7 thoughts on “Girl Altar Servers?

  1. Well get a grip!

    There are so many evils in this world and you have been out there fightning like a real warrior and then all of a sudden, out of left field, you blow out this extreme sexist comment. Well, yeah, they are your girls but my daughter serves at the altar and it is something she sees as an honour and a grace. I think you are doing all women a disservice by holding them back from participating in the mass in the only way they can, other than sitting in the pews.

  2. It has really nothing to do with men vs women or altarboys vs girls it has to do with training our young men to see the priesthood for the wonderful vocation it is.

    Altar boys should be serving in our parishes because they are the future Priests. Praise God!!!

  3. Irene,

    While there may be good intentions of girls serving on the altar and the genuine good will to serve the Lord, the altar server is where vocations to the priesthood are first nurtured and slowly developed. It is the training ground for future priests in many cases. Once this avenue has been subtley undermined and commonized, then the unique nature of the priesthood and the exclusiveness of it to these boys also becomes demystfied. As a result, we lose a great opportunity to foster vocations.

    With girl altar servers, the altar server role is no longer a reserved, unique way of fostering an appreciation for the all-male priesthood.

    If you want to know why there is such a vacuum in vocations to the priesthood, there is no need to look for complicated answers. The devil’s strategy is sometimes brilliantly simple and seemingly benign.

  4. I think your readers may appreciate some background from a vatican source.

    ROME, 3 FEB. 2004 (ZENIT).
    Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

    Q: What is the Church’s position on the use of female altar servers? May all of the servers be female, or must at least one be male? Do you feel that the use of female altar servers detracts from the building of vocations among young males? — M.C.S.N., Catonsville, Maryland

    A: Female altar servers are permitted in all but two U.S. dioceses. They are also common in most English-speaking countries, and in Western Europe. The situation is patchier in the rest of the world, going from total absence to the occasional diocese that allows them.

    From the point of view of liturgical law, an official interpretation of Canon 230, Paragraph 2, of the Code of Canon law on the possibility of delegating certain liturgical offices led to a 1994 letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments clarifying that girls may serve at the altar. But bishops are not bound to permit them to do so, nor could the episcopal conference limit the bishop’s faculty to decide for himself.

    A further clarifying letter published in 2001 said priests are not compelled to have girls serve at the altar, even when their bishops grant permission.

    The 1994 letter states: “It will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations. Thus the obligation to support such groups of altar boys will always continue.”

    The letter also recommends to bishops to consider “among other things the sensibilities of the faithful, the reasons which would motivate such permission and the different liturgical settings and congregations which gather for the Holy Mass.”

    Therefore the Holy See’s recommendation is to retain as far as possible the custom of having only boys as servers. But it leaves to the bishop the choice of permitting women and girls for a good reason and to the pastor of each parish the decision as to whether to act on the bishop’s permission.

  5. Thanks for that, Joanne. In other words, it’s permitted (with a grain of salt), but hardly encouraged.

    We must also remember that the young girls of the families who serve on the altar are not at fault. They are only doing what they think is right and good. In that respect, they should be commended and encouraged.

    We just need to redirect the way in which they want to serve. That’s all.

  6. Boys at altar-server-age often wish to have nothing to do with girls. They don’t play with them outside in the neighborhood or on playgrounds. This is a natural state of affairs. Having girls suddenly appear at the altar is what I believe has radically diminished young boys desire to serve at the altar. Who, at that age, wants to be seen doing things with girls?
    I do not wish to criticize the girls who innocently wish to serve. I wish to criticize the decision makers who encourage girls to serve at the altar and then scratch their heads trying to figure out where all the boys are gone and why we have so few vocations to the priesthood. It’s not rocket science folks! Why not ask the boys whether they wish to serve at the altar with girls. I think the answer will be ‘No thank you!’ (And while I am sure you will find the odd boy who prefers to be with girls, he will only be the exception that proves the general and natural rule.

  7. I serve an am a girl and i tell you i am closer to god now through this blessed ministry. I now train the alter servers and i get different age groups and gender. They dont seem to mind the gender difference neither. A couple of both girls and guys have left but its not bc they dont want to be with the girls but b/c they feel its an uncool and boring thing to do. They’d rather be at the park on a sunny day then at church. I’ve asked a couple of girls who were about 14 if they wanted to serve and one looked at her friend and asked do u want to serve. She seemed sort of interested but her friend answered with attitude hell no. So she then giggled and told then no i dont want too. They are pressured into peer pressure and dont want to be seen as uncool, etc. Their are also lacks in priests and sisters so how can it be the alter server girls fault if their are barely sisters. Alter serving can be a path to a religious life but for those who listen to the Lord and follow him.

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