Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fr Z on Serving the Altar and My Reaction

Fr. Z recently had a question from a young man asking if he should still serve Mass even if he doesn't feel called to the priesthood. His answer was no, I don't think that's a reason to stop. I agree. Someone in the combox said this:
"If you aren’t called to be a priest, then be the guy the priest can count on, be the guy that steps up without having to be hunted down, because every priest and every parish needs them. "
Ladies and gentlemen, I love the liturgy because it is Christ's greatest gift to us. St. Maximilian Kolbe said, "If angels could be jealous of men, they would be for one reason: Holy Communion."

I love serving Mass, and I would like my own cassock and surplice to keep handy. The ability to serve well at the altar is something that God has gifted me with. I am somewhat of a natural leader, but I have been given a chance to refine it, to be more gentle.

The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are wonderful: Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.

But please, don't pressure me by asking "When will you enter the seminary?" I will gladly be the server Father can (usually! ) count on. For the love of all that is True, Good, and Beautiful, let God find me a wife! I have my reasons. I cannot exactly say that I am done discerning, but I think one should be satisfied that although God does grant us special graces, He does not give men personalities eminently suited for married life and expect us to be priests instead.

From someone else:
“every Catholic man should own a cassock and a surplice and be able to serve when needed”.
Yes, if I ever teach religion at Catholic school I shall teach the boys how to serve the Mass.

From our resident Priest's Wife:
 I’m sure your priest appreciates the help at the altar- even if you do not have a calling to the clerical state, you can help ‘wrangle’ other altar servers (especially if there are young servers)- as you know, there is a lot that an altar server can do to help his priest.
I love that part, actually. Except when they get on my nerves...it's a work in progress! I am working on bowing and genuflecting properly, then posture when sitting.

And, I hope that my service at the altar might make me a better husband and father. I hope that people realize that Cardinal Burke as well as other priests have encouraged me in this route...

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