We need Altar Servers who would like to learn how to serve at Holy Mass. Please contact Deacon Raymond Keogh for more information.
Altar Servers play a most important part in the liturgy of the Parish. Without them the Church would find it difficult to conduct its worship with dignity. Good servers enable all of us, priests and people, to celebrate the Mass and the other sacraments with a spirit of prayer. This means that Altar Servers themselves have to be prayerful people and also people who are aware of the tremendous gifts God gives us in the liturgy.
To be an altar server, you need to have made your first Holy Communion and be between 7 and 99 years old! Any boy or girl wishing to become and altar server would be required to serve Mass on a rota basis on Saturday evenings, Sundays and on special occasions during the week. For further details please contact James Noakes.
The intention is always, not only to guide them in the correct way of serving, but also to encourage a deeper understanding of what we are really doing when we come together to worship God.
Our aim is to have a reverent and dignified liturgy assisted by devout and well trained Altar Servers.
The Guild of St Stephen
The Guild of St Stephen is an International Organisation of Altar Servers founded in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald when he formed a Society of Altar Servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London.
In 1905, Pope Pius X gave his approbation to the Canonical establishment of the Guild at Westminster Cathedral and in 1906, the Sacred Congregation of Rites made the Guild an Archconfraternity prima primaria enabling all the parish branches to be linked with it.
The Guild spread, and in 1934, Pope Pius XI enabled all Guilds of Altar Servers throughout the British Commonwealth to be affiliated with the Archconfraternity at Westminster.
To learn more about the Guild of St Stephen go to http://guildofststephen.all-catholic.net/about.html
Who was St. Stephen?
Stephen's name means, "crown," and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.
God worked many miracles through Stephen and he spoke with such wisdom and grace that many of his hearers became followers of Jesus. The enemies of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how successful Stephen's preaching was. At last, they laid a plot for him. They could not answer his wise argument, so they got men to lie about him, saying that he had spoken sinfully against God. Stephen faced that great assembly of enemies without fear. In fact, the Holy Bible says that his face looked like the face of an angel.
Stephen spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Saviour, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
His hearers plugged their ears and refused to listen to another word. They dragged Stephen outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death. Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Then he fell to his knees and begged God not to punish his enemies for killing him.
After such an expression of love, the holy martyr went to his heavenly reward. St Stephen's feastday is on 26 December.