Altar Servers Wearing White Dress Gloves?

Is anyone here aware if it is proper for altar servers to wear white “military-like” cloth dress gloves while serving? I have seen this in the past in another part of the country at an extremely formal parish and I’m wondering if it’s common in other parishes in the USA?

It may well have been that they were wearing the gloves due to the cold weather and/or because they didn’t want to tarnish the metal brightwork, but I’m not certain.

The senior servers (high school age) in our parish wear these when carring the cross. My son says the metal is hard to clean. It is funny watching one of the boys carring the cross because he is big and the gloves go about half way on his hands.

I have seen servers wearing white gloves at my parish on important feasts like Easter and Corpus Christi. Whenever this happens they also usually wear what looks like a red “cape” over their white albs.

[quote=Anima Christi]I have seen servers wearing white gloves at my parish on important feasts like Easter and Corpus Christi. Whenever this happens they also usually wear what looks like a red “cape” over their white albs.
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I know when an (arch)bishop celebrates a solemn Mass, the trailing altar servers often wear “capes” of sorts – I forget the exact terminology. It’s common to see this on Masses televised on EWTN from the National Shrine.

What you describe sounds almost like a large scapular of sorts and that is not an authorized vestment for altar servers that I am aware of. The only place I have ever seen them worn is in Episcopalian and Lutheran ecclesial communities.

Gloves are fine. They’re kind of a sign of high respect and reverance for what is being done. They also add a touch of class. And, as already noted, they help to keep certain things from getting dirty/tarnished. It is customary, for instance, (though not common) to wear gloves for handling a bishop’s mitre and crosier.

[quote=chicago]Gloves are fine. They’re kind of a sign of high respect and reverance for what is being done. They also add a touch of class. And, as already noted, they help to keep certain things from getting dirty/tarnished. It is customary, for instance, (though not common) to wear gloves for handling a bishop’s mitre and crosier.
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That’s very cool. Good to know.

The altar servers in my parish use gloves. The gloves are to be removed when receiving communion, and I think when holding the platen (I am not sure about this). The celebration of the mass is quite formal (I love it), and the pastor is very meticulos with the training of the 200 altar servers.

[quote=Cristiano]The altar servers in my parish use gloves. The gloves are to be removed when receiving communion, and I think when holding the platen (I am not sure about this). The celebration of the mass is quite formal (I love it), and the pastor is very meticulos with the training of the 200 altar servers.
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I would guess that your parish also nourishes a fair number of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. How wonderful.

[quote=Cristiano]The altar servers in my parish use gloves. The gloves are to be removed when receiving communion, and I think when holding the platen (I am not sure about this). The celebration of the mass is quite formal (I love it), and the pastor is very meticulos with the training of the 200 altar servers.
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Are you serious? 200 altar servers?

[quote=jimmy]Are you serious? 200 altar servers?
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Yes, I understand that it is the biggest “team” in the USA. They are very motivated. I love to see how the senior ones are so supportive of the observers and apprentices during training and mass. Our school is only up to 8th grade but a lot of the seniors continue to serve when they move to the public school system.

[quote=Cristiano]Yes, I understand that it is the biggest “team” in the USA. They are very motivated. I love to see how the senior ones are so supportive of the observers and apprentices during training and mass. Our school is only up to 8th grade but a lot of the seniors continue to serve when they move to the public school system.
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I’m curious, are the servers mostly male, mostly female or an even mix? For some reason I have the feeling that it’s nearly 100% male.

[quote=Tired]I’m curious, are the servers mostly male, mostly female or an even mix? For some reason I have the feeling that it’s nearly 100% male.
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Reasonable guess but wrong! :o
They are an even mix, and it appears to be representative of the parents involvment with the parish. :slight_smile:

[quote=Tired]Is anyone here aware if it is proper for altar servers to wear white “military-like” cloth dress gloves while serving? I have seen this in the past in another part of the country at an extremely formal parish and I’m wondering if it’s common in other parishes in the USA?

It may well have been that they were wearing the gloves due to the cold weather and/or because they didn’t want to tarnish the metal brightwork, but I’m not certain.
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It could be trying to get back to a sense of the sacred sort of thing which is ok to me.

In my parish, only the priest or deacon or the Sacristan is allowed to touch the sacred vessels (ciboriums, chalice, monstrance, pix), however if anyone else must touch them they must use a glove or hold them through a finger towel or, as the sub-deacon holds the paten from the Offertory until midway through the pater noster through a humeral veil.

Also there is the time we had our processional crucifix professionally cleaned and polished and the crucifer always wore white gloves in order not to put finger prints on it.

Ken

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