Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Only You Can Prevent Mass Hysteria!

Father Z at WDTPRS was sent a nine-minute video by a seminarian on how to serve the Mass, entitled “Altar Serving 101”. I stole it when he wasn't looking. It is presented by Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD, of St Therese of Lisieux Church, Alhambra, California. This is intended for the reformed liturgy (aka "Novus Ordo" aka "New Mass" aka "Ordinary Form") celebrated "versus populum" (facing the people).

As one who has trained numerous altar servers over the years, in both forms of the Roman Rite, I can safely say it's better than nothing, and it's better than what I usually saw in my travels before I gave up attending the Ordinary Form when traveling. I recommend it for the average parish.

I would make note of the suggestion that girls or women who serve put their hair back. For that matter, jewelry should not be worn, including rings (although custom makes an exception for a wedding band). This is to avoid anything that detracts from the central action -- yes, there are customs about this. If I had my way, females who serve would have to be veiled; again, for reasons of custom and decorum.* I would also expect them to wear albs and not cassocks and surplices, as cassocks are ostensibly male attire.

Again, if I had my way.

Also featured in the video is a man identified only as “Joe of St Therese” and the author of Verbum Veritatis in Mahonyland. He's not hard to miss in the white sneakers. Yeah, I see that a lot too.

My favorite line in the clip: “That’s your bread and wine, baby!”


* This is a standard which applies to both males AND females when serving, so all you pseudo-intellectual cake-eaters out there, don't even START with me.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

That'd be me indeed. Unfortunately I forgot my black shoes at home, but they also show that you shouldn't serve with tennis shoes :)

Matthias said...

It is a longtime since I have come over here -from Down Under. although I am a Protestant ,i found what the priest said pertinent within my own church.Ranging from our presentation of our day and week before God to the fact that Communion-the Lord's Table as we call it- is not a free for all community event,but is about,(for us Baptists) the remembrance of Christ's sacrifice;our unity with the Head of the Body of Christ and then our unit with the Christian community.
if he represents the newer younger priests in the American RCC then you are a most fortunate Church especially as it overcomes the abuse issues.