More than boys; why men are needed to serve the altar
I am an altar server. The priest asked for the fathers to serve as well as the sons. So a group of fathers serve, and the sons learn, first by watching, then by exercising the various duties as they get older and more responsible. I think it is very good for the boys to see their fathers taking the Faith seriously at the altar. There is no fooling around. There is also no sense that old ladies are fawning over their kids. It's a guy's world. It is sober and noble. We wear cassocks, and yes, sometimes they are red. None of it seems odd, so I don't know where you are going with the suggestion, Poche.

I read HK's article on this a long time ago, and have always thought he is right, not only on this topic, but also on his view of the Divine Office. There is not going to be a way to restore traditional practice in the Church without adult males taking their roles seriously, and there are many possible roles.

On a separate note, there is also a lack of a sense of what girls are supposed to do as well, though this is a different question, and one that falls under the umbrella-category of the "crisis of women" and so on in the Church. Sewing is an excellent example of what is wrong here: sewing used to be absolutely necessary decades ago. Now, if you want vestments, you go to a store and buy them, period. Thus, getting the girls to sew is not going to allow them to make any visible contribution, and I think they will find it hard to stick with it. It will seem useless to them. However, unless there are people with aesthetic sense involved in the making of vestments, they will become rare and/or those who make them will make horrid creations, of which we see many already. I have a young girl, and I find it a lot harder to know "where to go" with her in all this. Ideas welcome, ladies! I do my best to instill aesthetic good sense in her, appreciation for chant, love of poetry, etc. But it is a gaping hole for me. Sometimes I wonder: if all families had, say an average of 7 children, the girls would already be busy helping their mothers with all of the motherly duties. Problem solved. In such a case, it would be up to men again to deal with vestments.

Anyway, I think that there is no clear culture anymore about the roles of men and women in the Church, and what roles we thought there were are just getting more and more confused with every passing day. Maybe there will be deaconesses 10 years from now. To hear the reigning Pope, this is not necessarily a closed case anymore. If so, was I wrong to discourage and ultimately prevent my daughter from trying to be an altar server at a different, NO church? As far as I can see, in the NO parish (not where I serve), the priest celebrates mass, and ladies administer everything else. A guy does church repairs. The altar servers are girls, who look utterly ridiculous in large, white garments. So I don't know. Maybe I am wrong to think that there are indeed "roles." The current pontificate is full of surprises.

So maybe it is just an aesthetic preference I have, when I say I think HK is right on altar service, chant, the Office, and pretty much everything he posts on. If so, I can only hope that in the future, there will be churches for poor people like me with such preferences.

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Re: More than boys; why men are needed to serve the altar - by Maldon - 05-24-2016, 10:17 AM

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