Skip to comments.ASK FATHER: Cassock, surplice, girls [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 05/04/2014 4:25:25 PM PDT by NYer
Father, Am I correct in saying that Cassock & Surplice is male attire
and that girls should NOT wear it? And if this is the case why do
people let it happen? I am taking over the training of our altar
servers who currently wear unisex albs & waist cords. I want to
encourage more boys to serve and my plan is to select well trained
boys from the current corp to wear Cassock & Surplice and serve as a
group which should encourage more boys to step up. Thank you for your
time and many thanks for your excellent blog.
You are welcome.
Yes, cassock and surplice are masculine dress because they are part of proper clerical dress. Only clerics and those who substitute for clerics should wear them.
“But Father! But Father!” you libs and others shall howl, “Women and girls can substitute for acolytes now. You hate Vatican II!”
Yes, there was a deeply regrettable, history and common sense shattering interpretation of law that now allows females to substitute for real acolytes.
That said, I repeat, only males and the males who substitute for clerics should wear clerical garb.
A woman or girl in clerical garb is an absurdity, a dreadful sight, absolutely to be avoided. The poor ladies are being mistreated by being asked to wear it. Such condescension towards the fairer sex! People are being abused by being forced to see misdressed servers. Why aren’t congregations shown more respect? Such a violation of decorum.
I would also direct the honorable readership back to my POLLS about all make service at the altar and the relationship of same to vocations.
I know these are ONLY guidelines from the USCCB (then NCCB) — but they need to be changed.
Guidelines for Altar Servers
The following guidelines were prepared by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy and presented to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for discussion at the June 1994 Special Assembly on Thursday, June 16, 1994. The suggested guidelines may be used as a basis for developing diocesan guidelines.
Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls. Such persons may carry out all the functions listed in no. 100 and nos. 189-193 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.
The determination that women and girls may function as servers in the liturgy should be made by the bishop on the diocesan level so that there might be a uniform diocesan policy.
No distinction should be made between the functions carried out in the sanctuary by men and boys and those carried out by women and girls. The term “altar boys” should be replaced by “servers”. The term “server” should be used for those who carry out the functions of the instituted acolyte.
Servers should be mature enough to understand their responsibilities and to carry them out well and with appropriate reverence. They should have already received holy communion for the first time and normally receive the eucharist whenever they participate in the liturgy.
Servers should receive proper formation before they begin to function. The formation should include instruction on the Mass and its parts and their meaning, the various objects used in the liturgy (their names and use), and the various functions of the server during the Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Servers should also receive appropriate guidance on maintaining proper decorum and attire when serving Mass and other functions.
Since the role of server is integral to the normal celebration of the Mass, at least one server should assist the priest. On Sundays and other more important occasions, two or more servers should be employed to carry out the various functions normally entrusted to these ministers.
Servers should normally be vested. This is within the tradition of the Church and prevents difficulties regarding appropriate dress for these ministers. All servers should wear the same liturgical vesture.1
Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary. When appropriate, a server may also ring a bell as a signal to the faithful.
Servers respond to the prayers and dialogues of the priest along with the congregation. They also join in singing the hymns and other chants of the liturgy.
Servers should be seated in a place from which they can easily assist the priest celebrant and deacon. The place next to the priest is normally reserved for the deacon.
Servers may not distribute holy communion unless they have been mandated for this function by the bishop.
The Order for the Blessing of Altar Servers, Sacristans, Musicians, and Ushers (Book of Blessings, nos. 1847-1870) may be used before servers first begin to function in this ministry.
1″In the diocese of the United States of America, acolytes, altar servers, lectors, and other lay ministers may wear an alb or other suitable vesture or other appropriate and dignified clothing.” (Girm 337)
It has always seemed to me that one of the major reasons for the shortage of priestly vocations is that serving as an Altar Boy no longer is seen as a step along the road to a possible vocation.
There are other reasons, of course, especially the lack of solid religious instruction.
It was not heretical to allow altar girls, but it was a big mistake.
>>There are, of course, various roles that women can perform in the liturgical assembly: these include reading of the Word of God and proclaiming the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers.<<
>>Inaestimabile Donum, 1980.<<
Seems somebody reversed himself under secular pressure.
