Do alter servers kneel druing Mass?

OK, I Know I just posted another thread, but this is kind of a different subject.

When I was growing up, I never payed much attention to what was going on on the alter, so I honestly don’t know if this is a new thing or if it’s always been this way.

After the Consicration, the priest distributes the Eucharist to the deacons, alter persons (not my fave term) and to the EMHC’s (my least fave term) and than they go down to the congragation. The servers return to the alter, where they sit in chairs lined up on the side oppisate where the priest sits after his hommily.

My question is this;
Have the alter persons always sat during communion? Or were they once required to kneel? Shouldn’t they at least be standing like the Choir does? It seems irreverent to me, but maybe is it because they are young that they are exempt? Or is it only in my church where they sit? I used to think I went to a very conservative church, but I’m not so sure anymore.

anyway, I’m just wondering.

Your question might better be posted under Liturgy and Sacraments. However, since you posted here…

In the Mass of Pius V the altar server(s) would be holding paten(s) while the priest gave out communion. If there were more servers than needed for communion those not holding patens would kneel.

Prior to the current GIRM people were to kneel after communion. Now they have the option of kneeling or sitting.

BTW, it’s “altar”…

Deacon Ed

thank you for your answer and for publicly pointing out my spelling mistakes.

I asked on this part of the MB because I wanted an answer from a traditional point of view and I thought this would be the best place to get that answer.

In my parish the servers are sitting in chairs in front of the 1st row down to the side of the Sanctuary. They kneel after communion, so it is probably just a parish thing. If this is the only thing making you think you may not be in a ‘conservative’ church, I would not worry about it.

Peace be with you.

thanks for the input.
There are other things that make me wonder, but they are for another discussion.

Altar people? Are you for real?

Reminds me of a bad PC translation:

“Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”

changed to…

“Stop fishing for fish and I will show you how to fish for human beings.”

Any fisherpeople here?


I am a parishioner in one of those “liberal NO Churches”.:smiley:

At our Mass the altar servers kneel with the rest of the congregation during the consecration. After they have received communion they better put the white gloves gloves back on and assist the priest, the deacon and the acolytes with the platens. If a Host falls and it is not caught by the platen they better hope for death than having to talk to Father after Mass.

The other day my 10 year old son discovered that there was a Host stuck the the acolyte’s alb (static electricity?) and he felt terrible because he hesitated a couple of seconds before stopping that specific communion line to inform the acolyte. He understands that even in our 'liberal NO Church" we know how reverence to the Lord is due.

And yes, our pastor bows his head when he mentions the name “Jesus”

Well, simply put, the altar boys barely get off their knees at a traditional Mass. Trust me, I know.

By the time the canon is over my knees let loose a giant creek when I stand up to get the paten.

My experience (novus ordo) is mixed. I find the altar servers kneeling in some parishes, and I find it feels appropriate IMHO. It depends a bit on the layout - in one parish the alter server at daily mass kneels directly in front of the altar facing the altar & priest. The bells are placed there on the floor to be rung at the appropriate moments.

I have also seen on a few occasions a Decaon kneeling at the consecration. While it was clearly reverent, I’m not so sure that that is an appropriate practice.

It is as per the GIRM.

On Ash Wednesday, I attended a (NO) Mass in a parish that formerly was very conservative/traditional. Now they have altered the altar, half the seating is now folding chairs, and I was the only person present who was kneeling. Maybe it’s an Orange Diocese thing:p .

While kneeling is optimal and standing is sometimes used, sitting is not an appropriate posture in front of the exposed Sacrament - you don’t sit in the King’s presence unless he is already seated. That’s why at some parishes you’ll see the “sit in unison” where the whole congregation moves from kneeling to sitting with the priest after he has reposed the Eucharist in the tabernacle. Prior to that point, it would have been inappropriate to sit, but once the Sacrament has been reposed people feel free to (hopefully) pray seated.

In the NO, they are to kneel when the Congregation does. They are no different, unless they have a special duty to perform during that time. Deacons should kneel when the congregation does (this is not often seen) but concelebrants should stand.

In the TLM, they kneel a huge amount, as has already been stated.

I’m glad this got brought up. I really have no idea what anyone is supposed to be doing other than the priest. We have alterkids but I only see them during the procession and then to set out the liturgical dishes. We have to others which I assume are acolytes who are also in the procession but they disappear until its time to give out the Eucharist then they are there with the other regular people to give out the Eucharist.

So I’m pretty much lost on what everyone besides the priest and deacon are supposed to be doing. I know I’m not using proper language but when I converted my first exposure to Catholicism was through traditional churches and I got used to how things went there. Now I attend an NO church and I’m trying to get used to things.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get ahold of a good missal for the NO but they’re really hard to find. Most bookstores I’ve went to don’t even know what a Missal is. I’m ordering one now, and I’m hoping it will clear things up for me.

It’s funny really I went from the tridentine to the NO which on the surface should be simpler but I’m kind of lost lol.

Deacon Ed,

Long time no see. Good to see/hear you again. Where’s our buddy Darian? :slight_smile:

I guess I was tempted to say something about that rhetoric too. We must have been taught by those same pre-Vatican II, always-grammatically-correct nuns. :slight_smile:


Are you saying we should either stand or kneel at Euchristic adoration? An hour is a long time to stand or kneel.

I can’t answer the question as to whether that was traditionally done (since I’m but a young whipper-snapper), but the principle I supplied is, I believe, the insight that has informed our piety. I think it’s quite laudable to try to make it through your whole hour on your knees (I’ve done it at a college retreat, and boy was it powerful to see a room full of seated students shoot to their knees when their Lord entered the room!) but also with the way piety is changing as it becomes disconnected from its roots I don’t know if I could fault a modern Catholic for sitting out of physical concerns. I would warrant a guess, though, that the saints managed an hour of kneeling without complaint.:wink:

Being on the back side of 65 with 1 knee operation already I think the Lord will undrstand if I sit during part of the hour I spend at adoration. I am far from being a Saint too, so maybe the Lord has not given me the blessing of the stamina of a Saint.:slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit