Friday, March 11, 2011


Can the the Ordinary Form of the Mass be celebrated well. You'd better believe it. We do it everyday!

We had a larger than normal attendance at our 8:00 AM Mass this Friday morning. We offered the Mass for the intention of all those who are suffering in the wake of the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

I received a comment on a post concerning well celebrated Masses in the Ordinary Form which I posted on August 10, 2010. The comment was positive, but they didn't like the use of altar girls dressed in cassock and surplice. The person said this is clerical garb for a seminarian, deacon or priest and thus male clothing.

I am not opposed to girls serving the altar and to take it away from them would not be seen as fair by them or their parents. However, dressing the girls in a different manner might not be a bad idea. What do you think?



Henry said...

I'm not the hardest of liners on altar girls, but dressing them as clerics is a violation of good sense if not of rubrics, because it sends several incorrect messages.

Anonymous said...

Dressing non-clerics (altar boys and altar girls) in clerical garb should be avoided.

Mark Duch said...

Sorry it's off-topic, but MY what a beautiful, beautiful church & celebration!

Templar said...

I think the entire issue points to just another problem of having Altar Girls in the first place. My memories of Mass from my youth (60s and 70s) was always of Altar Boys wearing cassock and surplice until they switched to a plain alb in the 70s. I heartly endorse the return to cassock and surplice that has been prevelant in many Parishes over the past decade. They once agains LOOK like Altar Boys. Please don't change that.

If you must have Altar Girls, (which I don't approve of but don't get a vote) they should wear the same garb, and that garb should be Cassock and Surplice. In fact, I have often wondered why the Acolytes don't also wear Cassock and Surplice. Then again I wonder why Priests don't return to the Cassock. It's distinctive and practically yet another form of witness. Seeing a Priest in a Cassock stirs in me the same form of pride I get when I see a Marine in Dress Uniform.

Vianney1100 said...

I say go back to only altar boys. Work it in slowly by grandfathering in(grandmothering in if you will)the current girls until they "retire". Life is not fair if we look at it through the culture's eyes but that is how the Church is.
Yes, some parents and some girls will be angry, some will understand if it is explained to them properly, and some will never get over it. You could also find something else for the girls to do such as cleaning the altar and such.
By the way, one of the neat things my parish does is allow any altar boys in attendance to serve Mass. Sometime we have 25 - 30 during weekend Masses. It is very impressive when they process in and out. Of course not all of them have something to do but they are up there in the sanctuary with Father. Did I mention that we produce more priests than 99% of the other parishes here?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, let the girls do the cleaning... Holy Moly!

Gene said...

I think they could be gradually phased out.

Anonymous 32 said...

The orthodox parents should have the ability to explain to their girls why serving at the altar should be reserved to men and boys.

The Church should not be an experiment in political correctness. Having males only on the altar would emphasize the reality that only men can become ordained as Priests.

The same principle applies to the unnecessary cadre (male and female) of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. My March 8, 2011 post to “An interesting interview, etc makes me wonder . . .,” included this comment: “The Holy Eucharist is so sacred and special that it can only be confected by the Priest, and should only be distributed by the Priest, Deacons and instituted male acolytes.” Maybe Pope Benedict XVI will finally get us back to some additional sanity about the liturgy.

The reference to “cleaning the altar” was unfortunate. Any dissenting girls and women could be referred to the USCCB to start work on the New New NAB aberrations.
On that subject, do you ever notice how certain PC readings from the lectionary will only be gender-neutral until they reach the point where “man” sins or otherwise behaves inappropriately? If not, pay more attention.

Gene said...

Anon 32, You're killin' me! I love it...especially about "referring them to the USCCB to work on the New New NAB aberrations." If we aren't careful, you, Templar,and me will be called "mean." LOL!

Gene said...

Altar girls are a concession, a compromise, with the progressive/secularist, post Vat II crowd. There have been others...too many. The Church must be very careful about when and where to concede or compromise because the progressive crowd views every compromise as a victory and as an opportunity for exploitation. They consider it as weakness and will press their advantage to the limit. We must wake up and realize this. My personal belief is that we are still losing or are, at least, stalemated. Of course, I won't be completely happy until they bring bacl Torquemada.

Anonymous 32 said...

pinanv525 you’re back. What a relief it is to see you. I thought perhaps when Ignotus fell off the blog he somehow landed on and injured you.

