The Importance of the Altar Server

Jude Missa

Altar servers are one of the most important roles in the Holy Mass because they assist the priest. Following Vatican II, some churches have dispensed with the use of altar servers and substituted them with lay ministers. The Altar Servers or altar boys always have a role in the Holy Mass in the previous centuries and one of the known altar servers in third century is Saint Tarcisius (he is also known as a deacon), the patron saint of the altar servers. But why do some churches, orders, or societies keep using Altar Servers, like those who celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass? Let’s answer some questions about them.

Is the Altar Server very important to the Holy Mass?

Yes! Because they are the ones assisting the Priest like preparing the Water and Wine, helping the priest to wear his vestments, incensing the people, ring the bell, holding the candle and preventing the Eucharist to drop in the ground in the Holy Communion while holding a large type of paten at the chin of the communicant.

Before Vatican II, why it is important that an Altar Server must be a male?

The pre-Vatican II system is considered sexism by many because women are not permitted to serve or assist the priest in Holy Mass. This is not true. When our Lord was on Earth, He only accepted men as his disciples. This is a sacred tradition that has been followed by the apostles and the previous Popes’ priests in the Catholic Church. This is the main reason why only men or boys are allowed to become altar servers, because someday they will become the future priests of the church. Being an altar server is the first step towards becoming a priest, as they learn the procedures of the Holy Mass through experience. Only a man can be a priest.

How about the female? Are they not important so they can’t be an Altar Server or Priest?

No, they are also important. The men follow our Lord when they become priests and celebrate Mass, while the women follow Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, when they become nuns. During our Lord’s ministry on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary worked behind the scenes to assist her Son. The nuns also helped the church behind the scenes, but they forbid holding the Blessed Sacrament or giving Holy Communion. Unfortunately, nuns also provide communion to the faithful today.

When did the Church allow the women to become an Altar Server?

In the 1983 Code of Canon Law by Pope John Paul II, laypersons can perform the works of the Altar Servers without distinguishing between male and female individuals. This is where the female began serving on the altar during Holy Mass. Though some Bishops do not allow women to serve on the altar. On January 10, 2021, Pope Francis revised the Canon Law, which officially allows women and girls to serve at the altar.

What is the age requirement to become an Altar Server?

There is no age requirement. Any man can become an altar server.

What if there’s no Altar Server when the Priest celebrates the Holy Mass, what will happened?

If there isn’t an Altar Server in the area, the Priest can still celebrate the Mass. But as a Catholic, an ordinary man can also assist the priest during Holy Mass if he knows how the altar server works.

What are the results of having the Lay Persons assisting the Holy Mass today?

Unfortunately, the main results of having lay persons assist with Holy Mass are a decrease in the number of men becoming priests. Breaking the sacred tradition and apostolic teachings that a priest is the only one who can touch the blessed sacrament and offer Holy Communion.

Is there a mass or church where they still follow the sacred tradition of the Altar Server?

Yes, there is. Most of them are under the Traditional Mass Societies such as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP).

Recent Posts

The Sanhedrin was the forum for the pharisees, who believed in the resurrection and in angels, and the saducees, who are akin to new theories and philosophies. All beliefs and philosophies concerning God and His creation are allowed to be expressed here.
Copyright © 2021-2023. The Sanhedrin. All rights reserved. Powered by STUDIO EL CID and Ron Mendoza Media