From a rather senior altar boy

From a reader:

Dear Rev. Fr. Z,
                           Today I served my first E.F. Mass (High Mass).  What an awesome and humbling experience.   
At 42 years old, and an altar server since 1973, I  was eager to join the Knights of the Altar and help our local TLM Community.   The boys with which I served were perfect gentlemen and were very gracious in showing me the rubrics.
I thank our Lady on this her Feast of the Assumption for the honor of serving at God’s Holy Altar and St. Tarcicius who as a patron of altar boys is commemorated this day by Holy Mother Church.
For my intention, I offered this first  service at the E.F. Mass for the Holy priest whom I had the honor of serving under, I know he was smiling down from Heaven.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Hidden One says:

    “What an awesome and humbling experience.”

    Deserves to be highlighted, I think. Isn’t that what every Mass is, or ought to be? Yet, as I served my first Mass (Novus Ordo) Saturday last, I encountered it more deeply, and I imagine that the OP had a similar experience, in that sense.

    May he never lose that profound awe and increasing humility as he serves more Masses in the Extraordinary Form.

    One of the greatest shames that I see – so often – is an altar server who has lost (or perhaps, never had) that awe. I am sure that it does no good for the congregation to see this, and I imagine is not good for vocations, too.

  2. vernonq says:

    It’s never too late to learn to serve the Mass of Ages.

  3. maynardus says:

    I served my first Mass – ever – at the age of 40, at a Solemn Pontifical Mass on the same day my third son was baptised (by the bishop who’d celebrated the Mass). It truly was an “awesome and humbling experience”. Although I’ve learned to serve competently I think it’s better to leave it to the boys. There is something very moving about seeing them perform their duties with dignity beyond their years, and of course this is from whence vocations come. Now, some five years later I occasionally have the privilege of serving alongside my eleven- and eight-year old sons when circumstances warrant – occasionally we’re a few hands short for a solemn nuptial or requiem Mass and they need the old guy to carry the cross or swing the thurible! And of course it is nothing short of amazing when the same kid who needs to be reminded to do *everything* at home smugly recites the “litany of (Dad’s) errors” after Mass!

  4. PreVatII says:

    As a former Anglican, now a Roman Catholic, I started serving several months ago at a SSPX chapel. At 48 years of age, if I can do it….anyone can!!

    Semper Fi

  5. stpetric says:

    I’m so glad to read this note. I understand that it’s desirable to have boys and young men assist at the altar, but where is it written that such ministry is *limited* to children and adolescents? It’s entirely salutary to see adults serving at the altar.

  6. JPG says:

    I think the hope of having a young man or boy serve is obviously to foster a vocation to the priestly life. I think this is to be preferred. However in or at a time a young server is not available I think any male regardless of age ought to know how. I can recall arriving late for a first Friday Mass in 1970 or 1971. Thus it was the OF. I did not know the custom was that this Mass started 15 or 30 minutes earlier than usual on First fridays. Yet two adult men stepped in and acted as servers in our absence a thought which would not cross the minds of almost any adults today. I recall the gentlemann kneeling at the side of tha altar as we appeared in the sacristy.It was the Canon when we arrived the 15 minutes berore Mass to vest and prepare the sanctuary. I think having older as well as young men would serve as a reminder that the worship of God in this manner is indeed Man’s work or the duty of men.(sorry ladies)

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