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Parent's Training Manual for Altar Boys

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Congratulations on your choice to let your son(s) serve at the Lord's Altar.

To become an altar boy, your son needs to be able to do the following:

An altarboy assists the priest with the celebration of the Mass




Can fold hands together in the proper position

Can remain focused on the altar (can refrain from looking at Mommy, Daddy, or other people during Mass)

Enjoys serving

Can refrain from carrying on conversations with other servers during Mass (about video games, school, their friends, their pets, etc.)

This is the Lamb of God.jpg

Can focus on and pay attention to what is going on with the Order of the Mass

Can refrain from playing with their cinctures during Mass

Can refrain from using bad words, profanity, or obscene speech

Can refrain from participating in rowdy activities when vested (chasing other servers, jumping on other servers, etc.)

Can and will hang up their own vestments after Mass

Can vest themselves, including tying and untying their own cinctures

Diagram for tying cinctures

Can tie and untie their own shoes

Can be silent during Mass and speak only when necessary or when they are participating in the prayers or songs

Can refrain from regularly using the restroom during Mass (less than once a month for Sunday Masses and less than once a week for daily Masses); if they have a hard time with this, they can try not drinking much for two hours before Mass and make sure they get to the restroom before Mass

Can refrain from regularly falling asleep during Mass (less than once a month for Sunday Masses and less than once a week for daily Masses)

Can refrain from talking loudly or boisterously in the altar boy sacristy or in any other part of the building unless necessary

Can refrain from playing around with the books (skimming through the pages without intending to read anything, slamming the books shut, intentionally dropping them on the floor, etc.)

Can refrain from socializing with the girls 15 minutes before Mass, and can refrain from socializing with the girls after Mass while they are vested

Can refrain from socializing with each other after the Server's Prayer before Mass

Can maintain correct posture at all times during the Mass


(To view pictures for a glossary entry or to edit a glossary entry, click on its title to go to its page)

An altar is an elevated surface (in the form of a table) on which the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. More...

Al"tar, n. Etym: [OE. alter, auter, autier, fr. L. altare, pl. altaria, altar, prob. fr. altus high: cf. OF. alter, autier, F. autel. Cf. Altitude.]

1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are offered or incense burned to a deity.
Noah built an altar unto the Lord. Genesis 8:20.

2. In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table.

Note: Altar is much used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound; as, altar bread or altar-bread. Altar cloth or Altar-cloth, the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.

-- Altar cushion, a cushion laid upon the altar in a Christian church to support the service book.

-- Altar frontal. See Frontal.

-- Altar rail, the railing in front of the altar or communion table.

-- Altar screen, a wall or partition built behind an altar to protect it from approach in the rear.

-- Altar tomb, a tomb resembling an altar in shape, etc.

-- Family altar, place of family devotions.

-- To lead (as a bride) to the altar, to marry; -- said of a woman.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Altar - (Heb. mizbe'ah , from a word meaning "to slay"), any structure of earth (Exodus 20:24) or unwrought stone (Exodus 20:25) on which sacrifices were offered. Altars were generally erected in conspicuous places (Genesis 22:9; Ezekiel 6:3; 2 Kings 23:12; 2 Kings 16:4; 2 Kings 23:8; Acts 14:13). The word is used in Hebrews 13:10 for the sacrifice offered upon it - the sacrifice Christ offered. Paul found among the many altars erected in Athens one bearing the inscription, "To the unknown God" (Acts 17:23), or rather "to an [i.e., some] unknown God." The reason for this inscription cannot now be accurately determined. It afforded the apostle the occasion of proclaiming the gospel to the "men of Athens." The first altar we read of is that erected by Noah (Genesis 8:20). Altars were erected by Abraham (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 22:9), by Isaac (Genesis 26:25), by Jacob (Genesis 33:20; Genesis 35:1, Genesis 35:3), and by Moses (Exodus 17:15, "Jehovah-nissi"). In the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, two altars were erected.

(1.) The altar of burnt offering (Exodus 30:28), called also the "brazen altar" (Exodus 39:39) and "the table of the Lord" (Malachi 1:7). This altar, as erected in the tabernacle, is described in (Exodus 27:1. It was a hollow square, 5 cubits in length and in breadth, and 3 cubits in height. It was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid with plates of brass. Its corners were ornamented with "horns" (Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:18). In (Exodus 27:3 the various utensils appertaining to the altar are enumerated. They were made of brass. (Compare 1 Samuel 2:13, 1 Samuel 2:14; Leviticus 16:12; Numbers 16:6 - 16:7.) In Solomon's temple the altar was of larger dimensions (2 Chronicles 4:1. Compare 1 Kings 8:22, 1 Kings 8:64; 1 Kings 9:25), and was made wholly of brass, covering a structure of stone or earth. This altar was renewed by Asa (2 Chronicles 15:8). It was removed by Ahaz (2 Kings 16:14), and "cleansed" by Hezekiah, in the latter part of whose reign it was rebuilt. It was finally broken up and carried away by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 52:17). After the return from captivity it was re-erected (Ezra 3:3, Ezra 3:6) on the same place where it had formerly stood. (Compare 1 Maccabees 4:47.) When Antiochus Epiphanes pillaged Jerusalem the altar of burnt offering was taken away. Again the altar was erected by Herod, and remained in its place till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (A.D. 70). The fire on the altar was not permitted to go out (Leviticus 6:9). In the Mosque of Omar, immediately underneath the great dome, which occupies the site of the old temple, there is a rough projection of the natural rock, of about 60 feet in its extreme length, and 50 in its greatest breadth, and in its highest part about 4 feet above the general pavement. This rock seems to have been left intact when Solomon's temple was built. It was in all probability the site of the altar of burnt offering. Underneath this rock is a cave, which may probably have been the granary of Araunah's threshing-floor (1 Chronicles 21:22).

