Altar Servers

Who can serve?
All children ages 8 and up who are recieving the Holy Eucharist are invited to be an altar server.

Is it Fun?
It is an honour to serve God and we make sure it is fun. There is a monthly prize draw, and we often have great outings to celebrate your good service to our church.

Any service at our church. Please arrive in the sacristy 10 minutes before the service to be vested and to spiritually prepare yourself.

How do I get involved?
Contact the coordinators above, or just come early on any Sunday morning and come to the back sacristy.

What’s involved?
To be an altar server is a special honour and a great privilege in our Ukrainian Catholic Church. One can look upon being an altar server as a special and unique ministry by which you, a young person, can help to spread the word and the love of Christ through your actions and words. It is not difficult to be an altar server, but there are some things that you must remember.

The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This is done through your specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by participating  in the liturgy through crossing yourself, singing the responses of the people, looking alert, processing, sitting, standing and bowing at the appropriate times, and doing so by always remembering your love for God.

To the elite group of altar servers of Holy Family Parish… You are a valuable member of the team and we your parish know you always try your best.  We want to thank you for your dedication and to tell you how proud we are of the good work you do. 

Alter Servers and Children of Mary entering the church
Alter servers

Children of Mary Program

The program for the Children of Mary revolves around the life of Mary and the Church’s Feastdays that honour her as the Mother of Jesus.

September 8 – Feast of the Nativity of Mary (the birth of Mary to her parents Joachim and Anna) Mary was chosen as God‘s plan of redemption. What does that mean?

God saw that His people were not living according to His plan. He wanted to show them by example how they must live and treat each other. He was going to come to earth as a human beings as His Son Jesus. But He needed a mother who was sinless (free from human sin) to give Him birth. That is why Mary was conceived (when Mary’s mother Anna became pregnant) without original sin. That is why we call her “Blessed” and “Virgin”

Let us pray:
With gladness let us celebrate the birthday of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, that she may intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.” Hail Mary…………

October 1st – Patronage (protector) of Blessed Virgin Mary – This feast denotes the protection of Mary over the faithful people. In 911 AD the Moslem Saracens attacked Constantinople (a Christian centre in Turkey). The people gathered in church to pray to Blessed Virgin Mary for protection. At dawn the Blessed Mother appeared with outstretched arms holding a veil (omophor) over the attacked city as a sign of her protection. Missionaries from Ukraine were in Constantinople and witnessed this apparition. They returned to Ukraine to spread the good news of this miracle and to proclaim the Blessed Virgin Mary as the protectress of Christians and of the Ukrainian nation. (Luke 10: 38-42; 11: 27-28)

Let us pray:
Mother of Perpetual Help, may I always remember to call upon your protection in times of temptations, fears, and all that troubles me. Hail Mary…………

December 4 – Presentation of Mary to the Temple by her parents Joachim and Anna.

According to ancient tradition, a childless family was considered cursed by God. Mary’s parents were childless and prayed to God to send them a child. In return they promised to dedicate their child to the service of God. When Mary was 3 years old, Joachim and Anna kept their promise and presented her to the High priest in the temple where she was educated with other girls and where her daily life consisted of prayer, good works and service to God. (Luke 10:38-42; 11: 27-28)

Let us pray:
Most Holy Mother, we pledge ourselves to the practices of our Christian religion; to pray often, to do good works and to live our lives as we promised at our baptism and our First Solemn Holy Communion.” Hail Mary………..

December 9 – Feast of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – This feast celebrates the Mother of God who was conceived free from original sin and honour bestowed upon her in view of her becoming the Mother of God. Since Mary was sinless, she was always in the state of grace. (Luke 8: 16-21)

Let us pray:
Most Holy Mother, you have been preserved by your grace from all stain of sin, intercede for us so that through your intersession we may be freed from all our faults. “Hail Mary………..

