Altar servers--traditional Latin Mass

If any of you all have read any of my posts, you know that I love the Latin Mass!!! I’m 19 years old. I am thinking about asking the priest about serving at the altar for the Latin Mass. It looks like a great experience, and since I’m a convert I never had a chance to do it as a child. At the Latin Mass the servers range in age from little boys to old men.
Anyway, has anyone had experience serving the latin mass, and what is it like? Please share your experiences and fill me in on all the details. Thanks! :smiley:

Anyway, has anyone had experience serving the latin mass, and what is it like?

I never did it, but several of my childhood friends did, and it is hard to learn to do. Getting all of the responses down tight and pronounced correct , it takes a lot of practice to do it right.

This is not something that you decide to do on Tuesday and then actually do it the following Sunday.

Don’t wait - just do it!

I"ve been attending a parish that has Latin interwoven into it (My undersatnding is that it is not a TLM, but a Novus Ordo with everything but the readings in Latin). But, the alter boys and men that I see, definitely go through a graceful cadence. It’s amazing to see the entire group of people in the liturgy all just nod their head in unison in various parts of the mass.

In 1976 when I was merely 16 years old, I had this notion to learn Latin and bought a book on it. The book was not written for self-teaching so I was failing miserably at learning it. Then I asked myself what I was doing trying to learn Latin when there were no masses or anyplace to use it, so I shelved it.

Today, I only started attending this parish about 3-4 weeks ago, and once again, my passion for Latin flairs. I’m beginning to think it is the Holy Spirit that gave me the urge to begin with, and now once again. How else can we explain the sudden increase in interest in it. Apparently, the Holy Spirit wants this sacred language of the church and saints preserved, so I figure I should oblige Him.

Ponder that as you consider whether or not to learn the disciplines of an alter boy or man in the TLM. They need a few good men willing to carry the torch because so few understand how to do it. I’ve read posts here where some parishes are trying to find alter boys from other parishes that know how to do this.

Be patient and learn. Above all, just do it! I am, with Latin.

AnimaChrist

I used to serve the old Latin Mass when I was a young boy, 10 to 15 yrs. The altar boys were far mor involved then than they are now. I notice that most of the servers now do not give the responses with the congregation. Of course we had to and in Latin.

I still can give most of the responses along with altar boys at the Tridentine Mass I attend every Sunday.

There are tapes available of the Mass, explained in detail and tapes of the proper pronunciation of the latin responses. Try on line Una Voce and Ecclesia Dei. Any Catholic bookstore should be able to help you.

I assume that you are talking about the Tridentine Mass.

I loaned my video and tape out so I can’t tell you the exact name. I believe the video was called “The Tridentine Mass: The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven.” If I can get it back I will contact you.

Learning to serve the Tridentine Mass is not hard at all. You just have to be dedicated to it.

I started back in 2000 to serve the TLM. I started at the high mass as crucifer, learning the other positions from observing. I purchased a guide to serving low mass that had an audio tape on how to say the Latin responses and serve the low mass. I also purchased a book entitled “The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described” by Fortescue and O’Connell.

Within six months I had the Latin responses down and was able to serve Low Mass with another server and after one year I was able to be Master of Ceremonies, which is a big job because the MC is in charge of everything, even the priest.

Ken

[quote=Anima Christi]If any of you all have read any of my posts, you know that I love the Latin Mass!!! I’m 19 years old. I am thinking about asking the priest about serving at the altar for the Latin Mass. It looks like a great experience, and since I’m a convert I never had a chance to do it as a child. At the Latin Mass the servers range in age from little boys to old men.
Anyway, has anyone had experience serving the latin mass, and what is it like? Please share your experiences and fill me in on all the details. Thanks! :smiley:
[/quote]

1. Don’t panic :slight_smile:

  1. Keep your eyes and ears open

  2. Make sure that you are on cue.

That’s basically it - it’s not so different from acting: from one POV, a play is what it is: a sort of sacred drama ##

[quote=Anima Christi]If any of you all have read any of my posts, you know that I love the Latin Mass!!! I’m 19 years old. I am thinking about asking the priest about serving at the altar for the Latin Mass. It looks like a great experience, and since I’m a convert I never had a chance to do it as a child. At the Latin Mass the servers range in age from little boys to old men.
Anyway, has anyone had experience serving the latin mass, and what is it like? Please share your experiences and fill me in on all the details. Thanks! :smiley:
[/quote]

What Church do you attend? I noticed that you are from Lexington. If you attend the Latin Mass in Louisville (St. Martin’s), I am one of the servers there and we can always use more servers.

What is it like? The one thing that surprised me when I first began serving is how unaware you are of the congregation. It kind of seems like you are alone with the priest and other altar servers.

The more you learn about the Mass the more you appreciate it. And to be able to serve at the Holy Sacrifice is a great honor. If you attend Mass in Louisville, come back into the sacristy after Mass next week, and I’ll be looking for you. If you have a Church in Lexington (I think I heard Lexington did get a Latin Mass), then just approach the priest after Mass and tell him that you would like to serve. Then, report back and let us know what it was like to serve your first Mass.

[quote=RSiscoe]What Church do you attend? I noticed that you are from Lexington. If you attend the Latin Mass in Louisville (St. Martin’s), I am one of the servers there and we can always use more servers.

What is it like? The one thing that surprised me when I first began serving is how unaware you are of the congregation. It kind of seems like you are alone with the priest and other altar servers.

The more you learn about the Mass the more you appreciate it. And to be able to serve at the Holy Sacrifice is a great honor. If you attend Mass in Louisville, come back into the sacristy after Mass next week, and I’ll be looking for you. If you have a Church in Lexington (I think I heard Lexington did get a Latin Mass), then just approach the priest after Mass and tell him that you would like to serve. Then, report back and let us know what it was like to serve your first Mass.
[/quote]

Thanks for the info! I’m a student at UK and I live around Lexington, normally I attend St. Luke’s in Nicholasville and St. Peter’s in downtown Lex for the Latin Mass. I have a friend, another UK student, who is from Louisville and has been going to St. Martin lately and has many good things to say about it! I’ll show him your post, perhaps he might be interested in serving. Next time I’m in Louisville I will make it a point to go to St. Martin!

Long, long ago in a church far, far away I was an altar boy. In 1960 you were allowed to become an altar boy when you had completed the third grade. During the summer between the third and fourth grade you met with Father to begin to learn how to pronounce Latin. When school started, you began to learn how to assist at Mass. Back then you were assigned to a team with a senior altar boy and as you learned you were assigned more and more duties until by the end of the fourth grade you could assist on your own - generally as a server at the 6:00 am low Mass during the week.

While we learned the Latin responses, there were always these laminated platistic cards that you placed in front of you as you knelt before the altar. Cheat sheets. The biggest challenge was lighting all the candles for a Solemn High Mass when you were so small. The wick on the candle stick was cranky and you had to hold it just so to get the candles lit. Everyone “fought” to be the altar boy who rang the bells at the Sanctus and Elevation - seriously! There was always a competition to see who could ring it the loudest. The moment I will always remember was when our new church was consecrated in 1967 when I was sixteen. By then I was the most senior altar boy, I got to carry the cross in the procession and I got to kiss the archbishop’s ring which is not done now.

Most scariest? Getting the charcoal in the censor lighted properly. Father would not be happy if you had to run back into the sacristy to get another charcoal during Mass.

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