(2.) The altar of incense (Exodus 30:1), called also "the golden altar" (Exodus 39:38; Numbers 4:11), stood in the holy place "before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony." On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the brazen altar. The morning and the evening services were commenced by the high priest offering incense on this altar. The burning of the incense was a type of prayer (Psalms 141:2; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3 - 8:4). This altar was a small movable table, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold (Exodus 37:25 - 37:26). It was 1 cubit in length and breadth, and 2 cubits in height. In Solomon's temple the altar was similar in size, but was made of cedar-wood (1 Kings 6:20; 1 Kings 7:48) overlaid with gold. In Ezekiel 41:22 it is called "the altar of wood." (Compare Exodus 30:1.) In the temple built after the Exile the altar was restored. Antiochus Epiphanes took it away, but it was afterwards restored by Judas Maccabaeus (1 Maccabees 1:23; 1 Maccabees 4:49). Among the trophies carried away by Titus on the destruction of Jerusalem the altar of incense is not found, nor is any mention made of it in Hebrews 9. It was at this altar Zechariah ministered when an angel appeared to him (Luke 1:11). It is the only altar which appears in the heavenly temple (Isaiah 6:6; Revelation 8:3 - 8:4).

An alb may refer to one of two kinds of white vestments worn in religious ceremonies:
  • Albs worn by ordained ministers, such as priests or deacons. These are worn on top of the cassock and the amice (if the amice is used), and worn underneath the stole and cincture. This variety of alb never has a hood.
  • Albs worn by lay ministers, such as altarboys or acolytes. A cincture is typically also used with it. This variety of alb will sometimes have a hood. More...

Alb, n. Etym: [OE. albe, LL. alba, fr. L. albus white. Cf. Album and Aube.]

Defn: A vestment of white linen, reaching to the feet, an enveloping the person; -- in the Roman Catholic church, worn by those in holy orders when officiating at mass. It was formerly worn, at least by clerics, in daily life.

The ambo is the speaker's stand from which the Gospel is preached. The ambo is always elevated above the lectern or at the same height as the lectern; the lectern is never elevated above the ambo. More...

Am"bo, n.; pl. Ambos. Etym: [LL. ambo, Gr. ambon.]

Defn: A large pulpit or reading desk, in the early Christian churches. Gwilt.

The amice is a white linen vestment used by some priests. When worn, it is worn underneath the alb, and is fastened with two linen straps. More...

Am"ice, n. Etym: [OE. amyse, prob. for amyt, OF. amit, ameit, fr. L. amictus cloak, the word being confused with amice, almuce, a hood or cape. See next word.]

Defn: A square of white linen worn at first on the head, but now about the neck and shoulders, by priests of the Roman Catholic Church while saying Mass.

Am"ice, n. Etym: [OE. amuce, amisse, OF. almuce, aumuce, F. aumusse, LL. almucium, almucia, aumucia: of unknown origin; cf. G. mütze cap, prob. of the same origin. Cf. Mozetta.] (Eccl.)

Defn: A hood, or cape with a hood, made of lined with gray fur, formerly worn by the clergy; -- written also amess, amyss, and almuce.

The Baptismal Font is a basin, usually mounted on a pedestal, where the Sacrament of Baptism is administered. Its location inside the church can vary; it is typically near the main entrance of the church, in a side room known as the Baptistry, or on either the right or left side of the sanctuary. More...
Benediction is a religious ceremony in which the blessing of the people is given with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance. More...

Ben`e*dic"tion, n. Etym: [L. benedictio: cf. F. bénédiction. See Benison.]

1. The act of blessing.

2. A blessing; an expression of blessing, prayer, or kind wishes in favor of any person or thing; a solemn or affectionate invocation of happiness. So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus Followed with benediction. Milton. Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her. Longfellow. Specifically:

Defn: The short prayer which closes public worship; as, to give the benediction.

3. (Eccl.)

Defn: The form of instituting an abbot, answering to the consecration of a bishop. Ayliffe.

4. (R. C. Ch.)

Defn: A solemn rite by which bells, banners, candles, etc., are blessed with holy water, and formally dedicated to God.

