End of Altar Girls?

I am beginning to wonder if allowing females to become altar servers is coming to an end for one very important reason:

Serving at the altar helps foster vocations to the priesthood and permanent diaconate.

Given this* fact*, one would think that every altar serve position would be granted to males. Each and every one. It seems to be extremely irresponsbible to allow females to server at the altar given this fact. Just too valuable of a resource for vocations.

This position certainly certainly seems in-line with Redemptionis Sacramentum:

RS 47. It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension.119 Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these.120 Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes.121 Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms.122

Yes, some will try to fabricate artificial excuses like a shortage of males willing to serve, that females are “better” servers, etc. but unless the Mass is being celebrated in a convent chapel or the chapel of women’s prison these are simply non-issues (and not necessarily true issues either.) All it takes is some commitment and dilligence to build an all-male altar server group.

I totally agree!! Alter servers should be boys / young men!! Girls and young women should serve as apprentance sacracity attendants (what is the word i want?); and encouraged to help in perpetual adoration. And the church should work to find jobs that will keep them involved and lead to becoming “sisters” and nuns and mothers.

all for JESUS!!
lonnie

[quote=Franciscum]I am beginning to wonder if allowing females to become altar servers is coming to an end for one very important reason:…

Serving at the altar helps foster vocations to the priesthood and permanent diaconate…

.
[/quote]

Well Franciscum…while I do agree that being an altar boy should foster vocations…I sure hope they don’t change it anytime soon because my grandson (8) is going to become one soon and so is his older sister(12) to encourage him…Soooo…I guess this altar girl is going to be a plus here.:slight_smile:

[quote=lonnienord]I totally agree!! Alter servers should be boys / young men!! Girls and young women should serve as apprentance sacracity attendants (what is the word i want?); and encouraged to help in perpetual adoration. And the church should work to find jobs that will keep them involved and lead to becoming “sisters” and nuns and mothers.

all for JESUS!!
lonnie
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I think the word you are looking for is sacristan…

[quote=lonnienord]I totally agree!! Alter servers should be boys / young men!! Girls and young women should serve as apprentance sacracity attendants (what is the word i want?); and encouraged to help in perpetual adoration. And the church should work to find jobs that will keep them involved and lead to becoming “sisters” and nuns and mothers.

all for JESUS!!
lonnie
[/quote]

I actually would propose that fathers and sons serve together. I think it would give them a tremendous opportunity to DO something together and a father could be even more encouraging to the possibility of the priesthood for his son.

[quote=JKirkLVNV]I actually would propose that fathers and sons serve together. I think it would give them a tremendous opportunity to DO something together and a father could be even more encouraging to the possibility of the priesthood for his son.
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No.

This is not a matter of encouraging father and son activities. This is a matter of fostering vocations to the priesthood and permanent diaconate.

NOW, if the father had a possible vocation to the permanent diaconate and the son to the priesthood or diaconate, I can’t think of a better situation than for a father and son to serve. That would be extremely powerful.

[quote=JKirkLVNV]I actually would propose that fathers and sons serve together. I think it would give them a tremendous opportunity to DO something together and a father could be even more encouraging to the possibility of the priesthood for his son.
[/quote]

Their father, my son…:slight_smile: is an EMEH as well…but the only way he’ll consider it just now is if his sister serves w/ him…so I think that is just fine…BTW, she want’s to be either a Vet. or a Nun… and he wants to be a race car driver.
Both my sons were altar boys till they were 16 and they chose to play football instead…no vocation to the priesthood:crying: …still praying about the other one…not married yet and very good Catholic.:wink:

[quote=Annunciata]Well Franciscum…while I do agree that being an altar boy should foster vocations…I sure hope they don’t change it anytime soon because my grandson (8) is going to become one soon and so is his older sister(12) to encourage him…Soooo…I guess this altar girl is going to be a plus here.:slight_smile:
[/quote]

I would also suggest that 8 years old is too young. I know very few altar servers who have the concentration and knowlege of the Mass at that age to be excellent altar servers.

I’m gonna guess that grade 7 to graduation from college would be close to optimal (longer for those who might become deacons), but that’s just a guess.

