Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Altar boys are a good idea

I moved from my home of 40 years to another state to be part of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Baltic, CT, a parish which respects Traditional Catholics.We have a beautiful church and traditional hymns. We have no Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, thus our Communion Time at Mass offers plenty of time for prayer. Most of the congregation remains behind after Mass for a few moments of thanksgiving. We have Eucharistic Adoration and a thriving youth group which watches EWTN videos and films like "The 13th Day". Our CCD and Catholic school are taught by nuns in habit who use wonderful "Faith and Life" catechism books. Our pastor Fr Tito has amazing homilies, they are broadcast on AirMaria.com. We are so blessed to have a holy priest who knows how to run a parish well, and parishioners travel for miles to be part of this amazing parish.
So why is having only altar boys a good idea?
Altar boys are learning to be priests, like apprentices. If girls can't become priests, then why are they serving at the altar?  Does anyone complain that as young men they can't have children? It is a different role ordained by God when they were created. Women are honored by being able to bear children, men are honored by being able to be 'alter Christos' and offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Therefore, when boys are offered the opportunity to serve at the altar, without competition from girls, they usually respond with more enthusiasm. I observed it myself in my fifth grade students in the Catholic school. When it came their turn to serve, the boys proudly announced it to the class. One of them already says he has a vocation.
Read this testimony from a veteran altar boy, submitted to epriest  

"Altar serving at Holy Family allows boys to be more fully integrated into the Mass and gives them a chance to experience Christ's sacrifice up close. Holy Family provides an environment that makes them feel welcome and necessary and is an excellent experience". Carson Lind, 19 year old, 7 year veteran
The article goes on to report astounding results increasing Mass participation by young boys. Give them respect and a unique job to do, and they respond generously.
May more priests do the same, so that we have a vocations boom!

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2 comments:

+JMJ+ said...

Amen!

My 3 boys and husband all serve at the Latin Mass altar and there is definetely something about it. Masculinity and knights of the altar come to mind.

Christmas Eve, at a Novus Ordo Mass, I watched as a teen male altar serving was distracted and flirtatious with a female teen altar server...both in sneakers...kinda casual about the whole thing. Just NOT the same...

It was distracting to the rest of us, as well.

In the traditional Mass it was understood that on the altar a vocation may be perceived and there were more vocations 40 years ago when the altar was a masculine spot...

Thank you for this great post. I'm going to link to it on my facebook.

Molly said...

This is a great post. I remember the first time I say an altar girl, I couldn't believe it.

I found it very distracting for 2 reasons:

First, when something is being done that you know shouldn't be, you (atleast me) can't help but be distracted. Maybe I pay too much attention to little things, I think it's the convert in me, I'm still learning.

Second, because girls tend to be very figity and un focused, which is noticable to everyone.