A boat is a vessel in which incense is stored. More...
The biretta was a hat worn by priests before the Second Vatican Council. It is still used in the Tridentine Mass. The biretta is worn during the entrance and exit processions, and while the priest is sitting. At the beginning of Mass, the biretta is handed to a server after the genuflection at the foot of the altar (before the Asperges or the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar) and is placed on the priest's chair. At the end of Mass, a server brings the biretta back to the priest before the genuflection at the foot of the altar (after the Last Gospel and any Prayers after Low Mass). More...

Bi*ret"ta, n.

Defn: Same as Berretta.

The burse is a case for the corporal. More...

Burse, n. Etym: [LL. bursa, or F. bourse. See Bourse, and cf. Bursch, Purse.]

1. A purse; also, a vesicle; a pod; a hull. [Obs.] Holland.

2. A fund or foundation for the maintenance of needy scholars in their studies; also, the sum given to the beneficiaries. [Scot.]

3. (Eccl.)

Defn: An ornamental case of hold the corporal when not in use. Shipley.

4. An exchange, for merchants and bankers, in the cities of continental Europe. Same as Bourse.

5. A kind of bazaar. [Obs.] She says she went to the burse for patterns. Old Play.

A candelabra is a candlestick that holds seven candles. It is typically used during Exposition, Eucharistic Adoration, and Benediction. Candelabra are used in pairs: one candelabra on each side of the altar. More...
A candlestick is a holder for a candle. More...

Can"dle*stick`, n. Etym: [AS. candel-sticca; candel candle + sticca stick.]

Defn: An instrument or utensil for supporting a candle.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Candlestick - The lamp-stand, "candelabrum," which Moses was commanded to make for the tabernacle, according to the pattern shown him. Its form is described in Exodus 25:31; Exodus 37:17, and may be seen represented on the Arch of Titus at Rome. It was among the spoils taken by the Romans from the temple of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). It was made of fine gold, and with the utensils belonging to it was a talent in weight. The tabernacle was a tent without windows, and thus artificial light was needed. This was supplied by the candlestick, which, however, served also as a symbol of the church or people of God, who are "the light of the world." The light which "symbolizes the knowledge of God is not the sun or any natural light, but an artificial light supplied with a specially prepared oil; for the knowledge of God is in truth not natural nor common to all men, but furnished over and above nature." This candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy Place, opposite the table of shewbread (Exodus 27:21; Exodus 30:7, Exodus 30:8; Leviticus 24:3; 1 Samuel 3:3). It was lighted every evening, and was extinguished in the morning. In the morning the priests trimmed the seven lamps, borne by the seven branches, with golden snuffers, carrying away the ashes in golden dishes (Exodus 25:38), and supplying the lamps at the same time with fresh oil. What ultimately became of the candlestick is unknown. In Solomon's temple there were ten separate candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right and five on the left of the Holy Place (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chronicles 4:7). Their structure is not mentioned. They were carried away to Babylon (Jeremiah 52:19). In the temple erected after the Exile there was again but one candlestick, and like the first, with seven branches. It was this which was afterwards carried away by Titus to Rome, where it was deposited in the Temple of Peace. When Genseric plundered Rome, he is said to have carried it to Carthage (A.D. 455). It was recaptured by Belisarius (A.D. 533), and carried to Constantinople and thence to Jerusalem, where it finally disappeared.

The cassock is a vestment that has two applications:
  • The cassock is part of the clerical garb worn by priests and seminarians. It is usually black.
  • The cassock is a vestment worn by altarboys. It is usually black, but in some applications can also be red or white. More...

Cas"sock, n. Etym: [F. casaque, fr. It. casacca, perh. fr. L. casa cottage, in It., house; or of Slavic origin.]

1. A long outer garment formerly worn by men and women, as well as by soldiers as part of their uniform.

2. (Eccl.)

Defn: A garment resembling a long frock coat worn by the clergy of certain churches when officiating, and by others as the usually outer garment.

A cassock
A priest raising the chalice during the Consecration of the Holy Mass

The chalice is the cup used by the during the Sacrifice of the Mass. More...

Chal"ice, n. Etym: [OR. chalis, calice, OF. chalice, calice, F. calice, fr. L. calix, akin to Gr. helmet. Cf. Calice, Calyx.]

Defn: A or; especially, the used in the of the.

A chalice veil is a cloth that covers the chalice when it has been assembled. More...
The chasuble is the large external vestment worn by the priest during the celebration of the Mass. The chasuble can be one of several colors: red, green, purple, white, gold, black, or rose ("pink"). It is typically worn on top of the stole. It is removed before putting on the cope. More...

Chas"u*ble, n. Etym: [F. chasuble, LL. casubula, cassibula, casula, a hooded garment, covering the person like a little house; cf. It. casupola, casipola, cottage, dim of L. casa cottage.] (Eccl.)

