THE REWARD OF SHARING
Young people can have an important ministry within the church. Twelve year old Chris Fulbrite from Chesterfield explains how he helps in the liturgy.
Hello, my name is Chris Fulbrite and I am an altar server. I began this ministry soon after I received my First Holy Communion. My parents prompted me and then we talked to our parish priest who was very happy for me to join their team. I am on my green medal now, which is the second medal. Anyone can be an altar server and get a medal. But to me altar serving is a responsibility given to me by Jesus.
THE FIRST TIME
When my parents first asked me to think about serving I was shocked and scared as I was only eight. As Sunday approached I started to panic. The thought of standing in front of over a hundred people was overwhelming. On my first Sunday serving, I was welcomed by our parish priest. That made me feel a little easier, but I got scared again when I had to go up to the altar. Everyone seemed to be staring at me like I was an alien. So I thought that I was doing something wrong, like standing in the wrong place or something. But luckily, I wasn’t serving on my own. There was someone else on the altar with me, who was more experienced than I was and they led the way. That was how I made it through my first Sunday Mass. It was nerve-racking but my parents said I did well and that I didn’t need to worry. Also some people from the parish congratulated me because it was my first Sunday.
After a week of school, I was back on the altar again. My stomach was churning again. But my friend told me it was ok. This time it went very quickly because it was fun as well. That’s the good thing about altar serving - you know that God is with you, the whole way. All you need to do is to ask Jesus to be with you and help you. You can also prepare yourself by asking the priest for guidance so that you don’t make any mistakes. I became more confident over time. When I was asked to serve Mass with the Bishop and also to serve at Midnight Mass I felt very happy and my Mum and Dad were very proud of me.
I feel privileged to be an altar server. There are hundreds of young people who attend Mass every week. So why was I chosen to be an altar server? I feel that this is part of God’s plan for me. My Mum and Dad tell me that throughout my life I have been greatly blessed. That is why they chose my name Chris from Christ. When I was five years old I had meningitis but Jesus protected me and I recovered completely from this serious illness. So I know that God has a plan for me. By being an altar server, I feel that I am serving Jesus and it brings me closer to him.
I would recommend being an altar server, or in some other way becoming more involved in your Parish’s Liturgy - by reading at Mass, welcoming or in whatever way that you feel that God is calling you. If you want to be an altar server then speak to your parish priest. You might even become a nun or a priest if you want to be one, but also pray before your first Sunday and every Sunday before serving. Ask Jesus what His plan is for you. Listen to your heart. Talk to your parents. Trust in Jesus and go for it!