The target audience for this training program includes current candle bearer altar servers at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Dallas, Georgia. These servers are all male, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, and are parishioners of the parish. Some attend public school, some private school, and some are home schooled.
All servers have been educated in the Catholic faith at least through First Eucharist and Reconciliation/Penance. They also have participated in a face-to-face training program at St. Vincent de Paul run by Dave Krut. They have served as a candle bearer for a year or more and have expressed an interest in being promoted to senior server.
Altar Server Knowledge
Candle bearers are familiar with the basic structure of the Mass as well as the movements and responsibilities of candle bearers. In order to become senior servers, the candle bearer must polish these skills in order to be able to identify errors in other candle bearers as well as tactful approaches for redirection. In addition, the candle bearer must learn the additional movements and responsibilities of senior servers.
This training will be provided to altar servers online so they can complete the program in any browser on their home computer. The parish website will likely house the files.
The altar servers who will access this program participate willingly in the altar server ministry. They choose to continue to participate with higher levels of responsibility when they express a desire for promotion to senior server. While they may already have intrinsic motivation, it is still important to create an interactive program that is engaging both to support their enthusiasm and to demonstrate the importance of this service to the parish.
Due to the demands of the altar server, physical disabilities will not be an issue. Boys with these types of issues would be steered towards serving in other ministries in the parish. The only exception is that a server might have some hearing impairment and still act in the role of altar server.
Mass is celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in two languages: English and Spanish. While some do speak Spanish, at this time all altar servers speak English so the program will be developed only in English. In the future the parish or archdiocese could provide the resources necessary to create a Spanish version if it becomes necessary.