Defn: The outer vestment worn by the priest in saying Mass, consisting, in the Roman Catholic Church, of a broad, flat, back piece, and a narrower front piece, the two connected over the shoulders only. The back has usually a large cross, the front an upright bar or pillar, designed to be emblematical of Christ's sufferings. In the Greek Church the chasuble is a large round mantle. [Written also chasible, and chesible.]

Ci*bo"ri*um, n.: pl. Ciboria. Etym: [LL., fr. L. ciborium a cup, fr.


1. (Arch.)

Defn: A canopy usually standing free and supported on four columns, covering the high altar, or, very rarely, a secondary altar.

2. (R. C. Ch.)

Defn: The coffer or case in which the host is kept; the pyx.

A ciborium is a golden vessel used for containing hosts. It is visually similar to the chalice, but the ciborium has a lid. More...

Cinc"ture, n. Etym: [L. cinctura, fr. cingere, cinctum, to gird.]

1. A belt, a girdle, or something worn round the body, -- as by an ecclesiastic for confining the alb.

2. That which encompasses or incloses; an inclosure. "Within the cincture of one wall." Bacon.

3. (Arch.)

Defn: The fillet, listel, or band next to the apophyge at the extremity of the shaft of a column.

A cincture is a rope worn around the waist in one of two applications:

  • A cincture worn by ordained ministers, such as priests and deacons. This design of cincture is usually about 1/4" in diameter and about 7' in length.
  • A cincture worn by lay ministers; the design may vary but it is frequently about 1/2" in diameter and about 4 1/2' in length. More...
A cincture
The communion rail is a railing present in some churches that separates the sanctuary from the main body of the church. More...
Cope, n. Etym: [A doublet of cape. See Cape, Cap.]

1. A covering for the head. [Obs.] Johnson.

2. Anything regarded as extended over the head, as the arch or concave of the sky, the roof of a house, the arch over a door. "The starry cope of heaven." Milton.

3. An ecclesiastical vestment or cloak, semicircular in form, reaching from the shoulders nearly to the feet, and open in front except at the top, whereit is united by a band or clasp. It is worn in processions and on some other occasions. Piers plowman. A hundred and sixty priests all in their copes. Bp. Burnet.

4. An ancient tribute due to the lord of the soil, out of the lead mines in derbyshire, England.

5. (Founding)

Defn: The top part of a flask or mold; the outer part of a loam mold. Knight. De Colange.

cope Cope, v. i.

Defn: To form a cope or arch; to bend or arch; to bow. [Obs.] Some bending down and coping to ward the earth. Holland.

cope Cope, v. t. (Falconry)

Defn: To pare the beak or talons of (a hawk). J. H. Walsh.

cope Cope, v. i. [imp. & p.p. Coped; & vb.n. Coping.] Etym: [OE. copen, coupen, to buy, bargain, prob. from D. koopen to buy, orig., to bargain. See Chear.]

1. To exchange or barter. [Obs.] Spenser.

2. To encounter; to meet; to have to do with. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation coped withal. Shak.

3. To enter into or maintain a hostile contest; to struggle; to combat; especially, to strive or contend on equal terms or with success; to match; to equal; -- usually followed by with. Host coped with host, dire was the din of war. Philips. Their generals have not been able to cope with the troops of Athens. Addison.

cope Cope, v. t.

1. To bargain for; to buy. [Obs.]

2. To make return for; to requite; to repay. [Obs.] three thousand ducats due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal. Shak.

3. To match one's self against; to meet; to encounter. I love to cope him in these sullen fits. Shak. They say he yesterday coped Hector in the battle, and struck him down. Shak.

The cope is a cape worn by the priest in religious ceremonies outside the context of the Mass. The priest always takes off his chasuble before putting on the cope. He will always wear the alb, cincture, and stole underneath the cope. The cope is used in ceremonies such as Exposition, Benediction, Good Friday (for the entire service), and the Palm Sunday procession. When the humeral veil is used, it is worn on top of the cope. More...

Cor"po*ral (kr"p-ral), n. Etym: [Corrupted fr. F. caporal, It.

caporale, fr. capo head, chief, L. caput. See Chief, and cf. Caporal.] (Mil.)

Defn: A noncommissioned officer, next below a sergeant. In the United States army he is the lowest noncomissioned officer in a company of infantry. He places and relieves sentinels. Corporal's guard, a detachment such as would be in charge of a corporal for guard duty, etc.; hence, derisively, a very small number of persons.

-- Lance corporal, an assistant corporal on private's pay. Farrow.
-- Ship's corporal (Naut.), a petty officer who assists the master

at arms in his various duties.

corporal Cor"po*ral, a. Etym: [L. corporalis, fr. corpus body. See Corpse.]

1. Belonging or relating to the body; bodily. "Past corporal toil." Shak. Pillories and other corporal infections. Milton. Corporal punishment (law), punishment applied to the body of the offender, including the death penalty, whipping, and imprisonment.

