Altar Servers at St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church assist the clergy in most services during the week. Boys begin serving in the altar between the ages of 7 and 9, and continue throughout their life. Men serve in the altar as well at St. Maximus. Altar Servers include Subdeacons, Readers, and laymen. Anyone interested in serving in the altar at St. Maximus should speak to Fr. Justin.
Guidelines for Altar Servers at St. Maximus are as follows:
Serving in the
altar is a privilege, not a right!
1. Arrive at
least ten (10) minutes before the service begins. If you arrive after the
service begins, or at the very last moment, you will not normally be permitted
to serve. The Priest may, however, at his discretion and need, permit it.
2. Enter the
altar through the sacristy. Cross and bow (or prostrate if not Sunday morning
or Great Feast of the Lord) three times. Then go into the sacristy, get your
robe (stikhar), fold it, and come to priest and ask him for his blessing to
serve. Once you have your blessing, put on the stikhar, and go stand quietly in
your appointed place.
3. During the
service, stand quietly. Do not lean against the wall. Do not put your hands in
your pockets. Do not pull your arms inside the stikhar. You should stand
straight and still without talking.
4. Do not
distract the priest or talk to him during the service except at great need.
5. Do what you
are told promptly, without argument. Even if the priest is wrong, humble obedience
is better than argument.
6. You must
always be on your best behavior, both in the altar and out during an entrance.
You must avoid doing anything that attracts attention to yourself. Don’t look
out at the people, don’t make eye contact with worshippers from the altar or
7. Dress neatly.
Laces should be tied. No tennis shoes or jeans. Wear socks and a collared
8. If you behave
in any way that is inappropriate to serving in the altar, you will be asked to
leave and to go stand with your parents. If you are asked to leave, you must do
so promptly without argument. Get the blessing to unvest, hang your stikhar on
the rack, and go out through the sacristy door. If you argue, complain, or
otherwise display unseemly behavior when asked to leave, you will not be
permitted to serve for a time until the priest deems you are ready to try
9. If you do not
accept these conditions for service, you should not serve.
10. To serve,
you normally should be ready to commune. Make sure you’ve been to Confession.