Helping altar servers master their craft (August 12, 2015) by Lidia Wasowicz (Catholic San Francisco)St. Hilary Parish in Tiburon has introduced a ministry to help altar servers master their craft and worshippers mind the Mass.Seated to the right of the altar in a cassock and surplice (Improve the ars celebrandi one cassock at a time! Gentle, incremental change—excellent!), an adult master of ceremonies assists, guides and, when necessary, steps in for school age acolytes to promote a seamless rite.“My hope is that every Sunday liturgy will be as beautiful and well orchestrated as possible so the people of God may worship without distractions,” said parochial vicar Father Roger Gustafson (bio: click HERE), who implemented the program in January, six months after his arrival at St. Hilary as a newly ordained priest.His idea of extending the role of a master of ceremonies – typically reserved (?) for more solemn liturgies – germinated last October during a visit to his childhood hometown of Atlanta.Wowed by the “military precision” (decorum, skilled pacing, solemn gestures, heartfelt service...) of the five altar servers at the 6 p.m. Sunday Mass, Father Gustafson sought the secret to their perfect performance.He found it in the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, who spends every weekend attending every Mass to instruct, inform and inspire the servers.
The hand position servers typically observe (palms held lightly together at the centre of the chest near the heart, right thumb crossed over left) reminds one of a flame indicating the heart, directed heavenward, is on fire for God.—from Living Liturgically (July 2, 2014).
The heart is made pure by the grace that flows from Christ's Cross, the grace profoundly encountered in the Sacrament of Penance. A pure heart sees God (St. Matthew 5:8).