2. Having a body or substance; not spiritual; material. In this sense now usually written corporeal. Milton. A corporal heaven . . . .where the stare are. Latimer. What seemed corporal melted As breath into the wind. Shak.


-- Corporal, Bodily, Corporeal. Bodily is opposed to mental; as,

bodily affections. Corporeal refers to the whole physical structure or nature, of the body; as, corporeal substance or frame. Corporal, as now used, refers more to punishment or some infliction; as, corporal punishment. To speak of corporeal punishment is an error. Bodily austerities; the corporeal mold.

corporal; corporale Cor"po*ral (kr"p-ral), Cor`po*ra"le (-r"l), n. Etym: [LL. corporale: cf.F. corporal. See Corporal,a.]

Defn: A fine linen cloth, on which the sacred elements are consecrated in the eucharist, or with which they are covered; a communion cloth. Corporal oath, a solemn oath; -- so called from the fact that it was the ancient usage for the party taking it to touch the corporal, or cloth that covered the consecrated elements.

The corporal is a linen that is spread out underneath the chalice and paten. When not in use, it is folded into one-ninth its original size and placed in a burse (when available). If an embroidered cross is present on the corporal, the side with the cross is placed bordering the edge of the altar, as the paten will be laid on top of the cross. More...

A crosier is a staff used by a bishop. More...

Cro"sier (kr"zhr), n. Etym: [OE. rocer, croser, croyser, fr. croce crosier, OF. croce, croche, F. crosse, fr. LL. crocea, crocia, from the same German or Celtic sourse as F. croc hook; akin to E. crook.]

Defn: The pastoral staff of a bishop (also of an archbishop, being the symbol of his office as a shepherd of the flock of God.

Note: The true shape of the crosier was with a hooked or curved top; the archbishop's staff alone bore a cross instead of a crook, and was of exceptional, not of regular form. Skeat.

A pair of cruets

A cruet is a vessel (usually glass) that is used for the water or wine that is used during the Mass. More...

Cru"et, n. Etym: [Anglo-French cruet, a dim. from OF. crue, cruie; of German or Celtic origin, and akin to E. crock an earthen vessel.]

1. A bottle or vessel; esp., aviai or small glass bottle for holding vinegar, oil, pepper, or the like, for the table; a caster. Swift.

2. (Eccl.)

Defn: A vessel used to hold wine, oil, or water for the service of the altar. Cruet stand, a frame for holding cruets; a caster.

The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is when the Blessed Sacrament is brought out of the tabernacle and placed in the monstrance for adoration. More...

Ex`po*si"tion, n. Etym: [L. expositio, fr. exponere, expositum: cf. F. exposition. See Expound.]

1. The act of exposing or laying open; a setting out or displaying to public view.

2. The act of expounding or of laying open the sense or meaning of an author, or a passage; explanation; interpretation; the sense put upon a passage; a law, or the like, by an interpreter; hence, a work containing explanations or interpretations; a commentary. You know the law; your exposition Hath been most sound. Shak.

3. Situation or position with reference to direction of view or accessibility to influence of sun, wind, etc.; exposure; as, an easterly exposition; an exposition to the sun. [Obs.] Arbuthnot.

4. A public exhibition or show, as of industrial and artistic productions; as, the Paris Exposition of 1878. [A Gallicism]

There are four ways to fold a humeral veil

The humeral veil is a veil worn over the shoulders of the priest when holding the monstrance while in procession or while giving Benediction. It is not worn during Exposition or while reposing the Blessed Sacrament. The cope is always worn underneath. There are four ways to fold the humeral veil; it can be folded so that each side is folded individually like an accordion (with the folds either on top of the center or underneath the center of the humeral veil), or it can be folded by folding both sides simultaneously in an accordion style (after offsetting one side, which can be either the left of the right).: More on how to fold it...

Incense is the granular substance burned during liturgical ceremonies that produces smoke and a fragrance. The use of incense in the Mass is generally specified to the Entrance Procession, incensing of the altar at the beginning of Mass, the incensing of the Gospel, the incensing of the gifts at the Offertory, the incensing of the Blessed Sacrament during the Eucharistic Prayer, and (in some places) the Exit Procession. It is also used in Exposition, Benediction, and processions with the Blessed Sacrament. More...

In*cense", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Incensed; p. pr. & vb. n. Incensing.] Etym: [L. incensus, p. p. of incendere; pref. in- in + root of candere to glow. See Candle.]

1. To set on fire; to inflame; to kindle; to burn. [Obs.]
Twelve Trojan princes wait on thee, and labor to incense
Thy glorious heap of funeral. Chapman.

2. To inflame with anger; to enkindle; to fire; to incite; to provoke; to heat; to madden. The people are incensed him. Shak.

-- To enrage; exasperate; provoke; anger; irritate; heat; fire; instigate.

In"cense, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Incensed; p. pr. & vb. n. Incensing.]
Etym: [LL. incensare: cf. F. encenser. See Incense, n.]

