Female altar servers at Latin Mass

Will female altar servers be permitted in the Latin Mass?

I’m wondering when those sexist female religious orders will start allowing male novices.

Why not ask in the “Traditional Catholic” threads?

I doubt it, but I think it would be up to the priest.

Where I attend the TLM, the PP also celebrates the NO Mass and all his servers are boys.

Nope. Such was not permitted under the old missal.

Certainly this is a possibility. There would have to be updates to the rubrics first.

It would be a betrayal to the faith as indeed the concession to allow them these days was. It is not an infallible decision, the Pope did it out of fear of schism and to maintain unity with the people already disobeying him. People pushing it were not acting out of obedience as it was wrong when it was allowed, but done to maintain unity which was more important.
This was proposed by those in favor of women’s ordination.

It should be changed as soon as the older Cardinals and Bishops die off and can no longer cause more trouble for our Holy Church.

We should support the young ladies as many times they do serve in a good holy way, yet we should focus on how we can encourage boys to serve and do their temporary job. Many Catholic men are wimps and are essentially letting the women do their job these days.

In almost 2000 years of tradition this is a break that was not done for good but to appease disobedience, it should be fixed as obedience is more important. Christ is the center of the liturgy not our own social trends, that is the heresy of modernism influencing our views.


That’s an interesting assertion. Can you show me where in the old Missal female altar servers are forbidden? I am not suggesting that at the time the old Missal was in effect female altar servers were not in fact forbidden, but I do not think it was the Missal itself that specified this prohibition. If that is the case, I see no reason that female altar servers, now permitted in the Latin Church, may not be permitted regardless as to which Missal is used for a particular Liturgy.

But then again I may be wrong, so could you refer me to the relevant section of the Missal?


It ought to be said that the Vatican never explicitly allowed female altar servers until a decree to that effect was issued on March 15, 1994. Before that, the practise of female altar servers was continually condemned in such papal documents as Allatae Sunt, Liturgicae Instaurationes, and Inaestimabile Donum. In the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are permitted when absolutely necessary, but not recommended, as it is acknowledged that the position of altar boy is a means of cultivating priestly vocations.

That said, any use of female altar servers prior to 1983 is unquestionably an abuse, and any between '83 and '94 possibly an abuse. Since neither one of these decrees apply to the rubrics of 1962 (no liturgical decree is retroactive, otherwise the TLM wouldn’t exist), altar servers according to the 1962 missal would be an abuse. This is especially true in light of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which sees altar girls as a grave abuse, and was still the official law of the church in 1962.

And if the rubics were to be revised in order to change this, it would no longer be the 1962 missal, but the 20_ _ missal of the Tridentine Mass, and issuing such a missal would only cause greater division within the Church, even if only small changes are made.

All told, we can’t reinterpret the 1962 missal to suit modern beliefs. It has to be viewed in light of its surroundings, and the rubrics must be strictly observed.

This is a matter of Canon Law, not rubrics.

Under the current Code of Canon Law there is no explicit restriction to females as Altar Servers (there is no explicit allowance of it either). The 1917 Code of Canon Law allowed a woman to give the responses at Mass if a male could not be found (the only situation where I can see this taking place is in a cloistered convent of nuns), but they could not enter the Sanctuary and assist the priest.

So yes, in theory, female servers could be used in the Tridentine Mass, but according to the general opinion on Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s blog if a priest allowed this he wouldnt get out of the church alive.

Inaestimabile Donum

  1. There are, of course, various roles that women can perform in the liturgical assembly: these include reading the Word of God and proclaiming the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers.(27)

Yes, but that’s not what I asked. Inaestimabile Donum is not the old Missal.

I don’t think this would be entirely accurate, at least not in effect. Based on what I have seen it would appear that there is in fact no such position as “altar server” in the old form. Therefore, regardless of what any law allows, the rubrics have already made the decision. It would be like asking if there can be female extraordinary ministers? The law may allow it, but the rubrics don’t allow for any such “ministers” and therefore trump anything else. At least that is how I would understand it.


How do you mean? There certainly are persons who function as altar servers under the old form. I’ve seen them.

No. They shouldnt be.

So:confused: It would be what was followed. I don’t think it is something that the old Missal would ever mention because it was covered in other documents.:rolleyes:

That was exactly my point. If it is not a matter addressed by the Missal, other documents would regulate what persons could function as altar servers. In this case, current Church regulations permit women to function as altar servers, therefore it would seem that they may do so today regardless of which Missal is used.

And don’t roll your eyes at me young lady or young man, as the case may be. Show some respect for your elders. :wink:


Females are strictly forbidden to be even in the Sanctuary assisting in any capacity in the TLM.

The ONLY time a female is allowed in the Sanctuary, past the Altar Rail, is after she is baptized, when the priest takes her, freshly cleaned through the Sacrament of Baptism, and lays her on the High Altar in dedication to God, or when she is married. That is it.


If you “update the rubrics” then you take away many of our reasons for attending the TLM to begin with.

The reasons why many of us choose to attend the TLM to begin with is due to the strict 1962 rubrics that prohibit the current rubrics or lack of rubrics. This includes prohibition of female servers, lay ministers of holy communion, priest facing the people, vernacular readings, canon prayed aloud, standing for holy communion and all the other “complaints” against the Novus Ordo that we all have.


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