The Importance of the Altar Server

Jude Missa

Altar servers are one of the most important roles in the Holy Mass because they are the ones who assist the priest. But after Vatican II, some churches dropped the Altar Servers and replaced 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 few 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?

Many people will call the pre-Vatican II system a sexism because women are not allowed to serve or assist the priest in the Holy Mass. This is not true. During the time of our Lord here on Earth, He only called 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 priest of the church. Being an Altar Server is the first step of becoming a priest as they learned the procedure of the Holy Mass base on experience. Only a man who 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 Man follows our Lord when they become a priest and celebrate Mass, but the women follow our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary when they become a nun. During the ministry of our Lord here on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary also worked behind the scenes when she helped her Son. So are the Nuns, they helped the church behind the scenes but they are forbidding to hold the Blessed Sacrament or give Holy Communion. Sadly, the Nuns today also gives communion to the faithful.

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 do the works of the Altar Servers without distinguishing if it is male or female. This is where the female began serving in the altar during the Holy Mass. Though some Bishops does not allow women to serve in the altar. Then on January 10, 2021, Pope Francis revised the Canon Law where women and girls are officially allowed to serve in 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 is no Altar Server available in the area, the Priest can still continue to celebrate the Mass. But, as a Catholic, an ordinary man can also assist the Priest in the Holy Mass if he knows how the altar server works.

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

Sadly, the main results of having the Lay Persons assist the Holy Mass are the decreasing of men becoming a priest. And breaking the sacred tradition and apostolic teachings that only a priest can touch the blessed sacrament and give 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