1. To offer incense to. See Incense. [Obs.] Chaucer.

2. To perfume with, or as with, incense.
"Incensed with wanton sweets." Marston.

In"cense, n. Etym: [OE. encens, F. encens, L. incensum, fr. incensus, p. p. of incendere to burn. See Incense to inflame.]

1. The perfume or odors exhaled from spices and gums when burned in celebrating religious rites or as an offering to some deity.
A thick of incense went up. Ezekiel 8:11.

2. The materials used for the purpose of producing a perfume when burned, as fragrant gums, spices, frankincense, etc.
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon. Leviticus 10:1.

3. Also used figuratively.
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,
Incense tree, the name of several balsamic trees of the genus Bursera (or Icica) mostly tropical American. The gum resin is used for incense. In Jamaica the Chrysobalanus Icaco, a tree related to the plums, is called incense tree.
-- Incense wood, the fragrant wood of the tropical American tree Bursera heptaphylla.

Illustrated Bible Dictionary

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Incense - A fragrant composition prepared by the "art of the apothecary." It consisted of four ingredients "beaten small" (Exodus 30:34). That which was not thus prepared was called "strange incense" (Exodus 30:9). It was offered along with every meat-offering; and besides was daily offered on the golden altar in the holy place, and on the great Day of Atonement was burnt by the high priest in the holy of holies (Exodus 30:7 - 30:8). It was the symbol of prayer (Psalms 141:1, Psalms 141:2; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3, Revelation 8:4).


The lectern is a lesser speaker's stand from which the songs are announced and, in some cases, the Readings are read. The lectern is never elevated higher than the ambo. More...

lec"tern, n.

Defn: See Lecturn.

The lectionary is the book used during the Mass that contains the readings and the gospels. More...

Lec"tion*a*ry, n.; pl. -ries. Etym: [LL. lectionarium, lectionarius : cf. F. lectionnaire.] (Eccl.)

Defn: A book, or a list, of lections, for reading in divine service.

The luna is a casing for the host while it is in the monstrance. It is mostly composed of glass and has a metal rim with a small handle. More...

Lu"na, n. Etym: [L.; akin to lucere to shine. See Light, n., and cf. Lune.]

1. The moon.

2. (Alchemy)

Defn: Silver. Luna cornea (Old Chem.), horn silver, or fused silver chloride, a tough, brown, translucent mass; -- so called from its resemblance to horn. Luna moth (Zoöl.), a very large and beautiful American moth (Actias luna). Its wings are delicate light green, with a stripe of purple along the front edge of the anterior wings, the other margins being edged with pale yellow. Each wing has a lunate spot surrounded by rings of light yellow, blue, and black. The caterpillar commonly feeds on the hickory, sassafras, and maple.

The mitre is a folding cap worn by a bishop. More...

Mi"tre, n. & v.

Defn: See Category:Miter.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Mitre - (Heb. mitsnepheth ), something rolled round the head; the turban or head-dress of the high priest (Exodus 28:4, Exodus 28:37, Exodus 28:39; Exodus 29:6, etc.). In the Authorized Version of Ezekiel 21:26, this Hebrew word is rendered "diadem," but in the Revised Version, "mitre." It was a twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Leviticus 8:9; Leviticus 16:4; Zechariah 3:5). On the front of it was a golden plate with the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." The mitsnepheth differed from the mitre or head-dress ( migba'ah ) of the common priest. (See BONNET.)

The monstrance is a vessel used to display the Blessed Sacrament during adoration. More...
A monstrance

Mon"strance, n. Etym: [LL. monstrantia, fr. L. monstrare to show: cf. OF. monstrance. See Monster.] (R. C. Ch.)

Defn: A transparent pyx, in which the consecrated Host is exposed to view.

An organ is a musical instrument used in liturgical worship. More...
The term pall may refer to one of two articles:
  • The pall, a linen-encapsulated square of hardened material that serves to cover the chalice.
  • The funeral pall, a linen that is placed over a casket during a funeral. More...

Pall, n.

Defn: same as pawl.

Pall Pall, n. Etym: [oe. pal, as. pæl, from l. pallium cover, cloak, Mantle, pall; cf. L. palla robe, mantle.]

1. An outer garment; a cloak mantle. His lion's skin changed to a pall of gold. Spenser.

2. A kind of rich stuff used for garments in the middle ages. [obs.] Wyclif (esther viii. 15).

3. (r. C. Ch.)

Defn: same as pallium. About this time pope gregory sent two archbishop's palls into England, -- the one for london, the other for york. Fuller.

4. (her.)

Defn: a figure resembling the roman catholic pallium, or pall, and Having the form of the letter y.

5. A large cloth, esp., a heavy black cloth, thrown over a coffin at A funeral; sometimes, also, over a tomb. Warriors carry the warrior's pall. Tennyson.

6. (eccl.)

Defn: a piece of cardboard, covered with linen and embroidered on one Side; -- used to put over the chalice.

Pall Pall, v. t.

