Why Should you Altar Serve?
Altar serving at the St. Teresa Syro Malabar Catholic church in Calgary is an amazing experience that allows you to participate fully in the Holy Qurbana, enhance your relationship with God and a great opportunity to learn many important life skills. Engaging in the Holy Qurbana can be a challenge for most of us who do not completely understand the Malayalam and Syriac language. Many of my peers may feel that coming to Church is futile as we don’t fully understand what is being said. Volunteering as an altar server could be a possible solution to this problem that many of us face. By joining altar serving you are focused during Holy Mass and are not distracted by anything else that is happening in the Church. You also learn about what materials are needed for Mass like the Holy Eucharist, Chalice or Kasa, Dhoopa Kutty and other important Holy objects. Becoming an Altar Server also teaches you about different liturgical seasons of the Catholic church throughout the year like the Annunciation, Epiphany, Lent, Resurrection and many others that have different readings and intercessions prayers that are read during the Qurbana. You also learn different segments of the mass and their significance. As you can see, becoming an Altar server teaches you many things about the mass and helps you to engage in the Qurbana.
Altar Serving also helps you build a strong relationship with God. Because you are focussed more during the Qurbana and the readings, you learn more about the Life of Jesus and about His teachings of the Christian faith. You get the privilege to engage in a lot more prayers that are said during mass and you understand them more. You pay attention during the Celebrant’s homily and learn more about the importance of keeping a strong relationship with God. Becoming an altar server makes you feel good about what you are doing during mass. And above all, it facilitates a totally fulfilling experience of the Holy Eucharist.
Another benefit of becoming an altar server is that you learn many important life skills such as responsibility, time management, communication, responsibility and teamwork. These skills are crucial in a work environment or group project for school. Altar Serving will assist you learn these skills as you assign and assume roles and responsibilities with regard to the set up before mass, readings, tasks during mass and clean-up after mass. On the Altar, you would apply critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to resolve issues or any possible errors or omissions during mass. These skills are important for you in order to be successful in life. By becoming an altar server, you get a chance to practise and refine these skills. You become more independent while becoming an altar server and learn how to resolve or deal with issues responsibly and discreetly.
If you think that meaningful participation in the Holy Mass, building a strong relationship with God and learning life skills are important to you, then I encourage my peers to join altar serving. It will be an amazing and unforgettable experience that I think everyone should have an opportunity to explore.
Alter Server of the Month: Suzanna Tharayil
Why You Should Be An Altar Server ?
by Tara Cherian
By serving at the altar, I have learned about the Holy Qurbana more deeply, and that there is significance to every action and prayer. The symbolism involved in Mass has become more clear and comprehensible. For example, I have come to understand that altar servers play the role of angels, the sanctuary symbolizes heaven, and that the altar represents the throne of God. When altar serving, I am able to pay closer attention to what is happening, and I am more concentrated and focused. Therefore, I get more out of it, and it has led me into further deepening my relationship with God. Now, when I go to church, I am able to feel the impact of the Holy Qurbana much more. We each have our own part in the Holy Qurbana, so we have no choice but to watch and listen carefully to what is going on. This becomes helpful because you will then be able to understand the parts of the Mass better and fully participate in it. Altar serving is also a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. With a variety of ages and a vast range of experience level, you will be able to meet some amazing people, whom of all share the same faith as you. As you get to know them better, you are able to make some great memories together! I remember, when I was younger (yes, I admit it) I used to feel tired and sleepy as soon as Mass started, but after starting altar serving, it’s like I've become closer to God both physically and spiritually, in a way. I feel like I am a part of something, and that I am being active throughout the whole mass. Not to mention, how becoming an Alter Server has taught me some really valuable virtues and life lessons, such as discipline and punctuality. Altar Serving also allows me to get a closer look at the behind the scenes of Mass, and all the work that goes into preparing for the service. Pope Francis had once told altar servers that, “The closer they are to the altar, the more they will remember to pray and be nourished by the Word and Body of the Lord” I hope you consider becoming an altar server one day as well, you definitely won’t regret it!
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