VIDEO: Altar Boys

My friend Fr. Stephen Reynolds in Sugar Land, Texas has been doing some great things.

Here is the latest in some videos about worship and the life of the parish.


Fr. Z Kudos to Fr. Reynolds!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z KUDOS, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. mamajen says:

    Our parish has a terrible altar server situation. It seems like they take whoever they can get (mostly girls), and it looks like the servers receive little, if any training. They fidget, have terrible posture, don’t seem to know what they’re supposed to do when, and sometimes make faces at friends or family in the pews. I also wish they had Roman vestments instead of the awful hooded albs with rope belts. It’s very distracting and frustrating. I’ve been going back and forth between leaving for another parish where my son can get good training when he’s old enough, or trying to be instrumental in starting a better program where we are.

  2. Pingback: The Altar Server

  3. – His YouTube channel!

    Pray for this young man that he perseveres in his extraordinary talent for presenting the Faith. He has been making wonderful Catholic videos for years. He created one the best presentations [two videos] on Communion in the Hand for instance – I watched his powerful video because he posted the link here on the Z Blog in a comment years ago.

    Go watch some more and ‘like’ them, share them.

  4. acardnal says:


  5. fvhale says:

    Sent to several friends!

  6. APX says:

    I was confused when he said that the congregation could look at the altar boys’ posture to know what they’re supposed to do, as in the EF the congregation doesn’t mimic the posture of the altar boys. Then I realized it wasn’t the EF Mass in the video. It really is amazing at how off what the norm is at parishes for the OF, and how majestic the OF can be celebrated when one decides to.

    It’s funny, my dad was an altar boy during the Vatican II switch of cassocks and surplices to albs. Whenever it talks about it I noticed a lot of disdain towards wearing albs.

  7. APX says:

    *he not it. My dad isn’t an it.

  8. alanphipps says:

    That’s my parish! This is our monthly mass for First Fridays. Please pray we are able to install an altar rail soon — at the pastor’s discretion, of course! ;-)

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    Too cool! My boys attended their first Knights of the Altar Society meeting today at the awesome TLM parish that I am praying will become our regular parish in the near future. I’ve been begging God incessantly to help a few things in our lives to fall into place so we can become full-time, permanent TLM attendees. But at the Knights’ meeting today, they showed the boys this altar server video, followed by the other video done by this same fellow. I think it was called, “Jesus is on the Floor”. You could hear a pin drop in a room full of boys. So powerful!

  10. Tonia says:

    I watched this with my 10 year old son. He’s off on a 3 day altar server camp tomorrow organised by the Guild of St Stephen. He gets homesick and has never been away more than one night, so if you get a moment please say a quick prayer for him (and everyone else on the camp).

  11. my kidz mom says:


    *tears of joy*

  12. cathgrl says:


    Why do you think it’s an EF?

    According to the comments here! (from the person who uploaded the video), it’s OF with some Latin.

  13. jj_nycguy says:

    Gabbie’s videos are great, I highly recommend them.

  14. sirlouis says:

    Just some odd notes:
    1. Only time I’ve ever seen a priest distribute Holy Communion from left to right.
    2. About black shoes and socks — does anyone use sanctuary slippers any more? We had them pre-VII and they both completed the “uniform” and kept noisy heels from being a distraction.
    3. Father Z can perhaps tell us, isn’t the cassock and surplice for non-ordained persons technically a “tolerated abuse’? [No, I don’t think so.] That would make the alb technically more correct, but long, long usage makes the cassock and surplice acceptable. And the cassock and surplice, if not technically proper to the server, are much more appropriate to the service than is an alb. And just to drive the alb lower, someone thought to give them those cute cinctures and hoods. Poor kids.

  15. APX says:


    When I was watching it I wasn’t paying attention to the subtle differences (ie no altar cards, 4 candles instead of 6,etc). I personally never saw an OF Mass celebrated like that before, and I was thrown off briefly.

  16. Bob B. says:

    Very nice video. I taught altar serving while teaching in a Catholic school and I could have used it in instructing the students.
    I made all my students learn to serve, even if they had no intention of serving on weekends (actually most couldn’t because of their parents). I spent about two weeks of daily instruction having students learning how to serve correctly. As a result we had altar servers for daily mass which the parish would also tap into and my students learned some Latin, as well.
    I would always tell my students about the first Mass I helped serve in the early ’60s – I was terrible and the priest let me know it in no uncertain terms – this let me reemphasize to students how important the Mass is and something else I learned – the best servers are the ones where no one “sees” them (they are fluid in their movement, on cue, flawless in their manner and form).
    The new principal, however, didn’t like it and forbad the whole thing and the pastor said nothing – amazing isn’t it?

  17. Long-Skirts says:


    Today five sons
    Served on the altar
    Determined boys
    Who would not falter.

    Boys at home
    Who fight and shove
    But on the altar
    Assist with love.

    At home shouting
    From top of lung
    On the altar
    Latin’s sung.

    At home running
    Can’t sit still
    On the altar
    Disciplined will.

    At home throwing
    Cereal, toast
    On the altar
    Adoring Host.

    At home bedrooms
    Scattered scene
    On the altar
    Order, serene.

    I proud mother
    Faithful to Rome
    Five sons on the altar
    Five men at home.

  18. mamajen says:

    After venting my frustration here yesterday, I was SHOCKED when an altar server rang the bells at elevation during today’s mass! We have not had bells since I don’t know when…at least many months, if not years. Baby steps. I’m always thrilled to see little changes like this.

  19. acardnal says:

    mamajen, I hope you said something complimentary about it to the priest. They need to know you support these steps.

  20. acardnal says:

    When we had a change of pastors (older to younger) about a year and a half ago that was the first thing I suggested to the new pastor . . . .we need bells! And he began using them immediately . . . after he found them hidden away in a cupboard some where.

  21. Peter in Canberra says:

    I very much liked this video for its overall message and the way it was delivered. Outward posture and form informing interior disposition and vice versa.

    I would quibble however with the disdain shown the alb per se. If I recall correctly, historically the alb and the surplice derive from a common ancestor.
    Indeed the priest vested for Mass wear amice, alb and cincture (a rope) over his cassock and wears the surplice as choir dress.
    RE: mamajen’s comment “awful hooded albs with rope belts” – the general point made about striving for a respectful, reverent, noble exterior is important – it is very common for servers albs to be poorly cut and poorly maintained. (The same can of course be true for cassocks and surplices).
    Another element of this is servers being taught how to dress themselves properly with whichever garments they wear – a cincture can be tied in a noble way or it can look like a complete disaster. There are indeed EF communities with now a long tradition of servers (except the MC) wearing amice, alb and cincture (sometimes plus apparels) and these look very well.

    I agree the observations about deportment. When I have visited the Philippines I have seen servers vested in black trousers and barong (traditional, formal male shirt). I do not know if this is a post-V2 innovation but nevertheless I was struck by the absolute reverence and precision of those servers.

  22. mamajen says:

    I guess I’ve just never seen a good alb on an altar server. The ones I’ve seen strike me as costumes representing some 1970’s designer’s idea of what an apostle might look like. They look lazy. I grew up accustomed to seeing the cassock and surplice (which, I think, is much less likely to look “frumpy”) so I am probably more than a bit biased. Of course it’s a minor thing if the altar servers are otherwise excellent.

  23. Peter in Canberra says:

    mamjen – you could take a look at photos here:

    Perhaps a key part to how it looks is if the amice is used, and ‘applied’ properly

  24. Pingback: Convert Journal — 7 Quick Takes Friday (set #86)

Comments are closed.