Salesian Altar Servers Day
Shau Kei Wan, HK China, 1 December 2021 -- Is the duty of the altar servers just to serve at the altar during Mass? Being an altar server is definitely more than that! What we usually forget or ignore unconsciously is our relationship with Jesus. This is the fundamental element an altar server needs to acquire according to Pope Benedict XVI, when he met thousands of altar servers during his General Audience in 2006. He spoke of this relationship as the Apostles and their great friendship with the Lord as well as their service to him and the Gospel.
That’s why more than fifty Altar Servers came from our six Salesian high schools and gathered last Saturday (November 28) in Our Lady's House, Salesian Missionary House Shau Kei Wan. After some icebreaking games, the participants reflected on their relationship with the Lord by asking themselves: How do feel receiving the Holy Communion as Altar Servers? Three young patron saints of Altar server gave us some living and concrete examples of how to love Jesus with a pious and devout heart practically.
St. Dominic Savio: he made his First Holy Communion when he was only seven years old. He seriously prepared for this occasion by going to confession, reading spiritual books, asking forgiveness from his mother and kneeling outside the Parish to wait for the church to be opened. His desire was to be united with Him by a bond of love.
St. Tarcisius, a saint in the third century. His deep love to Jesus, led him to sacrifice his life. He was attacked by a group and beaten to death to save the Blessed Sacrament being blasphemed. He refused resolutely to give what he had hold in his chest and he lived out the gospel radically, “No one has greater love than to lay down his own life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13)
St. John Berchmans, a very young saint: he visited the Blessed Sacrament several times during the day to share everything with Jesus. His willingness and readiness to serve Mass should be imitated by all altar servers. The participants presented the love of the three young patron saints of altar servers to Jesus in the form of drama.
After that, Fr. Antonio Leung, the Salesian Youth Ministry Delegate, reminded the Salesian Altar servers of their proper attitudes of serving Mass. He emphasized that Love for the Eucharist should be deepened by various practical ways, such as constant visits to the Blessed Sacrament, physical and spiritual preparation before receiving Holy Communion, recitation of short prayers, etc. “Faith, which transcends our human natural senses, is needed to see Jesus Present in the Eucharist during Mass.” he said.
Lastly, Eucharistic Adoration was held with musical accompaniment by the young Salesians. The youths kept kneeling before the Eucharist praying, singing, and reflecting with prayerful hearts throughout the Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction. May this experience of devotional ceremony strengthen each of the altar server spirituality and deepen their friendship with Lord more closely, intimately and profoundly.