Centenary Celebrations
Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary
Eucharist

13th October 2010 7:00pm

 

The Guild states its objectives as follows: to raise the spiritual tone of altar servers; to promote a conscientious performance of the duties of altar servers; and to encourage more frequent attendance at the Holy Eucharist, in addition to times of duty.

 Membership is open to any man or woman who is an altar server in the Church of England and 'accepts Catholic Faith and Practice'. (In the context of the Guild, Catholic is understood to mean 'of the universal church' and NOT 'Roman Catholic'.)

The Guild is organised into local chapters, each overseen by a secretary, who is a member of the Guild, and a chaplain, who is a priest and thus a 'priest associate' of the Guild. Chapters meet regularly: a typical gathering takes the form of a specially-tailored version of Evensong called the 'Guild Office': this consists largely of Psalms and Canticles sung antiphonally, culminating in the Magnificat (Song of Mary) and a brief reading from the Holy Bible.

The Guild Office will often be followed by a short address and perhaps Benediction. When undertaking Guild activities, members dress in choir dress: typically a black cassock with a white surplice, but sometimes a white or coloured cassock-alb according to local usage. Members also wear a special 'Guild Medal' engraved with the text (in Latin) 'I will go unto the altar of God', Introibo ad Altare Dei, which is the opening line of a wellknown prayer said by those preparing to assist at the Holy Eucharist. Those who are not altar servers are welcome as Friends of the Guild. 17

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