Back to the difficulty of negotiating with terrorists, uhhh liturgists. What’s the difference; you know who I mean. The malady you raise is the same in religion as in politics. The timid gentlemanly guys in religion are the orthodox; in politics, they are the conservatives. The difference is that the orthodox and the conservative are not Saul Alinsky thugs.

Help me out here. If not Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, who caused the community agitators to issue death threats to Gov. Scott Walker, et al?

Gene said...

Anon 32, Gee...I wonder...hmmm. Isn't it funny that, generally. your peace screaming, anti-war, tree-hugging, anti-gun types are the first to get angry and violent when they don't get their way. They also wet their beds, drool, and smear.

SqueekerLamb said...

So, what in my earlier comment was inappropriate to post?
Perhaps it didn't go through...

I say, lets see what effect Altar Girls have on things. Will it in totality have a beneficial effect on all vocations?

If boys and young men thought that by serving at the altar they were thereby considered to be stepping into discernment for a priestly vocation, many would avoid serving, and therefore miss out on many graces God could give them through that service.

What do you all think has been the effect of both male and female Altar Servers?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think the altar girl, vocations to the priesthood dropping because of it, is a straw man or person. In my previous parish in Augusta, GA we had both girls and boys serving and many of both remained serving well into college and beyond! They were well trained and received many compliments from visitors because of their regimentation and precision at serving.
In this same parish, we've had since 1983 almost 10 men ordained priests and three women to join religious orders.

SqueekerLamb said...

Who can argue with RESULTS?

Anonymous 32 said...

Frajm. Having attended Masses at Most Holy Trinity, it is as you say quite evident that the servers have been well trained.

How many of the 10 priestly vocations came from the Alleluia Community?

Even Priests are entitled to be wrong sometimes, but you have the courage to take an unambiguous position on a controversial subject.

I guess we orthodox “workers” who favor age-old traditions will just have to form a union through which all dues, errrrr, contributions, must be filtered before reaching the Parish and/or Diocese in order to protect our “bargaining rights.” Taking a page out of the public sector unions, we would of course only pass those moneys along to Priests and Bishops with whom we agree. Would such a union pass the test of our social doctrine encyclicals?

Frajm, you are indeed a gem and you are appreciated.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of the 10 or so not from the Alleluia Community, they are:
1. Fr. Dan Munn
2. Fr. Mark Ross
3. Fr. Gerald Schmitt, SJ
4. Fr. Jonathan Bingham, OP
5. Fr. John Markham
(none of these were MHT's altar servers though)

From the Alleluia Community (and all of these were altar servers at MHT except for
1. Fr. Tim McKewon)

2. Fr. Daniel Firmin
3. Fr. Aaron Killips (on leave)
4. Soon to be ordained a Jesuit, Fr. Aaron Pidel

That's only nine, so I fear I'm leaving someone out, but there are two seminarians for our diocese from Alleluia, also servers from MHT

1. Robert Visintainer
2. Eyrich, can't remember first name

Anonymous 32 said...

Frajm, thanks for the info.

So many straw men, so little time.

You forgot to give an opinion as to the propriety of the filnancial methodology of the proposed "orthodox workers union."

I should have emphasized that all "Dues-contributions," whether from orthodox or others, would be processed through the union leadership.

Templar said...

Wasn't Father John Johnson also from that Community? I could be wrong.

I think female servers subtlety undermines the roles that God envisions for men and women. That's not the same as saying outright that it cuts down on vocations, but I suspect you can make a connection some way if you want to. Roles and responsibilities in the Catholic Church are clearly defined and the blurring of them works against us. Having girls serve on the Altars is akin to having EMHCs. It's another way of implying to the Laity that what they do "out there" on their side of the now removed Altar rails isn't good enough. Our vocations aren't good enough unless we're dabbling in the "Clerical Arts". God called me to Marriage, and Fatherhood and that's where I should be happy. It is plain wrong to inspire any of the laity to a path which they can not consummate, and that holds for EMHCs as well as Female Servers.

So the results of the change are immaterial, the fact in my mind is that the changes themselves are against what Church has always held.

Vianney1100 said...

I somewhat stand corrected by the results you have mentioned. However, I have to agree with some of the other anon posters here. I think that parishes which have altar girls and get the results you speak of have to go to greater lenghts to achieve them. I also think that, as some have said, it keeps the hope of women priests percolating in some peoples minds.
As for the "unfortunate comment on cleaning the altar", I was referring to the Altar society which some parishes have where the women and girls clean and decorate the altar.