December 25 – Mary gives birth to Jesus Christ Son of God (Christmas) This is the most important feast of the immoveable holy days of the Church year. Therefore all fixed (those that have the same date every year) feasts and holy days of the Church belong to the Christmas cycle. This feast is preceded by a 40 day Lent from November 14, which is the feast of St. Philip, the Apostle, to December 24 called “Pylypivka” or Philipian Fast (Roman Catholics call it Advent) (Matt 2: 1-12)

Let us pray:
God is with us give ear all you nations and be humbled for God is with us. We rejoice in Your birth O Lord and we ask Your blessings upon us.” Our Father………”Hail Mary……… (You may sing a favourite carol)

December 26 – Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph – This feast commemorates Christ’s earthly mother and guardian Joseph reminding us of the escape of the Holy Family to Egypt to save the Christ child from massacre of infants by Herod. (Matt 2: 13-23)

Let us pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, Who is true God and true Man, we pray in venerating this great mystery, that we may be mindful of Your Blessed Mother in whose body You were conceived by the Holy Spirit. Grant that we may imitate her manner of worshipping You so that we may see Your Kingdom spread and flourish throughout the whole world.” Hail Mary…………

February 2 – Presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Mary and Joseph – This feast commemorates the presentation of Jesus to Simeon at the Temple and the purification of Mary. Simeon, a holy man who lived in the Temple of Jerusalem, was promised by God that he would not die without seeing the Messiah. On this feast day candles are blessed and distributed to the faithful to be used as sacramentals. (Luke 2: 22-40)

Let us pray:
In honour of Your Presentation in the Temple and the Purification of Mary, we ask of You and through the intercession of Your Holy Mother for the healing of body and soul. Grant that we too may be presented to You with hearts made pure. “Hail Mary………..

August 15 – Dormition (the falling asleep)/Assumption of the Virgin Mary – This feast commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s entrance of her body and soul into Heaven. A short period of fast (August 1 – 14) precedes this feast. At this feast, the faithful bring flowers to church to be blessed in honour of Mary. (Luke 10: 38-42; 11: 27-28)

Let us pray:
O Immaculate Mother of God and our spiritual Mother, we believe with our faith in your triumphal Assumption, in body and soul, into heaven where you are acclaimed by all choirs of angels and saints. We praise the Lord who has exulted you above all creatures and we offer you the outpouring of our devotion and love.” Hail Mary……………

March 25 – Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that she will be conceived by the Holy Spirit and will give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. Note: If this feast falls on Good Friday, the Eastern Church dispenses the faithful from Good Friday obligation and Divine Liturgy is celebrated. That is the only time that Divine Liturgy is celebrated on Good Friday.
(Luke 1: 24-38)

Let us pray:
Through this mystery and through the greatest event in history, we rejoice in the honour which is yours to be called the Mother of God and to intercede for us as one who is the closest to Jesus.
“Hail Mary…………….

Simple Directions for Children of Mary

Assemble in the SacristySelect your cape and label it with your name so that it will be easy to findDecide on what side you will be servingMake sure there are candles and holders on the table on the side you are servingThe girls who are familiar with the duties take the leadFor aesthetic purpose, you may wish to arrange yourself in order of height but that is not
importantBefore you assemble in the Church get into a circle join hands and recite the following

  1. Assemble in the Sacristy
  2. Select your cape and label it with your name so that it will be easy to find
  3. Decide on what side you will be serving
  4. Make sure there are candles and holders on the table on the side you are serving
  5. The girls who are familiar with the duties take the lead
  6. For aesthetic purpose, you may wish to arrange yourself in order of height but that is not important
  7. Before you assemble in the Church get into a circle join hands and recite the following prayer:

Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us so that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen

Some of the duties of Children of Mary:
  1. help with distribution of Prosphora (blessed bread)
  2. help with distribution of pussy willows, Holy Water, etc.
  3. hold purificators during Holy Communion
  4. help parishioners who need assistance during Communion

Since there are very few altar boys, girls in Children of Mary will be assuming much of the responsibilities that are done by the altar boys.

A note for parents:
It is a privilege and an honour to be part of this ministry of the Church. It builds self-confidence, self-worth and empowerment in children. But most important of all; it enhances their spiritual formation and provides them with an opportunity to receive God’s special Blessings and Grace. No parent should deny their child of this opportunity. Parents have the responsibility of teaching their children the importance of this ministry.