Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?


This drives me berserk. It's a known fact that once girls start serving the boys leave. If you don't know this then you don't know boys.

What is the purpose of an altar server? It's not that boys are more adroit at the altar, but that the boys serve to test a vocation to the Holy Priesthood.

With frenetic energy the typical chimera has made this an equality issue, but that's not what it's about. And wouldn't these cute little girls be great in a choir?

31 comments:

Baron Korf said...

No matter how I try, I can't seem to win more than a handful of these battles. False equality drive me insane!

Anonymous said...

John,

looking at the mish-mash of different robes, albs, cassocks, etc, each with a little bit of red worked in, I'm wondering if this isn't a confirmation Mass and these are the confirmandi?

Maggie said...

ugh, I know. Girl alter servers drive me CRAZY.

If serving is meant to encourage vocations to the priesthood...... why the heck do we allow girls to be servers, eh? At my previous parish, the pastor decided to go to a male-only service team, and guess what? Volunteers blossomed. There are now upwards of twelve servers at EVERY WEEKEND MASS, from ages eight to eighteen. It's so encouraging to see.

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting. It was one of the biggest mistakes of JPII.

gemoftheocean said...

1, Girls are not "cute in a choir" if they can't carry a tune in a bucket.

2. It's not much of a vocation, is it, if by the presence of a girl serving, a boy doesn't want to be a priest. Does he see any female priests? No.

3. It's not "fun" (from personal experience) at age 14 to be defending prolife in the classroom when your proabort opponent is the boy who serves Mass. He's was so much more worthy than I to serve, but couldn't be bothered to defend life. Had my formation and belief in the Eucharist not have been so strong, I could have easily left the church over this.

4. How come our parish, NO manages to have an even number of boys and girls serving?

5. If there ARE boys who would leave because they are girl phobic at a certain age ( and not all boys are like this ) then for those boys father can have a separate team or teams.

6. Stop trying to throw us all under the bus.

catholicdiary said...

The girl in the middle looks like she is wearing a stole over her alb. And the ones at the back are all wearing groovy 1970s dalmatics!

Afro Seminarian said...

I love your site, however, why do you keep dredging up an argument that is old. Girls can be altar servers. If the Holy see feels that girls can serve, why do you keep questioning the practice?
If you want to discuss why we have few vocations to the priesthood, Start with the home.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Was just talking to my 12 year old son about this..after Benediction

Anonymous said...

"If the Holy see feels that girls can serve, why do you keep questioning the practice?"

Because it is still another manifestation of the imperial papacy of the Conciliar Church that is destroying the Church. That is why. The Imperal Popes of the II Vatican Council do not have any respect or humility for the tradition of the Church. All the popes since John XXIII, but particularly since Paul VI, have abused of the power of the papacy to impose their whims on the rest of catholics. That is why. The Church is going through its worst period of abuse of power. "It just makes me sick". But I do not let my faith be disturbed by all the bad popes we have had since John XXIII. It is just another manifestation of the corruption of the present Catholic Church.

I just feel sorry for those poor girls who are being manipulated by the Conciliar Church to foment disunion and quarrels in the Church, because it is not out of nothing that this has happened. It serves a purport purpose by the Pope to confuse people and to show, not his faith, but his power. Power, power, power. Disgusting!

Anonymous said...

Seriously people, are you still not over this? I love tradition as much as anyone, but this is one that needed to change. If the best argument you can come up with against altar girls is that "it'll drive the boys away" then that's pretty sad, because you're denying girls a chance to serve on the basis of the alleged failings of boys. I was an altar girl for about 8 years, (and proud of it!) and there was no shortage of altar boys - far from it.

The fact that something is a tradition, does not automatically make it good. Slavery was a tradition too. As far as the "evil Papal abuse of power" argument, give it a rest -- you're just pouting because you aren't getting everything your way. Don't take it out on girls that want their chance to serve.

conte rezzoni said...

"looking at the mish-mash of different robes, albs, cassocks"

That is usance on sundays in a normal roman suburb parish today.

Anonymous said...

In the sixties this white alb with red stripes was introduced for altar boys in Italy.

+JMJ+ said...

Serving at the altar is how young men were led to discern if they have a calling to the Priesthood. Was the church wrong all those years it operated that way? Was the church in error? Can a women be called to the priesthood?

My sons serve at the Latin Mass. They had little interest in serving at the Novus Ordo, at which girls served.

gemoftheocean said...

"What is the purpose of an altar server? It's not that boys are more adroit at the altar, but that the boys serve to test a vocation to the Holy Priesthood."

Helllll-o.....the purpose of the server, originally (and now) is to stand in for the people, to make the responses. The server represents the congregation and is a model for the congregation.

Minor orders went out in 1970, and well before that non-clerics were allowed to serve in place of porter and acolyte.

Why people get hallucinations that if you are for allowing females to serve at the altar you must automatically believe that women should become priests is beyond me.

If boys can stand in for everyone in the congregation, so should girls be able to serve the same function. NEITHER are clerics.

How about encouraging all children to learn to serve Mass as a way of making them on more intimate terms with the Mass.

