Girls as Altar Servers

When the Second Vatican Council religious rules were completed, was there not a rule that specified no girl shall be an altar server unless there was a shortage of boys for serving?

No, girls were not permitted at all until 1994. At that point the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretication of Texts reinterpreted the Latin word to mean that altar girls could be permitted, if a priest wishes. The boys-only rule had been increasingly ignored since the late 1970s.

You are correct. In my church, we appear to have more girl altar servers than boys. I think the girls more readily offer to serve than the boys now days.

I think it depends on the parish. At ours, there is no shortage of boys.

This is a typical Sunday Mass at mine.

I prefer only boy altar servers… But really there were female deaconesses.

Everybody wants to blame everything they don’t like on the Second Vatican Council!

Not deaconesses in a sense that they received Holy Orders. Were women called deaconesses? Yes, none were ordained to Holy Orders. If you disagree please provide proof; there is none.

There is proof that deacon’s wives and other lay women were commissioned to baptize women.

The topic is altar servers, not female ordination, please do not derail this thread with incorrect statements.

:thumbsup: Oh my gosh! You are most certainly right! It must be so wonderful to have so many young boys and young men serving.

I’d like to ask, as a sincere question, why is it uncomfortable to have girl altar servers? I am working my way through RCIA and as I wasn’t brought up Catholic or in a Catholic household, I just don’t see why it would be concerning. I do understand the difference with female priests of course, but if a girl would like to serve God and her parish, I think that’s wonderful.

My husband and his brother were altar servers in their home parish until well into their 20s, and led the teams of younger children, many of whom were girls. I hope that when they are old enough, my sons will become servers too.

I could be wrong, but I think the role of altar server is, among other things, supposed to get young men thinking about the priesthood. There may be other reasons to have male altar servers, but that’s the one I commonly hear.

If you asked me a while ago what I thought about the subject i would of said it should be boys only. However I reckon the more youth we can get into a Sunday mass the better. Even if they all do one small thing each during the mass at least they are in the mass and witnessing the mass and what takes place.

When I was an altar server there was girls doing it too and I thought nothing of it. Now that I’m a little older I wonder what the point of it is. We have boys do it with hopes of some of them wanting to be priests one day. I haven’t seen any girl altar servers since I started going to the Latin mass. And there are much older male servers in the Latin mass that I believe will become priests one day, something that doesn’t happen in the Novus Ordo masses because young girls take their places instead. Useless in my opinion.

I’ve been to a couple of parishes that don’t have children serving as altar servers at all. I didn’t inquire as to why, but it wasn’t for a shortage of children.

Two boy altar servers in the parish I attend are considering the priesthood.

This is a mainstream parish in suburban USA which celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Mass with plenty of girls and boys serving together.


it’s a church discipline.

it used to be that it was part of the formation of a priest, but now it isn’t and hasn’t been for a long time.

i don’t know where everyone else lives, but where i live, there are plenty of seminarians and we only have one latin parish in the whole city. so i personally thik the reason is something else.

i also really don’t understand this whole “boys don’t wnt to do the things girls do” mentality either. when i was growing up, there were no issues like that at all. girls and boys were regular friends, there were never more girls than boys serving. either it was half and half or there were more boys.

also, the tradition of altar boys is just that, a tradition. started around the 16 century.

i think pope john-paul II was making that distinction when at simultaneously, allowed altar girls but spoke ex cathedra about not allowing women’s ordination. one if church tradition, the other is jesus’ ministry and apostolic faith.

That’s good. What can the girls consider?

think about it, there are so many career options out these days, being a priest just isn’t on peoples’ priority list anymore.

it used to be that the priests were some of the most educated people of society. they got to go to school, teach at universities, study science, write music. not so anymore, everyone can do that now essentially. the job is just not that appealing unless you have an extremem fervor for serving god.

Traditionalist orders seem not to have this problem…

The word I used is the proper translation. I didn’t imply anything that you are referring to.

Hopefully your evening is better than your day has been.

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