THE GUILD OF ST. STEPHEN
History of the Guild
The Guild of St Stephen is an International Organisation of Alatr Servers founded in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald when he formed a Society of Altar Servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London. In 1905, Pope Pius X gave his approbation to the Canonical establishment of the Guild at Westminster Cathedral and in 1906, the Sacred Congregation of Rites made the Guild an Archconfraternity prima primaria enabling all the parish branches to be linked with it. The Guild spread, and in 1934, Pope Pius XI enabled all Guilds of Altar Servers throughout the British Commonwealth to be affiliated with the Archconfraternity at Westminster.
The Objectives of the Guild
- To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church’s liturgy and so contribute to the whole community’s participation in a more fruitful worship of God.
- To provide altar servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing so that they may serve with increasing reverence and prayerfulness and thereby be led to a deepening response to their vocation in life.
- To unite servers of different parishes and dioceses for their mutual support and encouragement.
The Archbishop of Westminster is the Superior General of the Archconfraternity and he appoints a priest to be the National Director of the Guild. A lay Central Council consisting of a Lay President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and other members assists him in the running of the Guild. The Central Council is responsible for running the business side of the Guild.
APPLICATION FORMS TO
JOIN THE ALTAR SERVERS ARE
AVAILABLE FROM THE PARISH OFFICE.
PEOPLE OF ALL AGES ARE INVITED TO
BECOME AN ALTAR SERVER.
CHILDREN MUST HAVE RECEIVED THEIR
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION.
ADULTS WOULD BE MOST WELCOME
The above is a picture of the mosaic of St Stephen in Westminster Cathedral
Address by Pope Francis to Altar Servers on 31 July 2018
“Dear altar boys and altar girls, the closer you are to the altar, the more you will remember to speak with Jesus in daily prayer; the more you will be nourished by the Word and the Body of the Lord, the better able you will be to go out to others, bringing them the gift that you have received, giving in turn with enthusiasm the joy you have received. Thank you for serving at the Lord’s altar … Thank you also for having begun to respond to the Lord, like the prophet Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me.”