Some of you may or may not be aware that altar servants are eligible to be members of a guild. In England and Australia it has been traditionally the Guild of St Stephen.
The Australian Guild’s Motto is “We Serve The LORD”, and our hymn is the Salve Regina (the traditional Latin chant). You’ll be surprised how young children manage to learn Latin Hymns!
A revival of the guild has taken place in Sydney, where we now actively recruit and train altar servants. It’s still only a very small guild, but we’re building it up, and we have managed to gain a reputation for good training where members from far and wide come to learn how to serve properly.
The 2011 Guild Conference attendees. This year we focussed on training for the new translation of the Roman Missal. I received some introductory training as a Master-of-Ceremonies. My weakness is turning the pages of the missal - I really have a hard time following it around.
Myself acting as Crucifier (Crucifix Bearer) during the last Night Prayer at the end of the Conference. I landed this job, mostly because I was the tallest one there.
Myself (right) during my training mass as a Master-of-Ceremonies. The missal is a nightmare to navigate, especially when one of the boys decides to mess up the ribbons!
I know that of the members here with more traditional leanings would wish for me to wear a gothic surplice, but after paying for a tailored cassock, I had to wear what-ever I could lay my hands on, and this one is on permanent loan from a good friend (it’s too big for him).
I wear a white alb at my own local parish church under the direction of my parish priest. The cassock and surplice were worn at my university chaplaincy (where I served most masses), and when with other groups where cassocks are still normally worn.
The guild also has a medal which may be worn when altar serving (with the permission of the parish priest or presiding priest). The Australian medal is different to the English one. The English one is illustrated below, unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the Australian guild medal.