Altar Boy at the TLM

I was just asked to be a Altar Boy at the TLM. I am very excited yet kind of worried because of the intricacies of the mass in comparison to the NO. I also feel weird because im 19 and this would be my first time serving. Anyone have any literature on the role of the Altar Boy during the mass?



If you have time try Catholic It has pamphlets for sale, I think about $5.00 that have the whole Mass described, along with movements, postures and responses. There is also a web site whose name escapes me momentarily, but you can find it through Yahoo under Traditional Catholic. It is earthlink something. It actually has the entire Mass spelled out from a servers perspective with diagrams. It’s a great experience, and I think you should give it a shot. Good luck!

ps I wish I could have the opportunity to serve again.


What should I wear for pants and shoes when it comes to being under the outfit?

I’m also 19 and thinking about serving at the altar at the TLM. After you do it, please describe the experience. Thanks.

There was a similar thread a couple of weeks ago that didn’t seem to go anywhere.

Relax! I became an altar boy at the end of second grade going into third - you couldn’t be an altar boy until you had made your first communion - so that would have made it for me the summer of 1958.

First thing you need to do is learn to listen to and pronounce Latin correctly. Its not hard and I’m sure they’ll give you instruction. While it is admirable to memorize the Latin responses, in my day there were laminated cards that had all the proper responses that the altar boy could put in front of him.

Dress? I have to assume that you will be wearing a cassock and surplice. Check with your priest but I would think that you could wear long pants and shirt with leather shoes. Tennis shoes or sandals are a big no-no.

The next big thing is reverence. I don’t mean any harm or slander towards NO servers but there IS a difference in serving a TLM Mass. Oh, boy. I know everyone is going to come down on me for this but… I was an altar boy before VII and after VII. I can’t put all of it into words but when I served in a TLM, there was a profound sense of entering into the Sacred. Even when it was just Father saying his daily Mass with no one present but me, it was there. After VII and with the advent of all the glad-handing, hail fellow well-met, exuberance of post VII Masses, the sense of entering into the Sacred went.

If you are serving a TLM, remember that you enter into the Sacred. This is not to say that you can’t enter into the Sacred in a NO Mass (I’ve entered into the Sacred on a regular basis when I sang in our Cathedral choir). It’s just that entering into the Sacred is unfortunately NOT a part of regular RC experience.

Anthony, if you wish, PM me and I’ll give you whatever help I can.

There are several excellent guides to serving the TLM on the net, which date back to pre Vatican 2.
The best is at the British Latin Mass Society website under Resources:
Although published in 1948 it is fully accurate and was republished in 1993. There are also cards available for printing out as crib sheets (that was always the way pre 1962 - most churches had them pasted on cardboard (before the days of platicising the cards).

Thanks alot ! I have been attending the TLM, just didnt think I was ready to actually serve.

I highly reccomend that you memorize the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar so you can be a lot more alert when serving and also so you could do things a bit faster like for example if a Master of Ceremonies were to give you a signal during the Mass for something. Also I recommend for dress pretty much the same thing that the others said about long pants and the shirt. However any dress shirt will do even if it is short sleeve (during extremely hot weather).
I say this because as a TLM server myself I can say that it can get very hot in the cassock and surplice. As far as movements are concerned I suggest you follow whatever is told to you during training and use one of those Server Manuals.
One more thing I would say is that you show complete reverence on the Altar and thank God for this privilage to serve at His altar.
God Bless

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