The maleness of the priest signifies the maleness of Christ the Bridegroom. In old covenant and new, God has always cast his relationship with his people as spousal. An all male sanctuary confirms and underscores this sacramental sign. There’s no good reason for introducing counter signs into the liturgy, which can only obscure or undermine the authentic sign intended by our Lord.
Putting women and girls into the roles that used to be exclusive to men and boys is Marxism-—a destruction of Traditions, and trying to “teach” children, that there is no difference between a male and female. It embeds a very dangerous worldview in young children.
It is the slippery slope to women priests or to homosexual “marriage” and other irrational Marxist concepts—Marxist ideology which is incompatible with Natural Law—which actually denies the roles inherent in the nature of a woman and man.
The intent to dress boys and girls the same and have women used like the men, is to make women and men interchangeable and destroys the idea that they have unique roles/instincts in nature, (God’s Design) and that there is hierarchy/patriarchy in nature/man.
My opinion may “seem” radical-—but it is just common sense from raising four boys and a girl, and from looking at the world through the eyes of children. Children need to understand the differences of the sexes, and today the Marxists are trying to destroy the Truth and blur those lines, so they can never understand their own nature (the Truth)—and their relationship to the opposite sex and God.
For the Church to “pretend” there is no difference is pure Marxism and destroys the Chivalry and Romance and Mystery which Christianity created in the First place, when they put Mary on a pedestal as the “Mother” of God.
This “CHANGE” was a deliberate attempt to destroy the Catholic Church—the concept of Natural Law which is embedded in the Canon and Truth—the Thomism, which is based on Natural Law Theory ( combined Reason and Faith) and helped make Catholicism, so perfect, natural, and True.
The emasculation of the Catholic Church, is so obvious to everyone, in those parishes with “girl” altar boys, which literally drives the boys away. Boys don’t like to do what “girl” do, for they can discern their masculinity, which needs to protect the weak and fight for Truth. That masculinity needs to be nurtured and directed-celebrated, not disparaged by acting like girls are the same as boys. We honor the differences.
We should celebrate the masculinity aspects in our boys and the feminine in our girls, for God designed them differently and for unique roles in a hierarchal world. Without hierarchy in the animal kingdom, there can be no unity-—only competition and discord.
That is the Marxist intent—to pit male against female, mother against child, etc. Marxists deny Natural Law and want to destroy the Natural Family so the State is the parent and all uniqueness—male/femaleness is erased in the children so they can obliterate Natural Instincts and have the State be the parent.
Allowing girls into a previously-all-guy group dramatically alters the dynamics and comradery of the group.
And the Left understands that. That's why they do it.
You are absolutely correct. Anything which blurs the Truth is not Catholic, and has to be ejected from the liturgy.
That is really a stretch in the definition of Marxism. Perhaps relativism is more apt.
It is the slippery slope to women priests
Since two popes have already declared that women can NEVER serve as priests, the notion of a slippery slope must be dismissed. However, allowing girls to serve does a disservice to these girls since such service has no future. In some of the more progressive dioceses, there have been instances where, unable to ordain a woman priest, they have been installed as Parish Administrators. The two bishops I know who applied this approach are now retired and their replacements are solidly orthodox in their approach to the faith.
I agree with Father Z.
In my estimation, the head of the servers should start an acolyte group of older boys.
Girls can not be acolytes.
Then you are left with only getting boys for altar servers since they will then become acolytes.
**It has always seemed to me that one of the major reasons for the shortage of priestly vocations is that serving as an Altar Boy no longer is seen as a step along the road to a possible vocation.**
I wholeheartedly agree.
On the contrary, one of those same popes said females could not be altar servers. He reversed himself.
As far as "never", check out the post-conciliar pope's rejection of Pope Pius V's "Bull Quo Primum".
The best way to get altar boys is to get the adult males of the parish to man up. Altar service, right behind marriage, fatherhood, and ordination, is one of the most manly things possible. I really have no patience for those who consider it to be kid’s stuff. Of course this means feminization of the liturgy must be reversed, so that men won’t have to give up their dignity to be part it it. It’s all related.
Good point with the men. One man served with his son, and now he is head of our servers.
You can't be serious about equating these two!