What is wrong here?

on 3/18/2011, I had to present the catechumens and the candidates to the bishop for when they receive their sacraments on Holy Saturday. I was sitting in my pew, waiting for everything to start, when I see a young man wearing a baseball cap in the Sanctuary. A deacon came over to talk to him, but it didn’t seem to be discussing the hat issue. A few priests saw this young man as well, but never mentioned anything. The young man comes down the Sanctuary, down the nave, and still nothing. So I told him to take his cap off. Later on during the procession, I see that the young man was an altar server.

His parents. They clearly have not raised him to respect being in sacred space, not to mention before the Tabernacle.


Not only his parents but those who trained him to be an altar server as well. When he was being taught how to serve, the reverence and the manner of dress should also have been taught. It’s like a few months ago at my Church where the altar server was wearing runners with bright green shoelaces. I kept thinking he was trying for a Christmas theme maybe? :shrug:

I wasn’t going to say anything, but I just felt the urge to say it, I couldn’t keep quiet. What was surpising to me, is why the deacon didn’t even say anything to him, when he personally spoke to him?

In my experience with deacons, HE might not have known better either.

I’ve noticed that this custom, removing the hat when indoors, is not very customary any more. So, when does a custom fade to such extent that it no longer has any normative influence? It use to be custom for men to always where a hat outdoors, and take their hat off when coming indoors. If you see outdoor portraits and photos of U.S. Presidents, for example, they all wore hats outdoors…until J.F.K., about the time when this custom seems to no longer be normative. It used to be customary that women cover their head, even indoors. Yet, this too is no longer customary. So has the “remove your hat indoors” custom become equally uncustomary? If so, should we continue to be offended by young persons who no longer adhere to uncustomary practices which used to be more customary for your grandparents? Afterall, there’s nothing inherently evil about wearing headgear indoors.

It’s not a matter of custom, i’ts a matter of respect for the House of the Lord. Sure, customs do change, and I’m not undermining that fact.

It’s certainly possible, but if this is a teen, it is equally possible that the young man ‘knows’ the rules but wants to ‘push the envelope.’

As any parent who has lived through (I mean, RAISED) children through the teen age years can tell you, you could have been Mother Teresa and Thomas Aquinas in the way in which you demonstrated Catholic faith (Mother Teresa) or understood Catholic teachings (Thomas Aquinas) AND taught your children with heroic patience 24/7 since birth. . .

and you will STILL have your darlings act in cringe-worthy if not bordering-on-blasphemy ways IF said ‘child’ determines that is what he or she 'wishes to do.'

**Sadly, ‘raising up a child in the way he should go’ no longer (if ever) means that “He will not depart from it.” **

I don’t think you understood me. There is nothing inherently disrespectful by wearing or not wearing a head covering. Any notion of respect or disrespect in this act comes only from societal norms or customs, which change with time and region. The bishop, for example, where’s a skullcap (zucchetto) during the Mass, removing it during the canon, and at certain times during the Mass he wears a mitre. This is not inherently disrespectful or respectful, but instead derives from custom, societal norms.

I agree that we ought to respect the House of the Lord by adhering to what is customarily respectful according to our contemporary place and time. My question had to do with whether or not this custom is still customary, and if no longer customary, is it still disrespectful. For example, it used to be, according to St. Augustine, customary that men and women worshipped apart from one another in the sanctuary. Is it therefore inherently disrespectful for me to worship standing next to my wife and daughter, or is this custom, once prevalent in some places and times, no longer customary? And if this custom can fade away from being normative in society, then why not head coverings?

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