And JMJ IF you have daughters as old as their brothers, could you pull them aside and do a "pop quiz" with them and would they be able to get through all the responses in Latin their brothers could? If not, WHY not. Could you do the same letter perfect? If not, WHY not?

At the Latin Mass I sometimes attend, I often notice a few of the women taking infinite care with their young 5, 6, 7, 8 year old boys trying to follow the Missal -- when they have daughters of the same age, they NEVER seem to care if the daughter is following or not.

I think other WOMEN are their own worst enemies, much more so than men are. Women perpetuate unhelpful stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

It's wrong because it discourages vocations.

It's wrong because it subverts a sacramental understanding of the priesthood.

It's wrong because it subverts a sacramental understanding of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

It's wrong because it obscures the complementary sexual distinctiveness of men and women.

It's wrong because it disparages the dignity of womanhood as inadequate and unfulfilling.

It's wrong because it implants in girls futile expectations that cannot be fulfilled.

It's wrong because it misrepresents the participatio actuosa prescribed for the faithful as a call for lay busyness which easily strays into clericalism disparaging the role of lay faithful assisting quietly from the pew.

It's wrong because service in the sanctuary is misrepresented as an exercise of rights and of power, which is a false and alien hermeneutic for Christian relations.

Romulus

Anonymous said...

Also, it's wrong because girls in cassocks are cross-dressing. It's as if a man were wearing a wedding dress.

Romulus

Anonymous said...

Any smart priest today would not be caught dead in a sacristy room alone with a girl he was not related to.

Anonymous said...

"As far as the "evil Papal abuse of power" argument, give it a rest -- you're just pouting because you aren't getting everything your way."

Not at all. I really don't care what the pope does. What I care about is to be lied about. So much complain about the "dictatorship of relativism" and the practice continues. The pope can do what he wants, but I will tolerate to be lied to or to be manipulated.

The SSPX is naive to think that there can be reconciliation with Rome, or perhaps they are part of the lie, too.

Garrett said...

It IS indeed cross-dressing, yes.

How about getting some darn instituted acolytes to serve. That would solve the problem.

gemoftheocean said...

Romulus, no offense, but you couldn't argue your way out of a paper bag.

Let's take this statement:
"It's wrong because it implants in girls futile expectations that cannot be fulfilled."

Let's see, girl wanted to serve Mass. She did not want to cut off your pee-pee. She gets to serve Mass. Your "member" is still intact. She doesn't become a priest because she can't and she only wanted to serve Mass which is what she wanted to do all along. No more complicated than that. She is not stopping YOU from serving Mass.

H'mm let's take the cross dressing one. Okay, no more men in kilts. What are you guys, confused transvestites? Whatever.

My favorite is your business about a priest being alone in the sacristy with a girl. Okay, given that the stats seem to be holding up as far as priest on youth abuse, boys seem to be the victims in 90% of the cases. Do you REALLY want to go there?

It's not much of a vocation, is it, if someone is so easily discouraged. Yeah, we all know about all the boys who were discouraged from being firefighters, soliders, engineers, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers and football players because a few women, (other than the football players!) were. So far ZERO women priests. The boys will get the job 100%, for sure. That's not in jeopardy. You're welcome to the Navy Seal Team too and submarines.

I wouldn't want a man to get the job who had permanent fear of being emasculated by a woman who could beat him playing checkers, or whatever it is that "threatens him."

Some of this anti-woman stuff comes off as a flat out manifestation of the overly campy group who sometimes get the upper hand in the seminaries. Its like if they fancy the "man lace" they are afraid of being outted. [NOT the case with real men.] ("Hey, Bobby, that girl over there is wearing the same lacy whatever as you are. Why are you getting dressed up in that cassock, isn't it really a long dress?" If anything the timid boys would be afraid of their NON-CATHOLIC male friends saying something like that, rather than the girl who sits behind them serving with them. REAL men don't mind wearing the lace, their masculinity isn't in question. Its the ones who question their own masculinity who are afraid of women.

There is a subset of gay men who absolutely can't stand women. And some of this frankly, comes off that way. I don't know if you've ever seen/heard a gay man in full rage against women in general, but frankly sometimes this pounding the floor kicking and screaming against a 9 year old who wants to serve Mass comes off that way.

One only has to watch the "Z" pack in FULL bray at that when they get a chance to go after women in any role other than as an observer (other than, of course, to do all the scut work of ironing all your lovely lace, and scrubbing down the sanctuary, of course, then it's okay if they invade your "sacred space") to pick up more than a faint whiff of it.

And since you're so hot on St. Paul you guys can take over ALL The catechism classes, beause "no wimmin teaching" and you can take care of counting all the collection too (porter's job) and you can take care of the ironing the purificators too, because that was also a cleric's job, most of them quickly tired of. Iron your own lace. Oh, and lock the place up too.

Anonymous said...

Gem, if you want to participate in a serious adult dialogue, you must behave like a serious adult.

I mention cross-dressing because the cassock is a male garment. It is not unisex, like an alb.

