Knights of Our Lady’s Altar

Finally, it is my experience that many boys and young men like to belong to a guild of servers where the standard is high, the expectations are strict, the training is rigorous and the camaraderie is encouraged. They like to belong to a group of other boys who take their faith seriously, and who are expected to meet a rigorous standard of behavior.

Father Dwight Longnecker, whose blog I highly recommend has posted on the subject of the altar serving guild he has formed at his parish.  He offers some great advice.

9 thoughts on “Knights of Our Lady’s Altar

  1. It is great advice but I cannot see it flying with most parishes. First of all, from what I see, there are more girl servers than boys. By high school, most servers stop. Black shoes on the altar? That would give you close to ZERO servers in the parishes I know. We have a deacon who who runs the altar server program and I think he tries his darndest to train them well. He cannot get kids who are interested … he tries to give the kids dress code suggestions but they fall on deaf ears. I roll my eyes in the summer when some of the older boys (middle school .. rarely high school since they’ve quit by then) wear shorts under the cassock so when they sit down, you see their lovely hairy legs with their sneakers. Nice. And, we have the light beige cassocks with the hoods that Father L says we should toss. I’m hoping my son will stick it out through high school even though he’ll be the oldest boy altar server for sure at that point. I think he will. Hopefully I don’t have to eat my words.

  2. Thank you for this post, Father Angelo. A similar story that I recently read in National Catholic Register. “Boys will be Altar Boys”
    Proof in point: one of my sons has repeatedly expressed disinterest in serving altar at our parish……one major reason being that “there are too many girls doing it and therefore they don’t need him anyway”.

  3. I’m very proud to say that my DAUGHTER is now an altar server. I’m thrilled that our parish has finally allowed girls to serve since the new priest has arrived. I believe we’re now up to 3 girl altar servers and the church seems to be very happy with them and seeing them serve.

  4. As the Immaculata shows, women have their roles to fill in the Church. They are not to be denied nor diminished; but Altar Server, I truly am sorry to say, is not one of them.

  5. The role of women in the Church is very good and important….and different than that of men. ex- To imitate Our Blessed Mother and to educate the young, for starters. These are not insignificant matters. Insisting that we take on male roles in the Church is to insult the female and her natural, beautiful and God-given role. It is to behave as if it were not good enough, or somehow incongruent in value with the masculine. Must we take on the male roles as well in order to achieve some notion of equality spawned in the last century? We were created by God different but equal. Different but equal.

  6. Why are children serving at the altar anyway? Its supposed to be the first step of vocational discernment, not a bit of fun for the kids. Girls have no need to be on the altar especially when they wear immodest clothing and dont cover their heads as required by sacred scripture AND cannon law. Im 20 and would love to serve at the altar but having a load of kids who dont understand what they are there for and swarming around just demeans the role.

  7. I have to disagree. I have two boys that alter serve one whom is as young as 8. My 8 year old looks forward to serving our Lord everyday at Holy Mass. He is the first to be jumping out of bed in the morning wanting to go to Mass. He loves our Lord very much and wishes to make Jesus happy by serving him. Just last week I had a little old lady come up to me with tears in her eyes and said to me:” That little boys is heaven sent and just a blessing to have up on that alter. She said that she had never seen anything like it. He was so angelic!He is so innocent,young and pure. He touched her heart that day and he didn’t even know it. Yes, I understand your concern about a load of kids being up on the alter doing high fives during the sign of peace,ect. But please realize that their are children that truly love our Lord and want to be with him and serve him in everyway they can. I personly think that it should be a desernment on the priest part to decide whom should be up on the alter. I know that there are many priest that do not want to offend or hurt the childrens feelings nor their parents. Which makes it difficult on the Priest part. But please realize that there are some really good kids that love Jesus and only wish to serve him alone. This love I think needs to be taught and showed at a very young age. Also, as far as girls being alter servers, I have to agree. There should be no place for them on the alter. Lady’s have a much bigger job then alter serving.
    Girls should not be Priest but make Priest.

    One last thought……… Perhaps the next time you think about alter servering and hesitate please don’t, you could actualy change a little boys life forever just by your example of how much you love Christ as well.and lastly……….. What does our Lord Jesus say about all of this……..? I can’t help but think that Jesus is tickle pink,blue that my son is up their serving him. How could you take that away from him?
    God Bless,

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