Defn: to cloak. [r.] Shak

Pall Pall, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Palled; p. pr. & vb. n. Palling.] Etym: [either shortened fr. appall, or fr. F. pâlir to grow pale. Cf. Appall, pale, a.]

Defn: to become vapid, tasteless, dull, or insipid; to lose strength, Life, spirit, or taste; as, the liquor palls. Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, fades in the eye, and palls Upon the sense. Addisin.

Pall Pall, v. t.

1. To make vapid or insipid; to make lifeless or spiritless; to dull; To weaken. Chaucer. Reason and reflection . . . pall all his enjoyments. Atterbury.

2. To satiate; to cloy; as, to pall the appetite.

Pall Pall, n.

Defn: nausea. [obs.] Shaftesbury.

A paten may refer to one of two articles used during the Mass:
  • The paten, a gold dish on which the large host is placed during the Mass. This type of paten is typically used by only the priest.
  • The paten, a gold-plated or brass dish used to prevent the host or any particles from falling on the floor during the reception of Communion. It has either one large wooden handle or two small metal handles. This type of paten is typically used by the altar servers. More...

Pat"en, n. Etym: [ll. patina, patena, fr. L. patina, patena, a pan; Cf. L. patere to be open, e. patent, and gr. patène. Cf. Patina.]

1. A plate. [obs.]

2. (eccl.)

Defn: the place on which the consecrated bread is placed in the Eucharist, or on which the host is placed during the mass. It is Usually small, and formed as to fit the chalice, or cup, as a cover. [written also patin, patine.]

A pew is a bench used for seating in churches. More...

Pew, n. Etym: [oe. pewe, of. puie parapet, balustrade, balcony, fr. L. podium an elevated place, a jutty, balcony, a parapet or balcony In the circus, where the emperor and other distinguished persons sat, Gr. Foot, and cf. Podium, poy.]

1. One of the compartments in a church which are separated by low Partitions, and have long seats upon which several persons may sit; - - sometimes called slip. Pews were originally made square, but are Now usually long and narrow.

2. Any structure shaped like a church pew, as a stall, formerly used By money lenders, etc.; a box in theater; a pen; a sheepfold. [obs.] Pepys. Milton. Pew opener, an usher in a church. [eng.] Dickens.

Pew Pew, v. t.

Defn: to furnish with pews. [r.] Ash.

A procession is an organized formal ceremonial demonstration involving the advancement of persons from one place to another. More...

Pro*ces"sion, n. Etym: [f., fr. L. processio. See proceed.]

1. The act of proceeding, moving on, advancing, or issuing; regular, Orderly, or ceremonious progress; continuous course. Bp. Pearson. That the procession of their life might be More equable, majestic, pure, and free. Trench.

2. That which is moving onward in an orderly, stately, or solemn Manner; a train of persons advancing in order; a ceremonious train; a Retinue; as, a procession of mourners; the lord mayor's procession. Here comes the townsmen on procession. Shak.

3. (eccl.)

Defn: an orderly and ceremonial progress of persons, either from the Sacristy to the choir, or from the choir around the church, within or Without. Shipley.

4. pl. (eccl.)

Defn: an old term for litanies which were said in procession and not Kneeling. Shipley. Procession of the holy ghost, a theological term Applied to the relation of the holy spirit to the father and the son, The eastern church affirming that the spirit proceeds from the father Only, and the western church that the spirit proceeds from the father And the son. Shipley.

-- procession week, a name for rogation week, when processions were

Made; cross-week. Shipley.

Procession Pro*ces"sion, v. t. (law)

Defn: to ascertain, mark, and establish the boundary lines of, as Lands. [local, u. S. (north carolina and tennessee).] "to procession The lands of such persons as desire it." Burrill.

Procession Pro*ces"sion, v. i.

Defn: to march in procession. [r.]

Procession Pro*ces"sion, v. i.

Defn: to honor with a procession. [r.]

A processional candle is a portable candle carried by an altar server in a procession. Servers who carry the candles typically walk in a pair with the server carrying the processional cross between them. More...
A processional cross is a portable crucifix carried by an altar server in a procession. The server who carries the cross (called the crossbearer) typically walks between the servers who carry the processional candles. The crossbearer generally leads processions unless the thurifer precedes him. More...
The term pulpit may refer to either the lectern or the ambo, or it may also refer to a third speaker's stand that is designated for the cantor's use. More...

Pul"pit, n. Etym: [l. pulpitum: cf. Of. pulpite, f. pulpitre.]

1. An elevated place, or inclosed stage, in a church, in which the Clergyman stands while preaching. I stand like a clerk in my pulpit. Chaucer.

2. The whole body of the clergy; preachers as a class; also, Preaching. I say the pulpit (in the sober use of its legitimate, peculiar Powers) must stand acknowledged, while the world shall stand, the Most important and effectual guard, support, and ornament of virtue's Cause. Cowper.

3. A desk, or platform, for an orator or public speaker.

Pulpit Pul"pit, a.

