How to train altar servers for TLM?

It is my understanding that possibly through a Motu Propio the permission to celebrate Mass with the TLM liturgy could be extended. My assumption is that the altar server “process” is a good way to prepare some young man for the priesthood. I was wondering how they could be prepared to support both NO (in Latin too would be nice) and TLM liturgies. Both Masses are valid and I think that the servers should be prepared for both, as it should be required for future priests. The training would mainly happen in parishes where only the NO Mass is being celebrated.

These are a lot of assumptions about a possible scenario. I am mainly looking for problem solving comments and how to be ready if the scenario will become real. One example would be to have FSSP priests setting up summer camps for servers training.

This is not a thread on the pros and cons of the TLM vs. NO liturgies. We have discussed this topic in several threads. This is not a thread about male vs. female altar servers. We have discussed this topic in lengthy details too. If you want to comment about these two specific topics please refrain from posting in this thread.

latin-mass-society.org/resources.htm

Some guides on how to serve at the Old Mass on there. There are also Altar server cards to print off as well.

I don’t think there will be a circumstance where all altar servers know how to serve in both Latin and Novus Ordo masses, and it isn’t necessary either. Not every doctor can do brain surgery, not every musician can play rap, not every altar server can or should be able to serve at both liturgies.

Of course, some do, and for those who do, they would have to pass 2 different training modules.

Your idea of summer camp for altar servers is an idea. But it doesn’t address filling vacancies in the altar server corps which occur during the rest of the year.

A group that I’m affiliated with is preparing for the day when we can approach the Archbishop with a request to celebrated the TLM.

We are training our first class of Altar boys using very knowledgeable men who have attended our Indult Mass for years.

We are also gathering vestments, sacred vessels, and whatever else will be necessary for the celebration of the Mass.

At present we have over 200 families that have signed a petition to request the Tridentine Mass.

Does anyone have anything they could donate to our project? If so, contact me via e-mail.

There are resources available to train boys for the Traditional Rite, several phamplets and cards showing and explaining the movements. The role of the Altar Boy in the Traditional Mass is a lot more complex than in the Pauline Rite and requires that he pay attention to what the Priest is doing all the time.

I don’t think there would be any inherent problem in training young men for both. The camp idea sounds good and could, if run properly be a very good idea. That is definitely something to look into:thumbsup:

I don’t think there will be a circumstance where all altar servers know how to serve in both Latin and Novus Ordo masses, and it isn’t necessary either. Not every doctor can do brain surgery, not every musician can play rap, not every altar server can or should be able to serve at both liturgies.

I think getting trained to serve the TLM would whip altar boys into shape when serving the NO. It might encourage more reverence and discipline in the NO if they encounter the extra challenges in the 62 Mass.

You have a point there, that the Tridentine mass certainly requires a lot more concentration on the part of the altar servers and learning it requires more effort and time.

But nowadays kids usually aren’t in Catholic school (I never met a altar boy my age that attended public school, didn’t happen during the Latin mass days in my experience), and the time might not be available for a lot of the current altar server corps.

Its quite an investment in time, on the part of both the young people and the parish priest, to train for Latin mass.

I doubt that most people are really more busy today then they were in the past. It is a matter of priorities, priorities, priorities.

One could always train a core of the altar boys and these could be the ones that shape up the NO servers.

I don’t think its that people are busier today, just that it takes longer to do things and get places, particularly for the kids.

I remember as a kid, if I wanted to play baseball, walk to the field. Want to go to school, walked. Want to go to church, again walked. None of this required parental help to do, or even parental knowledge. Today, kids need rides everywhere. If a boy wants to attend altar server training, it isn’t just a question of motivating him, but also mum and dad to get him there. It isn’t just a question of getting the kid to stay after school or come early. Much more effort, many more people involved.

Maybe we ought to go back to the old insular ethnic communities in the cities and mill towns like most Catholics lived in during the pre-VII days, but that isn’t going to happen even though it had its benefits.

There is a book called “The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described” by Fortescue and O’Connel. This is the book we use at my parish to train everyone in the Traditional Latin Mass. You can get it here
amazon.com/Ceremonies-Roman-Rite-Described/dp/0907077412/sr=8-1/qid=1167885426/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-7845269-1558430?ie=UTF8&s=books

Most likely a priest would also need this book as well as all involved in restoration of the TLM there. There is much involved that has to be done.

For a Low Mass you would need something else for the servers- that will train them to say the responses correctly and to serve the Mass correctly because the rubrics in the book for Low Mass do not extensively touch on servers for Low Mass, just for Solemn Mass and Solemn Form Missa Cantata servers who are in positions of MC and Acolytes. We used a book and tape from Angelus Press for this and you can get it here- angeluspress.org/index.php?act=warehouse&info=6605

Ken

I will soon be serving Low Mass monthly and Sung Mass bi-monthly (or if the situation improves, as is hoped, Low Mass weekly and Sung Mass monthly). I was advised to practice the Latin responses everyday. I have also been given little tips- dont touch the altar at any time; dont move too fast or too slow; pull back the cassock from your heels when you kneel or else it will get caught when you stand and “you’ll trip on the altar in front of everyone, which is wrong because its Mass and you should be more careful, and also the congregation will laugh and then be sinning because they have to be reverant, which will make you responsible for their sin, and wont all that be terrible and God forbid you are holding any of the vessals when you do trip!”

First, I don’t know how old you are. It really doesn’t matter as no matter what age, it is a great honor and a privilige to do this worthy task… I envy you.

I would add the following:

Say a prayer to Saint Tarsicis or Saint John Berchmans or heck both, and whatever other Saint you pray to.

