SMC launches Altar Servers’ Handbook

St Michael’s Church altar servers launched their first-ever handbook during the English and Chinese Masses at SMC on Feb 26.

Mar 16, 2017

IPOH: St Michael’s Church altar servers launched their first-ever handbook during the English and Chinese Masses at SMC on Feb 26.

SMC parish priest, Fr Stephen Liew launched the book, saying it can be called the “second bible” for all altar servers.

Earlier, he presented the SMC parish plans for 2017 (adopted at the parish assembly) to parish chairman James Lau.

He reminded parishioners and leaders to carry out the parish plan, so that SMC will be the face of Christ to others.

Fr Liew also congratulated the altar servers on their handbook, and thanked those responsible for helping with the book and its publication.

There are 68 altar servers in SMC, in both the Chinese-speaking and English groups.

The Altar Servers’ Handbook, which took three years to complete, was done by a team of eleven, including altar servers and three adults, namely Sr Connie Hoe FMDM, Hubert Thong and Jack Waran.

Jude Danny Amburose and Christopher Yau, both 19, led the altar servers team, and started their “mission” in 2014, inspired by Fr Stephen Liew.

They took time off for their SPM examinations in 2015 before continuing their work.

Jude, who is an advisor to the altar servers at SMC now, said the altar servers were grateful and thanked Fr Liew for his support, encouragement and advice on the book.

“We believe in the saying, ‘once an altar server, always a server of the altar,’ and we are glad to have been a part of this.

“At first it seemed like a long and arduous task, but God helped us to accomplish the job once we got going,” he said.

Jude said the project was started as a guide for current and future alter servers in their responsibilities when serving at Mass.

The book, which is in English and Mandarin, includes a story of the life of St John Berchmans SJ, the patron saint of altar servers, and all the important facts an altar server should know. There is also a prayer for altar servers, before serving at Mass.

It also includes information on the sacred vessels and items used during Mass, vestments, liturgical colours, postures during Mass and the procedures of ordinary, solemn and wedding Masses, besides other information.

The translation in Mandarin was done by Louise Wu and the book was vetted by Fr Liew and several priests before publication.

So far, the servers at SMC have printed five original copies and will soon print 500 to 1,000 copies, as they plan to make it available for altar servers at other parishes.

“We haven’t thought about pricing the book, but those who want to make donations are welcome to do so to help cover costs,” Jude said.

Christopher, who represented the Chinese-speaking altar servers, said the team helped in the compilation of facts, research and posting of photos.

“It was a wonderful journey because we learnt a lot along the way,” he said.

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