[quote=Franciscum]I would also suggest that 8 years old is too young. I know very few altar servers who have the concentration and knowlege of the Mass at that age to be excellent altar servers.

I’m gonna guess that grade 7 to graduation from college would be close to optimal (longer for those who might become deacons), but that’s just a guess.
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I have to disagree here…in this day and age you have to get them when they’re young…before the world or others tell them that it is un-cool… Both my sons began to serve after their 1st Holy Communion… They were both excellent altar boys…everyon wanted them to serve at their weddings and funerals… Their father and I attended daily Mass and gave encouragement and correction when needed…we lived next door to the church and I used to take care of the altar linens… and surplices and cassocks for the alar boys… I loved being able to serve as a sacristan…

Franciscum:
There are many priests who made up their minds about their vocations at age 8,9, or 10! We might lose many vocations by not allowing these young boys to serve.

[quote=Annunciata]I have to disagree here…in this day and age you have to get them when they’re young…before the world or others tell them that it is un-cool… Both my sons began to serve after their 1st Holy Communion… They were both excellent altar boys…everyon wanted them to serve at their weddings and funerals… Their father and I attended daily Mass and gave encouragement and correction when needed…we lived next door to the church and I used to take care of the altar linens… and surplices and cassocks for the alar boys… I loved being able to serve as a sacristan…
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You’re not describing the typical situation…

Sad to say, but from what I have seen in a several parishes are wanna-be priest mommies pushing their young daughters to serve – often it would appear at the reluctance of their daughters.

I would guess this is one way to live vicarously though one’s child. I would also guess that at least some of them would serve themselves if they thought there wouldn’t be resistance and perhaps resentment from the faithful.

By grade 7, most are DONE serving around here! They usually start around age 10. My 13 yo is still serving, but is one of the FEW left in his class of 200+. It’s no longer “cool”. It’s mostly 10-12 yo’s.

[quote=Franciscum]No.

This is not a matter of encouraging father and son activities. This is a matter of fostering vocations to the priesthood and permanent diaconate.

NOW, if the father had a possible vocation to the permanent diaconate and the son to the priesthood or diaconate, I can’t think of a better situation than for a father and son to serve. That would be extremely powerful.
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I understood that. I simply think more boys would do it if they saw their fathers doing it as well. Our parish uses four servers to a mass. One could be a dad, one could be his offspring, the other 2 would know that at some point their dad’s would serve as well. OR 2 pairs (2 dads, 2 sons). We have 5 masses on Sunday and the Saturday vigil. Everyone would get a chance.

[quote=Franciscum]You’re not describing the typical situation…

Sad to say, but from what I have seen in a several parishes are wanna-be priest mommies pushing their young daughters to serve – often it would appear at the reluctance of their daughters.

I would guess this is one way to live vicarously though one’s child. I would also guess that at least some of them would serve themselves if they thought there wouldn’t be resistance and perhaps resentment from the faithful.
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No…but you must consider that this is also a real situation…my granddaughter has no desire to be a priest(ess) nor do we even feel that women should be! And, what was wrong w/ my serving as a sacristan? I can assure you that I had no desire to become a priest(ess) either…
Oh, and did I mention I was also the parish secretary/cook and housekeeper when the regulars didn’t show up???
Please don’t down women who want to serve the Lord and the Church in the ways we can.:frowning:

[quote=JKirkLVNV]I understood that. I simply think more boys would do it if they saw their fathers doing it as well. Our parish uses four servers to a mass. One could be a dad, one could be his offspring, the other 2 would know that at some point their dad’s would serve as well. OR 2 pairs (2 dads, 2 sons). We have 5 masses on Sunday and the Saturday vigil. Everyone would get a chance.
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We have a father and son who serve together in my parish…I think you are correct!:slight_smile:

[quote=Franciscum]I would also suggest that 8 years old is too young. I know very few altar servers who have the concentration and knowlege of the Mass at that age to be excellent altar servers.

I’m gonna guess that grade 7 to graduation from college would be close to optimal (longer for those who might become deacons), but that’s just a guess.
[/quote]

I disagree we have a large group of altar boys (about 120). When the young ones serve (some look as young as 6) the older boys also serve with them. We have between 2 and 20 servers at at any given Mass. We average about 8 to 10 servers per Mass. I am absolutely amazed at the ability of the young ones to sit quiet and attentive away from their parents. The young ones usually hold the patens (I believe that’s what their called) under the chin of communicants as they recieve. They also ring the bells. We also have alter servers as old as 18, and many go off to seminary every year.

