hi I am coordinating the liturgical ministers at an all girls catholic highschool and I wanted to see if anyone has any ideas to expand our altar server ministry. We struggle to get anybody at all to serve for each school mass. Also, I believe that there are probably more girls out there who serve or have served at their parishes but are nervous to do it in front of over a thousand people. Thoughts??
Maybe a little carrot would help. Does your school require it’s students to complete service hours? Can they earn service hours by serving at Mass? I have seen this work in two different schools - they earn hours by serving at school Mass but not at parish Masses.
I do agree with curlycool89, if we gave service hours for it, it would be probable that some people would start showing up without any real desire to serve, but just get relatively easy service hours. Ideally, it would be that each server would see their position in the mass as very significant and a true ministry, not just something they do just because it offers service hours. What the staff member I work with and I will have to evaluate is whether this is worth it to get people there…thanks for the idea!
A team needs rewards yes but not as suggested.
Teens are a difficult age because they don’t want to stand seperate from their friends and peers because of mockery etc… yep even in a church school mockery etc can still be a big issue?
Actually, does the school have a school council?
If so, why not take your question there and ask the school council for help in building up a Altar Serving Team. Ask them what would get them interested etc. What kind of rewards etc would get them there. Naturally don’t promise anything in the way of rewards but you can find out what interests them.
If you haven’t a school Council then you can ask the headteacher if they will do an assembly focusing on Altar Serving, giving a date time to hold a smaller introductory meeting for anyone interested from the assembly. You may get no one. You may just get one. But if you are short then you are not loosing anything by getting no one.
It may be that like adults, children are waiting to be invited. Not that they are children But in church some are invited or its the parents pushing them forward. That doesn’t happen in school. But if you could get to know a few more and invite them. Preferably those not already serving in church mainly to allow others a chance to ‘shine’ as such… The ones who may not be doing so well academically, could be asked to serve. Not that you want to make that an issue. But help them feel good about something they can do. Then form them into a team and do some team stuff, eg macdonnalds etc for after school burger or something. But not to make an issue of their grades but to encourage them into feeling good about stuff.
The next trouble maker sent to the head - the headteacher makes them into a server etc, actually rewarding them could enforce positive behaviour as they become wanted rather than rejected…
a few ideas for you
Our high school does not have any incentives for serving mass. But there are plenty of volunteers. The parish has a vibrant pastoral program both for adults and youth. A good catechist can light the fire.
Altar serving is also one more activity that looks good on a resume…Not THE reason to do it, but an added benefit.
I do not agree with giving service hour credits for liturgical ministry. The service hour program at our school must benefit the at-large community in some way.
I was an altar server for six and a half years at my parish. I got service hours towards my graduation requirement for my public high school. As long as the hours benefit A community of which the student a part, I see no reason why they would not count. To get more interest, I recommend fliers, posters, and perhaps quick announcements at Mass and/or homeroom. It is good to have a solid training program in place first, so that when girls join the ministry, they’ll see it’s well-run and be more inclined to stay.
Serving the Lord as an altar server was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I miss it very much. Good luck! This endeavor will be in my prayers.