Serving Mass

Serving Mass

Every Catholic Explorer should be ready to serve Mass whenever he can. It is often a “good turn” to the priest, who may not find it easy to get a server. But it is a great deal more than that. It is an opportunity of doing a “good turn” to our Lord Himself, Who is really present on the Altar to offer the same Sacrifice as that offered on Calvary long ago, when He died for us. No real Explorer would miss a chance like this. But he must not only be glad to do it, he must know exactly how it ought to be done.

The words and ceremonies of the Mass are to be found in many books, and therefore they are not put down here. You probably know them more or less already, and if not it is well in any case to get someone to teach you. But it may be useful to mention one or two things, which are sometimes forgotten.

Everything must be done, not only correctly, but with reverence. So be careful not to hurry over either what you have to say or what you have to do. Speak clearly and distinctly, and move about quietly. Start in good time for everything, so that you may not be hurried. When your hands are not otherwise occupied, keep them joined, palm to palm, in front of you. When you have to ring the bell, do so as gently as possible. Make your genuflections slowly, keeping your body upright, and touching the ground with your right knee. Remember always that you are very near to our Blessed Lord, and that you are taking part in the great Sacrifice which He offers for the living and the dead; join as well as you can in the offering He makes, but do not distract your attention from what you have to do by trying to say prayers out of a book. At the beginning ask Him to help you to serve Mass well, and at the end thank Him for letting you do it. There are lots of people who never get the chance.

Adapted from The Catholic Scout’s Prayer Book, London: The Catholic Truth Society (1912)