Our priest has told us he approaches every boy in the parish to serve if he feels the child is disciplined enough at whatever age the child may be.

That is right on the money. It is a ploy by the church to get us used to seeing woman in the sacresty,so they can push through more of the liberalization and reforms that have started in the 50’s and 60’s, and to ultimately open the door for woman priests.

Not to go into my past, but the question of female ordination as well as homosexuals are the first question most seminarian candidate gets when they are interviewing to enter the seminary and be a Priest, If you tell how you really feel, you are blackballed.

I predict in about 20 years we will not be talking here about woman altar girls, but the first woman ordination, that is how liberalism works. The liberal never really wants the entire loaf of bread, but goes after it, and is willing to walk away with only half, while the consevative feels wow, I won something, I kept half of the loaf. Then the liberal goes back after the other half of the loaf down the road, till all is taken from the Conservative.

If you look at what was considered liberal and what was conservative only 40 or 50 years ago, you would be shocked. The liberal was pushing for contraceptives to made available, while the conservative was against it. Now not even 40 years later, we are not even talking about birth control anymore, as they are advertised like candy and can buy at any drug store, and with many schools handing them out.

Now we are are talking about stopping abortion on demand, with many liberal Catholics who wont come out and say it, but many have fallen away from the church because they themeselves have fallen victim to immorality and had premarital sex and had abortions, and cant come back to a church that is against this, but with a little more time, that will go by the wayside also. I wounder how many Roman Catholics will be at the Right to Life March coming up, I have gone to Washington a few times, and you see the Kof C and so on, but the largest contingents are always the Bible Belt Protestants and Traditional Catholics of SSPX from who we run into.

[quote=Franciscum]I am beginning to wonder if allowing females to become altar servers is coming to an end for one very important reason:

Serving at the altar helps foster vocations to the priesthood and permanent diaconate.

Given this* fact*, one would think that every altar serve position would be granted to males. Each and every one. It seems to be extremely irresponsbible to allow females to server at the altar given this fact. Just too valuable of a resource for vocations.

This position certainly certainly seems in-line with Redemptionis Sacramentum:

RS 47. It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension.119 Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these.120 Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes.121 Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms.122

Yes, some will try to fabricate artificial excuses like a shortage of males willing to serve, that females are “better” servers, etc. but unless the Mass is being celebrated in a convent chapel or the chapel of women’s prison these are simply non-issues (and not necessarily true issues either.) All it takes is some commitment and dilligence to build an all-male altar server group.
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At my Latin Mass Chapel we have several altar boys who are only 8 years old and already have all of the rubrics and the latin responses memorized.

If this is possible, I dont’ see why it would be a problem to have an 8 year old altar boy at a Novus Ordo parish where all they have to do is carry the missal and the cruets.

[quote=Franciscum]I would also suggest that 8 years old is too young. I know very few altar servers who have the concentration and knowlege of the Mass at that age to be excellent altar servers.

I’m gonna guess that grade 7 to graduation from college would be close to optimal (longer for those who might become deacons), but that’s just a guess.
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wish I was an altar boy when i was younger. Im almost 19 now and find my youth in church basically empty.

[quote=rayne89]I disagree we have a large group of altar boys (about 120). When the young ones serve (some look as young as 6) the older boys also serve with them. We have between 2 and 20 servers at at any given Mass. We average about 8 to 10 servers per Mass. I am absolutely amazed at the ability of the young ones to sit quiet and attentive away from their parents. The young ones usually hold the patens (I believe that’s what their called) under the chin of communicants as they recieve. They also ring the bells. We also have alter servers as old as 18, and many go off to seminary every year.

Our priest has told us he approaches every boy in the parish to serve if he feels the child is disciplined enough at whatever age the child may be.
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I’m not really sure why you would have up to 20 altar servers per Mass (that in itself seems abusive), but it sure is nice that you have such wonderful participation and behavior from boys as young as 6.

Once again, I don’t think your parish’s situation is the norm…

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