The Knights of the Altar
Immaculate Conception Church
The Knights of the Altar is an organization of boys and men who serve Our Blessed Lord at His altar. It was organized in September, 1938, in response to many requests from priests, brothers and nuns who felt the need of an organization that would aid them in solving the many problems they encounter from time to time in directing an altar boy society. These directors desired a central organization with rules and regulations to which they could conform and which would also serve as a clearing house for their many problems. In forming the Knights of the Altar, studies were made of various local altar boy organizations.
The successful and outstanding features were noted and used as a basis for this national society. Every feature was tried and tested and was found to be quite successful. Local directors may, at their discretion change certain details to suit the customs of their individual parishes. It is recommended, however, that they adhere as closely as possible to the general structure.
Purpose of the Society
(1) To form a worthy guard of honor to our Divine Eucharistic King in whose service we willingly assume the dignity and honor of becoming Knights of the Altar:
(2) To render faithful, reverent and edifying service to God by assisting His visible representatives, the Bishops and Priests, in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in all other liturgical and devotional functions;
(3) To enkindle in the hearts of the faithful whom we represent at the altar, greater piety and devotion by reverently performing the duties of our holy office and by giving good example in our daily lives;
(4) Finally, to insure the continued and efficient function of the Knights of the Altar as a society by attending meetings and giving of our service to the Church.
Why the name Knight?
Medieval Knighthood, in the service of manor lords, calls forth such ideals as honor, loyalty, justice, chivalry, and respect for all. In the use of the term knight, the Altar Server is reminded of his duty to serve the Lord of lords with fidelity and honor, to treat others with respect and justice, and to live an upright personal life, defending always the rights of God and His Holy Church. In the names page and squire, the server is reminded again of the years of practice and study that went into the training of a knight and should consider with what devotion and perseverance he should attend to his own training in the service of the Altar. The chevalier was a traveling knight, which should remind the server that he should be ever traveling toward his heavenly goal.
It is of utmost importance to choose the right type of boys to serve at the altar. This fact cannot be stressed too much. Our Lord said to His Apostles, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” So too with altar servers. The director chooses those who are to become servers. One may offer his services, but the final choice is to be made by the Knight Director. He who desires to become a server should prepare himself and be able to offer those qualifications which are necessary in one who aspires to become a member of the Knights of the Altar.
1. The Knight of the Altar, first of all, should be of superior character, pure of heart and soul. He should have a special love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. He should show this love in a practical way by often visiting Our Lord as He waits in the silence of the tabernacle and by receiving Him frequently in Holy Communion.
2. Secondly, the Knight must be intelligent. He must learn the Latin prayers and be able to recite them from memory. He must know and understand the movements around the altar and be without hesitancy in performing these actions.
3. The Knight must be trustworthy and reliable. When a server is, for example, scheduled to serve Mass, he must be on time. The Knight remembers what his Master sacrificed for him and any sacrifice he may be required to make is small in comparison. “Be on time” is an ironclad rule for any true Knight of the Altar.
4. Then, the Knight should always present a neat and clean appearance when performing his duties. He should never come to serve with casual, recreational clothing or footwear, or with hair long, styled, dyed, or uncombed. No true knight of old would ever appear before his lord in disarray. So, too, a Knight of the Altar is extremely careful of his appearance when he comes into the presence of the Lord of lords.
*If you are unable to serve on the day requested please make arrangements with another server or contact the Parish Office to let someone know. Server schedules are updated every month and copies can also be found in the server's sacristy. To access the online server schedule or enroll to become a server please scroll to the bottom of the page.
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