As for impossible expectations, please consider the non-trivial number of women feeling a desire for ordination. I don't know of any studies looking into this, but do know that many young men also feel a call to ordination after serving at the altar. Of course not all such feelings are authentic vocations. To stand at the altar just a few feet from the Blessed Sacrament can be an overpowering experience. As parish MC, I have gradually withdrawn from this service, to make way for younger men with better chances of being ordained -- because they need to know what this is like. To invite a girl into this space is, as I say, an injustice because the spiritual effect is beyond prediction or control.

One thing I do tell the acolytes I train is that in no sense is this service ever about our rights or what we want. We are the celebrant's extra hands and feet: as extensions of his body we're in a certain sense reflective of and related to him. Christianity is an incarnational faith, and physical realities cannot be swept aside as merely incidental. In good liturgy everything has significance -- and everything that subverts or obscures the intended significance must be eliminated.

This isn't about a dread of emasculation or gay temper tantrums, btw. I don't know why you keep returning to those themes, but it says more about you than about the realities at hand.

FYI, I already do handle the catechism classes at my parish. It's how I met my wife.

Romulus

Anonymous said...

"It has never at any time been a part of our Judeo-Christian tradition that girls serve priests at the altar."

Ottaviani said...

It's not "fun" (from personal experience) at age 14 to be defending prolife in the classroom when your proabort opponent is the boy who serves Mass. He's was so much more worthy than I to serve, but couldn't be bothered to defend life. Had my formation and belief in the Eucharist not have been so strong, I could have easily left the church over this.A straw man argument. There are plenty of women who are pro-choice and involved in church ministeries (unfortunately).

gemoftheocean said...

Romulus: You threw out a bunch of hysterical arguments and then called *me* to task? You are throughly risable. As for "To invite a girl into this space is, as I say, an injustice because the spiritual effect is beyond prediction or control."

What "spiritual effect?" That she has a deeper appreciation of the Mass and may wish to serve God? Eweww!!! BAD, BAD. How evil.

Ott: The fact remains that people can and do walk over hypocrisy. I stayed because of my belief in the Eucharist. I figured out that "altar boys" was a man made convention. Not a God made convention.

Fact remains that the server is there to represent THE PEOPLE. In your world 50 percent of the people by default can't be used to represent all the people. The priest has to be male, him being alter Christus. But as for the rest of it. Feh. Times change. Injustice is injustice. Standing up for hypocrisy is standing up for hypocrasy. In your little world you would STILL have had the boy who argued for abortion rights serve Mass in preference to me, in case he got hit by lightening or some such garbage enough to "see the light." Meanwhile, how many girls saw the hypocrisy in letting a kid like that represent them at Mass. It was said that young boys were used because of their "innocense" Standing for the "right" to an abortion isn't innocent. It's Satanic.

Anonymous said...

In your little world you would STILL have had the boy who argued for abortion rights serve Mass in preference to me,Absolutely -- and in every world. Because this isn't about his worthiness versus yours. No one is worthy to serve, Gem. It's about the right of the people to liturgy that speaks as the Church intends.

Romulus

PS: I also iron my own surplice.

Afro Seminarian said...

I dont think we are going to solve the world issues on this blog.
We will disagree on things, however, I feel that we all love the Church.

I just want you to know that I think you are doing a wonderful Job on this blog. Keep up the great work

Clinton said...

Gemoftheocean, your tone certainly doesn't
help your cause. I don't find your responses
either reasonable or polite. Frankly, it's much
more condescending and abrasive than anything
I've seen from the so-called '"Z" pack in FULL
bray' you referred to.

At one point you stated "(i)t's not much of a
vocation, is it, if by the presence of a girl
serving, a boy doesn't want to be a priest.".
The very next remark you make in that post
is to describe how you were so upset as a
14-year old arguing about abortion with
an alterboy/classmate. You were so
scandalized that this child was able to serve
at the altar while you were not that you
"could easily have left the (C)hurch (sic)
over this". I rephrase your first statement
to put it into perspective:

"It's not much of a faith, is it, if by the
presence of a altarboy who argues on the
pro-abortion side, a girl wants to abandon
her Church".

the inside guy said...

Gem of the ocean, you seem to have a lot of baggage. Perhaps you might want to check it outside this comment section.

Although a few of Romulus' syllogisms seem to have a few flawed premises, they do no seem to be bent of pushing an ideological wheelbarrow... Which you seem to be doing.

Perhaps your still angry they didn't let you serve....

C.L. said...

Cardinal Arinze on altar girls: "I think it was a mistake."

YouTube.

La Paloma Alegre said...

IMHO: You can encourage vocations in these "altar girls": the vocation of the religious life (nun/sister). No further arguments on my part. PAX!

Catholic Voice said...

Gem of the Ocean claims that altar servers represent the people: this is an old mistake. They do not represent the people.

The purpose of altar servers is to assist the celebrant: it has NOTHING whatever to do with representing the people. The "people" have their own part to play. Lay altar servers are a substitute for clerics when clerics are not available to assist and have been understood as a substitute.

The ancient traditions of the Church have continuously required those who assist AT THE ALTAR to be male. The Eastern Orthodox share this ancient Tradition. This is not something to be scoffed at, or dismissed uncharitably as the rants of "gay men".