Knights of the Altar

Ministry Contact: Matt Chapman


St. Lawrence welcomes all males grade 5 and older and who have received the Sacraments of Confession and First Holy Communion to train for and serve as a Knight of the Altar.  These boys serve Our Lord at the altar and assist the priests at weekly Masses, Funerals, Weddings, Feast days and various special liturgical events throughout the year.  Special training is provided before a boy begins serving at the altar.

The Need for Servers

When vocations were abundant in the early 20th century, most men who entered the priesthood had been altar servers at the Traditional Latin Mass in their youth.  It was a sacred privilege and honor.  In 1905, speaking to altar servers, the Archbishop of Westminster, Bernard Cardinal Griffen said, “To serve at the altar…is, next to the priesthood, the highest privilege which a human can enjoy.”

Traditionally, altar boys have been recruited, trained, and nurtured in their faith by the priests of the parish who prepared the boys to serve at the altar.  Boys saw and felt the holiness, reverence, dedication, and humility of their clerical mentors and many received their priestly vocation as a result.  We are blessed to have equally good and holy priests in our parish today, yet the Church in our diocese and throughout the world is faced with a serious shortage of priests.

Serving at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with a holy priest will help foster an increase in vocations.  We invite young men and boys to consider becoming altar servers and to speak with our Pastor about it.  Parents are encouraged to discuss the benefits with their sons and prayerfully to encourage them to consider this great service to the Church.

Benefits of Becoming an Altar Server

In addition to a possible vocation, there are many benefits to becoming an altar server.  The altar server is given a divine privilege, one above all earthly honors, in being permitted to serve within the sanctuary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The sacred duties of the altar server requires of him the greatest reverence in the sanctuary, the deepest attention to his duties, and the most zealous preparation for all his liturgical actions.  He must always strive to conduct himself worthily in this position, a position to which even the angels of heaven cannot aspire.  Serving in this capacity and in this manner, he

  1. edifies the congregation which looks to him as an example of the proper disposition for assisting at Mass,
  2. develops a strong devotion to Our Lord, the Mass and the Holy Eucharist and
  3. becomes well disciplined with a strong sense of responsibility.

If your son is interested in joining us, please complete the following form:

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St. Lawrence Catholic Church
6222 Franconia Road
Alexandria, VA, 22310
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(703) 971-4378
(703) 971-0331
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