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 Altar Server 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 11:13 pm
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Location: Mississippi
New post Altar Server
I attend a small Chapel that is in need of altar servers. My son is nine years old and I would like for him to assist. We were given the materials today to begin study. He appeared somewhat receptive when this was discussed after Mass, but told us afterward that he is reluctant. In fact he does not want to do it. The only reason he has provided is that he is shy. He says that there are other reasons but he hasn't put into words just what they are. I think that it would be good for him, which I realize is only secondary to assisting God and the Church. My wife and I did not say much at all in response as we wanted to think it through and receive some guidance before commenting in the early stages here. I am a convert and therefore have no firsthand experience in this matter. Oh, for the record- he is a bright little guy (and yes, he is shy)and he does have the skills to learn the material. I would be grateful for some advice on this.

Thank you,

Alex


Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:49 am
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Alex, thank God he is bright and sensitive enough to realise what a big deal serving is. This is where shy is not a problem, and can be a hidden virtue.

Leave it to the priest and the big boys to sort him out. He'll get the hang of it when he gets back there in the sacristy(sp?) with Father, and sees all the wonderful sacred stuff, and puts on his cassok. Let him light candles at home and practice putting them out. He will begin to look forward to the responsibility of showing a fine example for his younger siblings.

And if Mom is like me, hide in the back and don't forget the tissues. May God bless him.


Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:16 am

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 3:23 am
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Location: Maine - U.S.A.
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eliz carroll wrote:
Alex, thank God he is bright and sensitive enough to realise what a big deal serving is. This is where shy is not a problem, and can be a hidden virtue.

Leave it to the priest and the big boys to sort him out. He'll get the hang of it when he gets back there in the sacristy(sp?) with Father, and sees all the wonderful sacred stuff, and puts on his cassok. Let him light candles at home and practice putting them out. He will begin to look forward to the responsibility of showing a fine example for his younger siblings.

And if Mom is like me, hide in the back and don't forget the tissues. May God bless him.


Good suggestions. Hopefully the material he got has things to help him with the Latin, if that is part of his reluctance. Obviously, speak with your priest first, but I am in charge of the altar boys at my TLM, and would have suggestions for resources if you ever find you need additional help.

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Cor Immaculatum Mariae, ora pro nobis.
Sancte Pie Quinte, ora pro nobis.
Sancte Pie Decime, ora pro nobis.


Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:34 am
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New post Serving
As far as I am concerned, serving is the greatest honor a young man could have.

Tell him I said so! :D

I started learning how to serve Mass when I was about his age, and I was probably at least as shy as he is.

If you need materials to help him with the Latin, I can supply those. I have a training manual for altar boys that has the Latin in a sort of phonetic style so that he doesn't even have to know what it means...yet. :)

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Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:03 am
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Thank y'all for the advice and for offering to help with materials. I will see if what we have now will suffice-if not I may take you up on your offers.

I noticed that there were no suggestions to let him pass on the idea :o

Again, thank you.

Alex


Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:49 am
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Location: Rock Island, Illinois, USA
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I can't think of a better way to build self confidence in a 'shy' boy than to serve at the Altar, and a great privilege as well. His intimacy with the Mass (and perhaps his knowledge of it, too) will be unlike that of most Catholics. And with growing familiarity and comfort, he won't even notice anyone on the other side of the altar rail. And he will never forget the memories.


Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:34 am
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Alex Keene wrote:
I noticed that there were no suggestions to let him pass on the idea


Dear Alex,

I would take the pressure off the lad and tell him he doesn't have to serve and nobody will try and make him do so. But, that he ought to learn to do so in order to understand the Mass and liturgy better. You might also point out the advantage that if he is ever at Holy Mass on his own (e.g. early one morning) he can answer from the pews if necessary, as this is better than not having a server at all. In any case, I would try and have him learn to serve without any expectation that he will have actually to serve. He'll no doubt fall in love with it once he knows how to do it and might overcome his shyness that way.

Just a suggestion.

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In Christ our King.


Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:48 am
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New post The Altar Boy.
John Lane wrote:
Alex Keene wrote:
I noticed that there were no suggestions to let him pass on the idea


Dear Alex,

I would take the pressure off the lad and tell him he doesn't have to serve and nobody will try and make him do so.


