What is the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen?
The Archconfraternity of St. Stephen is a guild established for the instruction and sanctification of altar servers. It is most commonly known as "The Guild of St. Stephen."
The objectives of the Guild are threefold:
- The sanctification of the server by teaching him that to serve in the sanctuary is a great privilege.
- Instructing the server in the rubrics (i.e. the movements of the liturgy).
- Encouraging the server to understand the meaning and the purpose of the ceremonies in which he takes part.
History of the Guild
The Archconfraternity of St. Stephen was founded in the Westminster Diocese of England in 1905. In the same year, St. Pius X bestowed his permanent apostolic blessing upon the Guild, and later enriched it with many indulgences and privileges. In 1955, the Archconfraternity paid homage to St. Pius X's solicitude by adopting him as its secondary patron.
The Guild continues to grow and flourish throughout the world in the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X. It is now being introduced into countries where it had never existed before.
Rules of the Guild
All members must promise:
- To serve at the altar reverently, intelligently, and punctually.
- To make short acts of preparation before, and of thanksgiving after serving Mass.
- To observe silence in the sacristy, and great reverence in the sanctuary.
- To recite the short guild prayer daily.
How to join the Guild
Rev. Fr. Lawrence Barrett of St. Michael's School is the chaplain and Mr. Richard Cullen, who has been a member since 1962, is the chairman. Either may be approached by a Master of Ceremonies of a chapel to arrange for instruction and eventual enrolment of servers into the Guild.
For more information about the Guild: