The role of server is integral to the celebration of the Eucharist (Sundays, Holy Days and weekday liturgies). At least one server should assist the priest at Mass. On Sundays and major feast days of the Church, according to their solemnity, two or more servers should be employed. Servers may carry the processional cross, the candles, the thurible and incense, present the gifts to be offered or assist the priest when he receives them from members of the assembly; wash the hands of the priest; and hold the Roman Missal when the priest or deacon is not at the altar. Additional functions may be required during other rites and popular devotions. Servers should respond to the prayers and dialogue of the priest and join in the hymns and sung responses. In this way, Servers are mirrors and models for the gathered assembly. Altar servers assume the demanding task which will entail a personal time commitment for study and prayerful preparation. It will be essential for those in formation to be familiar with the rituals of the Mass as well as other liturgies, and to develop a reverence and sensitivity for liturgical presence within themselves and towards the sacred articles they may be handling.
Altar servers must be willing to enter initial and ongoing formation and be responsible for their scheduled duties. They may need to provide a substitute in their absence, but they may not ask someone who is already scheduled for another ministry at the same liturgy.