Excellent point, John, and one I had not thought of.

Quote:
But, that he ought to learn to do so in order to understand the Mass and liturgy better. You might also point out the advantage that if he is ever at Holy Mass on his own (e.g. early one morning) he can answer from the pews if necessary, as this is better than not having a server at all. In any case, I would try to have him learn to serve without any expectation that he will have actually to serve. He'll no doubt fall in love with it once he knows how to do it and might overcome his shyness that way.


I think I would also tell him at least some of the following, as long as it does not make his shyness worse.

1) The altar server can only be male. Therefore, his sisters cannot become altar servers.

2) The altar server actually performs a liturgical duty, more properly fulfilled by someone in minor orders. Therefore, he would be performing a duty that ordinarily is done by those who will eventually become priests. Thus the honor is very great indeed.

3) The altar server is the next person after the priest to receive the graces of the Mass He also generally receives more of them, and some special graces that the rest of those at Mass do not.

4) The altar server represents the people at Mass, as the priest represents, or takes the place of Christ. The altar server answers for the people, and leads them in their proper movements during Mass.

5) The altar server is very much in the way of a "human angel". In fact, the angels, so I have read, are "jealous" (if one may use such a word with regard to them) of human beings since only we can perform this service for God. It is a most honorable duty.

I might also mention that according to two books I have read on the subject of the rubrics required at Mass (one is Prummer), it is a grave sin for a priest, through his own fault, to offer Mass without there being at least one other person in attendance. If the only other person in the Church is a woman, she is authorized to repeat the responses which the altar boy would give if he were there, although she must do it from outside the sanctuary, such as from one of the front pews.

Tell him we will pray for him that he doesn't worry so much about it.

_________________
Kenneth G. Gordon CinC
Moscow, Idaho
U.S.A.


Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:49 am
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 11:13 pm
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Location: Mississippi
New post Re: The Altar Boy.
Thanks John. Your suggestion rings true. My wife and I were thinking about the very approach you mentioned. Your thoughts struck a chord and helped us confirm. I asked my son if he thought that I would want to serve if asked when I was his age. He said, "No, you would not." He was right. The idea of being an altar server would have been quite troublesome to me at his age I am sure. He certainly has a bit of melancholy in him like his old man.

By the way, the dear boy was reading a book today about serving. I asked him tonight what his thoughts were and he said that he would like to do it.


Thank you much Ken for taking the time to assist. No, I do not think that your remarks will make his shyness worse at all. Your comments were really quite moving. In fact, I will have him read them tomorrow.

Many thanks again everyone!

Alex


Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:06 am
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threads like this are why I love this forum so much, this contact is so supportive and I appreciate and want to thank John again and again.

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and so is His Church.


Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:37 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:06 pm
Posts: 95
New post Re:
John Lane wrote:
Alex Keene wrote:
I noticed that there were no suggestions to let him pass on the idea


Dear Alex,

I would take the pressure off the lad and tell him he doesn't have to serve and nobody will try and make him do so. But, that he ought to learn to do so in order to understand the Mass and liturgy better. You might also point out the advantage that if he is ever at Holy Mass on his own (e.g. early one morning) he can answer from the pews if necessary, as this is better than not having a server at all. In any case, I would try and have him learn to serve without any expectation that he will have actually to serve. He'll no doubt fall in love with it once he knows how to do it and might overcome his shyness that way.

Just a suggestion.


What if the only people in the pews are ladies, is it better for them to make the responses instead of the Priest?


Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:03 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:06 pm
Posts: 95
New post Re: The Altar Boy.
KenGordon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Alex Keene wrote:
I noticed that there were no suggestions to let him pass on the idea


Dear Alex,

I would take the pressure off the lad and tell him he doesn't have to serve and nobody will try and make him do so.


Excellent point, John, and one I had not thought of.

Quote:
But, that he ought to learn to do so in order to understand the Mass and liturgy better. You might also point out the advantage that if he is ever at Holy Mass on his own (e.g. early one morning) he can answer from the pews if necessary, as this is better than not having a server at all. In any case, I would try to have him learn to serve without any expectation that he will have actually to serve. He'll no doubt fall in love with it once he knows how to do it and might overcome his shyness that way.


