Thursday, August 17, 2006

New Altar Boys

"For a while, of course, you'll only get bit parts!"

It's true. If you serve in a parish where there are a dozen servers or so, you will get 'bit parts' until you mature! We have so many little boys who've only just made their first Holy Communion we don't know what to do with them! At Missa Cantatas we sometime have too many even for six torches. My brother John served his first Missa Cantata on Tuesday night. He was a torch-bearer and actually managed to kneel still during the distribution of Holy Communion.

But it's easy to identify the talented ones and those keen to learn. One of the boys in particular reminds me of myself. The other Sunday he was giving blessings after Mass and sprinkling holy water around the sacristy!

(BTW it took about 8 years of serving the Tridentine Rite before I became MC and that was after being the head server at a Novus Ordo Parish for 3 years before that).


DilexitPrior said...

When I lived in Germany on a student exchange in highschool, the parish church in the small town I was studying in had eighteen candle bearers for the Easter Vigil! I think every single altar server was there carrying a candle!

Generally speaking, around here most parishes have a "grade four or older" rule. Makes sense to me.

aaron said...

18!! Crikey! Must have been a huge sanctuary!

Pretty much our boys don't serve until they've had a number of months of attending practice about a year after First Holy Communion. And they need to know a little Latin even if it's just the Confiteor when thy start.

Indolent's dad said...

Hey Aaron! Don't let our sacristan hear of this. He'll claim a liturgical precedent, turn it into a local custom and argue for the removal of the front two pews to facilitate the torch bearers!

Dr. Watson said...

Was the 'boy' in question by any chance your brother?

aaron said...

No, No, John is still finding his feet in the sacristy and still has respect for Mr. Sacristan. He tends not to muck around too much even with the behaviour of some of the others.

They behave themselves okay on the sanctuary but in the sacristy I could strangle some of them!

And either Mr. Sacristan has gone soft or the lads aren't dsicplined as harshly at home, because they won't listen to him either! Crikey we were all scared s*** of him when we were all in training.

Brother Lesser said...

I think every boy who has ever served on the altar dreams of becoming a priest. I know I did. It wasn't until a year or so passed and I found out what "celibate" meant and from that time on, thoughts of my joining the priesthood were banished from my vocabulary!

I'm dating myself here, but I had to learn the Mass in Latin "way back when." Even so, I have never visited Latin America so I could try speaking it to the populace...(Dan Quayle revisited)