“For to serve Thee is a great and awesome thing even to the heavenly powers.”
-Prayer of the Cherubimic Hymn
Serving in God’s temple is a privilege. Divine services require self-discipline and dedication. Orthodox Christian boys, aged eight years and above, practice diakonia and serve at St. Nicholas Church. The Altar Servers (Acolytes) are trained by the church clergy and the senior members of the Altar Servers to fulfill their ministry in a spirit of reverence and worship.
Those interested in service, please contact Fr. Stephen or simply report to altar before the Divine Liturgy begins on any Sunday.
The importance of the Holy Ministry of altar servers is brilliantly illustrated with these important words from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. We must minister with honor and dignity because this little ministry is great in God’s eyes. This blessed ministry can give you wisdom and strength, and may give you the blessing to be ordained in the future, as many of our clergy began as altar servers.
The altar server’s service to the Church is an important one. In the Holy Altar, they represent the Angels who are the heavenly servants of God. We see from the accounts in the New Testament of the importance of the Holy Angels from Matthew’s account of the virgin birth of Christ (Matthew 1:20-21) and his account of the Resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:2-6). Consequently, this lay ministry must be called a “Holy Ministry”.
As such, we must serve with the fear of God in us. We must not allow the altar to turn into a social hall, meeting place or playground. The altar is a holy place. It is the place where the bread and wine become the precious body and blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
By serving in the altar we are serving God at “the golden altar which was before the throne.” We are not serving for our own glory, but for the glory of God and His Holy Church. We must never forget how great it is to be able to serve the King of Glory through this Holy Ministry; for to serve “is a great and awesome thing even to the heavenly powers.”
May your service to the Church, especially through this Holy Ministry, always be for the Glory of God.
Adapted from the WORD magazine of the Antiochan Orthodox Church