal in an area where no one will walk. Do not put crumbs in wastebasket. Fold cloths and put into bowl.
Put out all candles.
Make sure the floor is clean of all incense and any other debris. Check to see that the robes are all hung properly along with the belts.
Make cross and exit reverently thanking the Lord for being able to serve Him in this way.