For Vocation Directors

#03 Altar Server Awards

Summary

Altar servers play an important role in the Mass—but their contributions are sometimes overlooked.

Providing awards to altar servers in recognition of their dedication has become a popular activity in dioceses throughout North America.

There are numerous ways to recognize altar servers.  Ceremonies can be held in individual parishes, or on a wider basis in which all honorees from across a diocese are honored at one time.  Irrespective of the level of recognition chosen, the effort of a parish or diocese to take the time to recognize altar servers and their contributions can be a very positive—and much appreciated—gesture.

 

Program Outline

• Altar servers play an important role at Mass

• Recognizing them for their dedication and service to the Church has become a popular activity

• Numerous avenues for recognizing them

• Honors can be given…

• On an individual parish basis

• Via a large ceremony encompassing all honorees from around the diocese

• Can be a very positive and much appreciated gesture

Implementation

Using Serrans/Volunteers:

• Coordination of awards event:  date, time, place, refreshments if desired, etc.

• Support on day of event:  ushering, handing out programs, serving, etc.

 

Program History, Development, and Additional Resources

Over the years, recognizing altar servers for their dedication and service to the Church has become a popular activity in dioceses throughout North America.

Altar servers play an important role in the Mass; however, their contributions are, sometimes overlooked.  Young men and women take time out of their busy school and extracurricular schedules to dedicate themselves to the Church in a special way; they serve at morning, midday, and evening Masses; they perform a task that is essential to the liturgy.

There are numerous ways to recognize altar servers.  These can range from pizza parties to somewhat elaborate awards ceremonies to Masses in honor of award winners—and more.  Irrespective of the level of recognition chosen, the effort of a parish or diocese to take the time to recognize altar servers and their contributions can be a very positive—and much appreciated—gesture.

The awards themselves are often given out by a priest at an individual parish; it is also common for a bishop to preside at a large awards ceremony where all the honorees from all the parishes of his diocese are gathered for recognition.

Other Resources

Web page of Vianney Vocations wherein altar server award pins, pendants, and certificates can be ordered:

  https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product/serra-altar-server-award-pin/

 

Webpage from Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of Boston, which describes when altar server awards are presented each year and what the honorees receive in recognition of their efforts:

  https://vocationsboston.org/altar-server-appreciation-mass-and-server-awards

 

Webpage from the Diocese of Corpus Christi (TX) on altar server awards and the criteria which the diocese utilizes to determine eligibility for the honors:

  https://diocesecc.org/awards

Serra Club of Canada webpage dedicated to altar server awards coverage from various dioceses around the nation:

  http://serracanada.com/2015-altar-server-awards/

 

Coverage via the Diocese of Hamilton (ON) website of the diocese's altar server awards:

  http://hamiltondiocese.com/news/2013/May/-altar-servers-awards-ceremony-

 

SPARK: Built by Serrans for Vocation Directors.
A service of Serra International, United States Council, in collaboration with the NCDVD.

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