I think I would also tell him at least some of the following, as long as it does not make his shyness worse.

1) The altar server can only be male. Therefore, his sisters cannot become altar servers.

2) The altar server actually performs a liturgical duty, more properly fulfilled by someone in minor orders. Therefore, he would be performing a duty that ordinarily is done by those who will eventually become priests. Thus the honor is very great indeed.

3) The altar server is the next person after the priest to receive the graces of the Mass He also generally receives more of them, and some special graces that the rest of those at Mass do not.

4) The altar server represents the people at Mass, as the priest represents, or takes the place of Christ. The altar server answers for the people, and leads them in their proper movements during Mass.

5) The altar server is very much in the way of a "human angel". In fact, the angels, so I have read, are "jealous" (if one may use such a word with regard to them) of human beings since only we can perform this service for God. It is a most honorable duty.

I might also mention that according to two books I have read on the subject of the rubrics required at Mass (one is Prummer), it is a grave sin for a priest, through his own fault, to offer Mass without there being at least one other person in attendance. If the only other person in the Church is a woman, she is authorized to repeat the responses which the altar boy would give if he were there, although she must do it from outside the sanctuary, such as from one of the front pews.

Tell him we will pray for him that he doesn't worry so much about it.


I just read this response pertaining to woman responding. But in the modern age of girl altar boys could this cause scandal? If I were a Priest I would be loath to allow this even if it were technically allowable. Is this an improper way for a Priest to think?


Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:06 pm
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New post Re: Re:
Mario Looch wrote:
What if the only people in the pews are ladies, is it better for them to make the responses instead of the Priest?


My daughter, who is a traditional nun, tells me that in Masses in the sisters' chapel (not open to the general public), the sisters will make the responses from the pews on the few occasions where a male server is not available (i.e., a second priest or a brother). She did not speak of what happens in the main chapel that is open to the public, though I don't think there are many times when a server is not available in the main chapel.


Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:23 pm
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New post Re: Re:
TKGS wrote:
Mario Looch wrote:
What if the only people in the pews are ladies, is it better for them to make the responses instead of the Priest?


My daughter, who is a traditional nun, tells me that in Masses in the sisters' chapel (not open to the general public), the sisters will make the responses from the pews on the few occasions where a male server is not available (i.e., a second priest or a brother). She did not speak of what happens in the main chapel that is open to the public, though I don't think there are many times when a server is not available in the main chapel.


Thankfully this is not an issue that comes up so often and when it does very few people are there. The above sounds too dialogish to me. Again coming from a trained expert in nothing. :D Women involving themselves quite readily, active participation. :!: :!: :!: I would feel more more comfortable with the Priest saying the responses rather than a sister responding from the pew. But again coming from an expert on something I know nothing about :D The sisters are obedient and probably to something that is not incorrect. I'm going by my feelings. Good luck with that. Congratulations on your daughter BTW!!!


Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:41 pm
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New post Re: Re:
Mario Looch wrote:
TKGS wrote:
Mario Looch wrote:
What if the only people in the pews are ladies, is it better for them to make the responses instead of the Priest?


My daughter, who is a traditional nun, tells me that in Masses in the sisters' chapel (not open to the general public), the sisters will make the responses from the pews on the few occasions where a male server is not available (i.e., a second priest or a brother). She did not speak of what happens in the main chapel that is open to the public, though I don't think there are many times when a server is not available in the main chapel.


Thankfully this is not an issue that comes up so often and when it does very few people are there. The above sounds too dialogish to me. Again coming from a trained expert in nothing. :D Women involving themselves quite readily, active participation. :!: :!: :!: I would feel more more comfortable with the Priest saying the responses rather than a sister responding from the pew. But again coming from an expert on something I know nothing about :D The sisters are obedient and probably to something that is not incorrect. I'm going by my feelings. Good luck with that. Congratulations on your daughter BTW!!!


You know, I'm not sure whether she said that "a nun" or "the nuns" make the responses. As I was typing the above, it sounded "dialogue-ish" to me as well. So, I'm not exactly sure.


Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:49 am
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