Arrive early. I don’t know how the vesting procedure is, but it is typical to assist the Priest as he vests.

It makes a difference if using one or two servers, so you need to know that in advance.

Don’t say the responses too loudly, unless that is the way the Priest wants it done. Some like it loud, others soft.

Watch the Priests hands like a hawk and listen to what he says, intently… Don’t practice a private devotion and stare at the Host and be oblivious to everything else, don’t day dream or nod off, don’t look at the cute girl in the front pew or pick your nose.

DON’T FORGET TO GENUFLECT when passing in front of the tabernacle

When you genuflect don’t cross yourself, keep your hands clasped in a prayer position, except when carrying the Missal from the epistle to the gospel side be careful when moving the Missal from the Epistle side to the Gospel side. Very embarrasing if you trip. I did that :slight_smile:

When you sit down place your hands on the top of your legs.

When bringing out the cruets, carry the wine in the right hand and the water in the left. Hand the Priest the wine first and transfer the water to the right hand. take the wine cruet back in the laft hand and hand the water to the priest with the right.
We used to kiss the cruets before we handed them to the Priest, but i don’t know it that is the current practice.

When you lift the chasubile don’t lift it too high.

Don’t forget to ring the bells at the proper time

When carrying the Paten, make sure you don’t jab somebody in the neck with it. I’m not being facetious here, I did it, more than once.:thumbsup: Don’t tilt the Paten sideways, hold it as level as you can, don’t make any abrupt turns and be careful. Every now and then the Host will fall. Then it is all up to you to save the day!

Be careful when moving the Missal from the Epistle side to the Gospel side. Very embarrassing if you trip. I did that too, several times as a matter of fact:)

**DON’T FORGET TO GENUFLECT/B] when crossing in front of the tabernacle

Listen to what the Priest says and remember your cues. After all these years I still do. Remember, you are doing something that those that have not cannot even imagine. Always remember where you are, that you are in sacred space and you are assisting with the most important central thing in our faith.

DID I SAY DON’T FORGET TO GENUFLECT when crossing in front of the tabernacle?

I bring that up because yes, i did that too:(

Try not to be nervous. You will be, but try not to. When I stopped serving I thought my heart would break because such a big part of my life was gone. I envy you, I really do.

You will be in my prayers.**

17 going on 18. We didnt have any younger servers (and none of the children of the families who attend the TLM here are old enough) so I offered and Father was very thankful because he doesnt like saying Low Mass without servers.

I would add the following:

Say a prayer to Saint Tarsicis or Saint John Berchmans or heck both, and whatever other Saint you pray to.

Whatever other Saint I pray to… better say the Litany of the Saints then :wink:

Arrive early. I don’t know how the vesting procedure is, but it is typical to assist the Priest as he vests.

Yep, while Father is hearing confessions I have to fetch the vestments from his car and prepare the altar (bring out the candles, altar cards, and everything; lay down a carpet in front of the altar; help move the table which acts as the new altar out of the way).

It makes a difference if using one or two servers, so you need to know that in advance.

Just me for Low Mass but one of the FSSP seminarians will come to serve with me at Sung Mass.

Watch the Priests hands like a hawk and listen to what he says, intently… Don’t practice a private devotion and stare at the Host and be oblivious to everything else, don’t day dream or nod off, don’t look at the cute girl in the front pew or pick your nose.

In other words, dont act like most servers at the NO Masses? Except for the private devotion part… :wink:

DON’T FORGET TO GENUFLECT when passing in front of the tabernacle

Yep, thats been drilled into me. Isnt something I would forget though.

What about “boys” my age (I’m 23)? Would we be allowed to be trained to serve at TLM? I was trained as an altar server for a campus ministry (w/, of course, NO Mass). At least it had the liturgical bells rung once for the consecration of the Host and once for the consecration of the Chalice.

Would depend on the priest and the regulations of the parish/oratory/chapel in question. There arent any official rules (nor have there ever been) regarding the age of the servers.

Shouldn’t be anything to stop you

Most of the servers at the Indult Masses I go to are well over 50…

Here at the Indult in San Diego, there seems to be an even sp lit between young boys, maybe 13 and so and younger and older young men, late teens into their mid 20’s and one one appears well over 30. We are blessed here in that we do have as many as we do though. I would say there are at least 12-15 different servers that I can think of off the top of my head…

These young men are very well trained, and serve Mass extremely well and are to be commended.:thumbsup:

From what I’ve been told by the FSSP priests who come to my city once a month for Mass, in their oratory in St. Catherine’s they have the younger (9-14) altar servers wearing red cassocks under their surplices and merely watch the older servers (14-20s) actualy take active roles serving in their black cassocks. This is how the younger servers learn the latin and train.

After recieving a little manual in the mail from my Priest on training for altar servers, I’m now thinking :eek: :eek: I think my priests wants things even more traditional than I thought! I’m going to need flash cards and study for a week!!

HELP ME!!! edags :gopray:

It is interesting how things change from parish to parish. I just realized that in my parish where only the NO is celebrated most of the servers would easily adapt to the TLM. I alway assumed that everybody wore red or black (depending on the season) cassocks with surplice, I always assumed that everybody would wear white gloves and know how to use a paten (e.g. do not flip it sideways once done with communion). I always assumed that they had formal training every few weekends. I thank the Lord that I am a privileged person, and that my son is trained in such a parish. He has to stay after Mass to help cleaning the brass too.

The only thing that I miss even if it was not appropriate was the tradition of the royal blue cassocks with white surplice during advent. Our Bishop said not blue during advent and our pastor obeyed.

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