Diocese slates altar server festival August 6

Community Contributor, Special to The County
7 years ago

AUGUSTA, Maine — Children and teens from around the Diocese of Portland will gather with their families, Bishop Robert P. Deeley, and area priests for the Altar Server Festival on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. inside and outside of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Augusta.

The day of fun, activities, and family time shows appreciation for the contributions of altar servers and helps build community among servers across Maine.

“This is an opportunity for altar servers to meet other young people who share their passion for God,” said Fr. Seamus Griesbach, director of the diocese’s Office of Vocations, which is planning the festival. “That can really be a positive and energizing experience for them. It is also an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of the ministry that they are doing. Serving at the altar is important, and everyone in the Church is grateful for their generous service.”

The festival will begin with Mass, celebrated by Bishop Deeley, followed by a barbecue and altar server games. The games are fun competitions during which servers from parishes compete in various contests that test their server prowess, including “Server Jeopardy,” “Sanctuary Hopscotch,” “Vesting,” “Candle Lighting Relay,” and the “Reverent Ring.”

“In a lighthearted and fun way, the games put the skills of our altar servers to the test,” said Fr. Griesbach. “Everyone gets a kick out of watching them run around obstacle courses with trays of Ritz crackers substituting as the hosts or trying to get robes buttoned correctly during the vesting drill. It’s an opportunity to find joy in the little aspects of the ministry that they do each week, but in a more informal context where they can laugh and relax together with their friends, families, and local clergy.”

Last summer, nearly 90 altar servers from 19 different Maine parishes gathered for the festival.

All servers are invited, with permission from their altar server coordinators, to bring a server robe or cassock and surplice from their parish to wear for Mass. Servers who plan to wear a robe or cassock and surplice at Mass must arrive by 1:30 p.m. Servers should bring a change of clothes for the games after Mass.

The cost is $10 per family to help cover the cost of the barbecue. Registration is open now by visiting www.portlanddiocese.org/altar-server-festival-2017. Please register by July 31.