Despite what Novus Ordo churches or Liberal Catholics would like to you have believe, the role of altar servers have traditionally been restricted to males – men and boys.
Now, before some rabid feminist-type “Catholic” starts attacking me, please understand that this stance by the Catholic Church isn’t about being sexist or anti-females.
There are actually very good reasons why altar servers are traditionally male.
WHAT IS AN ALTAR SERVER?
An altar server is a layman who assists the priest or bishop in the liturgy, primarily Holy Mass, the solemn celebrations of the Divine Office, and in Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The right to serve in the liturgy is originally restricted to clerics who have been ordained to the holy order of acolytes, the fourth and highest of the minor orders.
However, the Church has very admirably and prudently extended this office to laymen as well.
A layman who serves in the sacred liturgy thus carries out the function by privilege instead of strict right, which belongs to ordained acolytes alone.
An altar server is traditionally given the privilege to wear the cassock and surplice during the liturgy, which are, in fact, the dress of a cleric during liturgical ceremonies.
The extension of the office to laymen is done so that young men and boys are given closer proximity to the sacred liturgy and to the priest, which in turn helps nurture the seeds of a priestly vocation for those who have one.
The extension of the office of altar servers to women which we see in many Novus Ordo parishes is thus redundant since they can never have a priestly vocation and consequently, do not have what serving in the liturgy is intended to nurture.
Furthermore, since women cannot validly be ordained to the holy order of acolytes nor be a cleric, they bear a lesser proximity to the clerical state and are less fitting to wear the sacred dress of a cleric, namely the cassock & surplice.
This of course doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men or that the Church’s traditional stance is sexist, which are typical accusations of those who misunderstand the Church’s teachings.
We should bear in mind that the greatest and holiest saint of the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is ranked even above the angels and is given the supreme privilege of being the mediatrix of all graces; and yet Our Lord did not number her among the Apostles.
The factions of those who push for altar girls also seem to be driven by self-serving competitive activism, instead of truly serving God in a manner as befits their gender and state in life.
There are so many ways that we as women can serve God. Why must we be in competition with men?
This sort of Eve and Jezebel mentality does not befit a woman who claims to be a Catholic.
Our Lady Herself was never an Apostle, yet she had a very special role not just within the formation of the Early Church, but within humanity as a whole
Let us pray and work towards the restoration and retention of the traditional practice of restricting serving in the liturgy to men and boys only.
As Catholic women, it is our honour and role to encourage this, support this and actively promote this – NOT compete with this.
Our Lady, model of femininity and womanhood, pray for us.
FACE MASKS FOR YOUR ALTAR SERVER(S)
ad Jesum per Mariam