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The Guild of St. Stephen

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... suitably dressed for serving (especially footwear) and that your alb is clean and cared for. ... seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Guild of St. Stephen


1
The Guild of St. Stephen
2
The Guild of St. Stephen
The Guild of St. Stephen was founded in London in
1903 in order to promote a high standard of
serving at the altar.
Branches now exist in parishes throughout the
Diocese and across the country.
Servers assist at Mass (including Weddings and
Funerals) and other liturgical events such as
Benediction and Stations of the Cross.    
This ministry is open to those who have received
their First Holy Communion and completed a period
of training. 
3
History of the Guild
The Guild of St Stephen is an International
Organisation of Altar 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.
4
Membership
Membership of the Guild is open to any server,
without limit of age, who can serve Mass, and who
has shown a wish to live up to the objects and
standards of the Guild.
The parish priest decides whether a candidate is
eligible and worthy of admission to the Guild and
he is empowered to perform the ceremony of
enrolment and invest the server with the Guild
medal, using the prescribed form of enrolment.
5
Aims Objectives
The objects of the Guild of Saint Stephen are
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.
6
Aims Objectives
The objects of the Guild of Saint Stephen are
  • 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.

7
Aims Objectives
The objects of the Guild of Saint Stephen are
To unite servers of different parishes and
dioceses for their mutual support and
encouragement.
8
Becoming a Member of the Guild
There is a special ceremony of enrolment into the
Guild. During the ceremony the server makes a
solemn promise and is presented with the Guild
Medal, which is worn around the neck, hanging
from a red cord.
9
Becoming a Member of the Guild
The medal means two things
First, the parish priest has decided this
particular server is eligible and worthy to be
admitted to the Guild.
10
Becoming a Member of the Guild
The medal means two things
Second, the server accepts and wears the medal as
a sign of commitment a commitment to serve
regularly and a commitment to serve as well as
possible.
11
The Guild Promise
I offer myself to God almighty, to blessed Mary,
our Mother and to our holy patron, Saint
Stephen. And I promise to do my best to serve
regularly with reverence and understanding, for
the glory of God, the service of his Church,
and my own eternal salvation.
12
An Altar Servers Duties
With the honour of enrolment as a member of the
Guild come certain expectations of you
To serve at the altar with reverence,
understanding and regularity and with due
attention to personal cleanliness and tidiness.
To say short prayers in preparation for and in
thanksgiving after, serving Mass.
To observe silence in the sacristy and great
reverence in the sanctuary.
To recite the Guild prayer every day.
13
An Altar Servers Duties
Be ready to serve at every opportunity, but make
sure that your fellow servers have an equal
chance.
Take part in all services as fully as possible,
by paying careful attention to everything that is
being said or done by joining in the prayers,
responses and hymns - especially by receiving
Holy Communion at Mass.
Avoid doing anything, which might distract the
attention of the people. Do not fidget or look
around, or stare at the people in the church.
Carry out the ceremonies calmly and without
drawing too much attention to yourself and
remembering that you are part of a team.
Be in good time before services so that you can
prepare properly. See that you are suitably
dressed for serving (especially footwear) and
that your alb is clean and cared for.
Wear the Guild medal on all occasions when
serving.
Do your best to attend Guild meetings and
festivals so as to get to know other servers,
especially those from other parishes.
14
The Guild Medal
The medal is worn around the neck on a red cord
which reminds us that St Stephen was martyred
because he believed in Christ.
In the centre the letters XP are the first two
letters of the name 'Christ' in Greek.  At the
top is the crown of victory symbolising the
reward given by God to everyone who overcomes
evil, especially those who die for him.   When
he was alive, St Stephen would have answered to
the name Kelil, which means crown in Aramaic,
the language spoken by the Apostles and those
they first preached to.
15
The Guild Medal
The medal is worn around the neck on a red cord
which reminds us that St Stephen was martyred
because he believed in Christ.
At the bottom are the palm branches, traditional
signs of martyrs who died for Christ. Around
the edge are the Latin words of the Guild motto 
CUI SERVIRE REGNARE EST. TO SERVE CHRIST IS
TO REIGN. Attached to some medals are laurel
leaves, which commemorate the centenary of the
Archconfraternity 1905-2005
16
St. Stephen
Stephen's name means, "crown," and he was the
first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's
crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early
Christian Church the apostles had found that
they needed helpers to look after the care of the
widows and the poor, so they ordained seven
deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.

17
St. Stephen
God worked many miracles through Stephen and he
spoke with such wisdom and grace that many of his
hearers became followers of Jesus. The enemies
of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how
successful his preaching was.
18
St. Stephen
So they laid a plot for him, getting people to
say they had heard him speaking against God.
Stephen faced his enemies without fear. The
Bible says that his face looked like the face of
an angel.
19
St. Stephen
Stephen spoke about Jesus as the Saviour God had
promised to send. He rebuked his enemies for
their lack of faith.
20
St. Stephen
At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted
at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said
that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus
standing at the right hand of God. His hearers
plugged their ears and refused to listen to
another word. They dragged Stephen outside the
city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death.
21
St. Stephen
Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!
Then he fell to his knees and begged God not to
punish his enemies for killing him. After such
an expression of love, the holy martyr went to
his heavenly reward.
St Stephen's feast day is on 26 December.
22
The Altar Servers Prayer
Oh God, you accept our ministry and allow us to
serve at your altar Grant that while serving
you, we follow the example of our patron, St
Stephen, the first martyr, And that we may, like
him, come to see Jesus standing at your right
hand in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this
through Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen.
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