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
2 thoughts on “Altar Servers Are Restricted To Males”
Given the reality of sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church, it’s probably best that NO children act as altar servers. Although your entire premise is false. Both girls and boys are altar servers because serving at altar does not require using one’s genitalia. (Unless you’re doing it really wrong, as many priests have been known to.) I was an altar server as a young girl, and ultimately served Cardinal Rigali. Honestly, I find it rather disturbing that the adults in my church put me so close to an evil man who protected child abusers- but my gender had nothing to do with it.
First of all, I am very sorry you went through all that. Like I always reiterate, predators exist in EVERY institution, including the church! As they say, the best place for evil to hide behind is good. So it makes sense that predators and evil hide behind in the church. It is foolish to conclude the entire church is bad becos of the few predators in it. Even Jesus, God Himself, had evil by his side when He went to fast and pray in the wilderness. It would be foolish to conclude the wilderness is all bad too. Our job is to learn to discern, to (as the bible says) assess a person by their fruits and watch for wolves in sheep clothing. Now, that would be hard to do as a child and yes, the adults should have protected you, but they didn’t. If you can hold them accountable, do so. If you can’t, sever connections with them.
Second of all, your comment is completely irrelevant to this article. Like, it is not congruent at all.
This article talks about the reason why altar servers are boy ie a form of preparation for the priesthood and model after Christ, who is the High Priest and who is male. That is the basic understanding of why altar servers are boys and it is basic common sense that anyone should be able to understand.
Because you served as a girl does not mean what you did was right – it means you were falsely led!! And that is confirmed again by the fact that you were apparently close to an abuser. Doctrine and theology was clearly weak in your parish and once church doctrine gets weakened (ie letting girls be servers), then of course, grace leaves the parish and other evils, like abuse, will creep in.
There is ZERO SENSE AND RELEVANCE in your comment which is just more nonsensical way to malign the entire church simply becos you see an article on gender roles.
Do you seriously think that it is only females like you who were abused? That boys were not abused too??
If a police officer goes rogue and kills civilians, should we then do away completely with all officers?
And saying no child should be altar servers is just as stupid as saying no child should go to school becos of school shooters or no woman should get married becos of domestic abuse.
Silly AND illogical.
Your entire comment and logic is FALSE and completely irrelevant to this article which you have hijacked to vent about what you went through. It’s even clear if you were actually abused at all.
So basically, you just hate that the church has defined gender roles.
That is indeed sad for you. You’ve clearly been infected with the lie of feminism and equality.
So why are you then here? On a catholic page??
Do you think your vitriol will somehow convince me or the thousands who read my blog each week to hate the church and leave the church??
No, it won’t.
Your issues should be addressed in therapy if the church has left such a bad taste in your mouth that you resent it so much. Trolling catholic pages to vent is just as productive as venting at random schools cos you experienced a school shooting years ago.
As the title of this website indicates, this is a website on traditional catholic femininity and that means there is an emphasis on traditional Catholicism (which female altar servers is not!) and also traditional gender roles.
None of this align with your mindset, so don’t waste your time being here.