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Forgive me, but we went to a Roman Mass with my wife's family and they had girl alter servers... When was this allowed??

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Probably twenty or so years ago. They can be found in the Byzantine rite also. frown

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True, although the bishops of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh formally forbade the practice a few years ago.

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It is not the tradition in the East or the West.
IN the East, there are times when this has happedned, but for the mostly part this has been squashed.

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To be specific:

Particular Law for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA

DIVINE WORSHIP AND ESPECIALLY THE SACRAMENTS
Canon 707 �l
�8. Women are prohibited from serving at the altar.

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Roman Catholic Girl Alter Servers

Is that "alter" as in "alternative"?

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
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Roman Catholic Girl Alter Servers

Is that "alter" as in "alternative"?

Fr. Serge

No - I believe it is "alter" as in to "grossly modify". (Ironically an alternate definition is "to neuter" as well....)

Gordo grin wink

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I've spoken with some priests who don't necessarily like the idea of girl altar servers, but couldn't get around the fact that they were consistently more reliable than boys at showing up when scheduled to serve. crazy

Naturally, this indicates a significant problem with regard to boys seeing religion as something important. (Can't say what the answer is, though, except that allowing girl servers probably doesn't help matters cry)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Originally Posted by Epiphanius
I've spoken with some priests who don't necessarily like the idea of girl altar servers, but couldn't get around the fact that they were consistently more reliable than boys at showing up when scheduled to serve. crazy
Their is no cannon saying the priest can't do all the functions himself. In otherwords no-one is better than the wrong one.
Having said that. My pastor uses no server if a baptized male is not available or wishes not to serve. But when he trained me to serve he related the story of an archimandrite who told the nuns of the community he served that when he stuck out his hand the censor better be there. When he was ready to return the censor he would simply put it in the air and someone better be there to catch it. I have seen Father Roman Braga, who suffered much for the Orthodox faith, receive a censor from a nun. I really think this is the least of the worries the Catholics of western tradition face.

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This wasn't allowed in the Latin Church until 1995, so as you can see it's very recent, and as others have noted it is not part of the tradition of the Latin Church.

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If I can add my 2 cents- for what its worth...
I think girl altar servers is a bad idea. I'm a girl btw (okay, a 33 year old girl!)... Anyway, as boys get older, especially early teens, they like to have their own "thing", club or whatever you want to call it. I can understand how a boy would be reluctant to serve at the altar if he knows he'll be with 3 other girls. Girls also, as a previous poster mentioned, tend to be a little more "on top of things" in general. I can testify to this from being an x- teacher. They tend to be more motivated, happy to jump in and do whatever needs to be done & more out going in that sense. So, I can see how a bubbly, forward girl at the altar could make a boy of the same age feel out of place or uncomfortable. I also see serving at the altar to be a window into seeing what the vocation to the priesthood would be like. Girls cannot be priests obviously; so serving at the altar isn't going to help them discern that call. It could, however, help young men on that path.
My last objection is that girls- especially younger girls- love to skip and dance and be bubbly little sweet hearts. I remember watching the sister of a student of mine quite literally skip down the steps in front of the altar (Roman Catholic parish) to help the priest receive the gifts. She was a sweet little girl, but skipping down the altar with her curly blonde hair bouncing along with her was an odd sight. God might have smiled at that one, and I had a little smirk too, but, of course, it isn't the time or the place to be skipping around.
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Originally Posted by Matthew Katona
Forgive me, but we went to a Roman Mass with my wife's family and they had girl alter servers... When was this allowed??


Mathew the Diocese of Toledo has had them for 20 years.

Did you just move to the area?

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The Holy See permits girl altar servers at the discretion of the
bishop. I don't say I like it, but it is not a matter that is of
any importance.

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Originally Posted by ctjmom
If I can add my 2 cents- for what its worth...
I think girl altar servers is a bad idea. I'm a girl btw (okay, a 33 year old girl!)... Anyway, as boys get older, especially early teens, they like to have their own "thing", club or whatever you want to call it. I can understand how a boy would be reluctant to serve at the altar if he knows he'll be with 3 other girls. Girls also, as a previous poster mentioned, tend to be a little more "on top of things" in general. I can testify to this from being an x- teacher. They tend to be more motivated, happy to jump in and do whatever needs to be done & more out going in that sense. So, I can see how a bubbly, forward girl at the altar could make a boy of the same age feel out of place or uncomfortable. I also see serving at the altar to be a window into seeing what the vocation to the priesthood would be like. Girls cannot be priests obviously; so serving at the altar isn't going to help them discern that call. It could, however, help young men on that path.
Alexis

Spot on! Great post.

Bill

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To clearify what I said earlier, the nuns do not stay in the place on high as would a subdeacon or candlebearor. They kinda reach in through the south door.
My RC roomate hates the idea of girls at the alter. I think that is the concensous of the houshold.

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