Three altar servers serve the Mass.One (the crucifer) carries the processional cross and the other two each carry a candle (candle bearers).All have certain duties.
In the procession, the crucifer goes first, and about seven steps behind are the candle bearers, walking across from each other near the pews.When the cross is in front of the altar, the candle bearer on the cross’s right steps back so that the cross can go through, and the other candle bearer follows the cross.The three servers proceed to the Holy Family Altar, which is the altar to the right when facing the main sanctuary.The cross is set in its holder, the candles are extinguished, and the servers go to the three chairs to the right of the priest’s chair.The crucifer should be at the chair closest to the people. This server holds the red prayer book (Sacramentary) for the priest.When the priest says, “Let us pray,” the server brings the prayer book to the priest.When the opening prayer is finished the servers sit down.
The servers remain seated until the Prayer of the Faithful is finished, at which time:
The crucifer and the candles bearers go to the center of the altar and bow.
The crucifer puts the red prayer book on the altar and picks up the stand for the Book of the Gospels.
The servers all go to the small table near the lector’s stand (ambo) and the crucifer places the bookstand on it.
The crucifer brings the glass bowls (patens) and arranges them in rows of four on the left side of the altar nearest the people.
The candle bearers bring the gold cups with the white cloths (purificators) to the altar, placing them on the right side of the altar nearest the people.
The crucifer brings the small cruet of water and places it on the right side of the altar to the left of the cups.
The two candle bearers go with the priest or deacon to assist in bringing the gifts of the people (unconsecrated communion wafers and wine) to the altar.The gifts are placed on the altar toward the center where the priest will stand.
The three altar servers return to the small side table.
The crucifer takes the gold pitcher, basin and towel to the priest so that he can wash his fingers.All then go to their places in the soft chairs at the foot of the altar.
After the Extraordinary Ministers receive Holy Communion, the altar servers go to the top step near the priest to receive Holy Communion.
After receiving Holy Communion, the crucifer returns the prayer book to the chair.One of the candle bearers takes the priest’s chalice from the altar and places it on the side altar near the big doors (Sacred Heart Altar). The other candle bearer lights the two candles at the Holy Family Altar side.
All go back to their places near the presider‘s chair and remain standing until the priest sits down.When the priest stands and says, “Let us pray,” all stand and the crucifer gives the red prayer book to the priest for the closing prayer.
After the closing prayer, the crucifer and candle bearers proceed to the center aisle and stand facing the altar about three pews into the aisle.When the priest bows in front of the altar, the crucifer turns to face the people and the candle bearers recess out seven steps behind the crucifer.