Defn: of or pertaining to the pulpit, or preaching; as, a pulpit Orator; pulpit eloquence.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Pulpit - (Nehemiah 8:4). (See EZRA.)

The sacramentary is the book used during the Mass that contains the prayers of the Mass, such as the Eucharistic prayers, Prefaces, Opening Prayers, etc. It does not contain the readings, responsorial psalms, or gospels (these can be found in the lectionary). More...

Sac`ra*men"ta*ry, a.

1. Of or pertaining a sacrament or the sacraments; sacramental.

2. Of or pertaining to the sacramentarians.

Sacramentary Sac`ra*men"ta*ry, n.; pl. -ries. Etym: [ll. sacramentarium: cf. F. Sacramentaire.]

1. An ancient book of the roman catholic church, written by pope Gelasius, and revised, corrected, and abridged by st. Gregory, in Which were contained the rites for mass, the sacraments, the Dedication of churches, and other ceremonies. There are several Ancient books of the same kind in france and germany.

2. Same as sacramentarian, n., 1. Papists, anabaptists, and sacramentaries. Jer. Taylor.

The stole is a vestment worn by priests and deacons during the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, and most liturgical ceremonies. Priests wear the stole draped around the neck and hanging down the front; deacons wear it diagonally over the shoulder. The stole can be one of several colors: red, green, purple, white, gold, black, or rose ("pink"). It is typically worn on top of the alb and underneath the chasuble. If a cope is used, it is worn underneath the cope. More...
A stole


Defn: imp. of steal.

Stole Stole, n. Etym: [l. stolo, -onis.] (bot.)

Defn: a stolon.

Stole Stole, n. Etym: [as. stole, l. stola, gr. stall. See stall.]

1. A long, loose garment reaching to the feet. Spenser. But when mild morn, in saffron stole, first issues from her eastern Goal. T. Warton.

2. (eccl.)

Defn: a narrow band of silk or stuff, sometimes enriched with Embroidery and jewels, worn on the left shoulder of deacons, and Across both shoulders of bishops and priests, pendent on each side Nearly to the ground. At mass, it is worn crossed on the breast by Priests. It is used in various sacred functions. Groom of the stole, The first lord of the bedchamber in the royal household. [eng.] Brande & c.

A surplice is a white external vestment worn over a cassock. More...

Sur"plice, n. Etym: [f. surplis, of. surpeiz, ll. superpellicium; Super over + pellicium, pelliceum, a robe of fur, l. pellicius made Of skins. See pelisse.] (eccl.)

Defn: a white garment worn over another dress by the clergy of the Roman catholic, episcopal, and certain other churches, in some of Their ministrations. Surplice fees (eccl.), fees paid to the english Clergy for occasional duties.

The thurible is an enclosed metal bowl suspended from a chain. It is used in liturgical procedures where incense is involved. More...

Thu"ri*ble, n. Etym: [l. thuribulum, turibulum, from thus, thuris, or better tus, turis, frankincense, fr. Gr. (r. C. Ch.)

Defn: a censer of metal, for burning incense, having various forms, held in the hand or suspended by chains; -- used especially at Mass, Vespers, and other solemn services. Fairholt.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
Thuribles or censers are mentioned in these places in the Bible:

Censer - The vessel in which incense was presented on "the altar of incense (2)" or "the golden altar (2)" before the Lord in the temple (Exodus 30:1).

The priest filled the censer with live coal from the sacred fire on the altar of burnt-offering (1), and having carried it into the sanctuary, there threw upon the burning coals the sweet incense which sent up a cloud of smoke, filling the apartment with fragrance.

The priest filled the censer with live coal from the sacred fire on the altar of burnt-offering (1), and having carried it into the sanctuary, there threw upon the burning coals the sweet incense (Leviticus 16:12 - 16:13), which sent up a cloud of smoke, filling the apartment with fragrance. The censers in daily use were of brass (Numbers 16:39), and were designated by a different Hebrew name, miktereth (2 Chronicles 26:19; Ezekiel 8:11): while those used on the Day of Atonement were of gold, and were denoted by a word (mahtah) meaning "something to take fire with;" LXX. pureion = a fire-pan. Solomon prepared for the temple censers of pure gold (1 Kings 7:50; 2 Chronicles 4:22). The angel in the Apocalypse is represented with a golden censer (Revelation 8:3, Revelation 8:5). Paul speaks of the golden censer as belonging to the tabernacle (Hebrews 9:4). The Greek word thumiaterion , here rendered "censer," may more appropriately denote, as in the margin of Revised Version, "the altar of incense (2)." Paul does not here say that the thumiaterion was in the holiest, for it was in the holy place, but that the holiest had it, i.e., that it belonged to the holiest (1 Kings 6:22). It was intimately connected with the high priest's service in the holiest. The manner in which the censer is to be used is described in Numbers 4:14; Leviticus 16:12.


If you are interested in creating an altar boy manual for your parish or getting a general idea of procedures that can be used during the Mass, please consider looking at the Template Parish Training Manual for Altar Boys

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