I noticed an interesting post at 1 Peter 5. A woman explains the altar girl situation. Let’s jump in after her intro remarks:
I was a girl altar server. I served for roughly eight years in my parish. While I didn’t have a bad experience, I also have to be honest and admit that I didn’t gain anything more on the altar than I could have by just being in the pew. For a while serving was just something I did when I went to Mass: I goofed off with the other kids behind the scenes and followed the rubrics when Father told us to shape up.
As I got older and more serious about my faith, I felt guilty about the goofing off. I told myself that I should only serve if I could do it with a prayerful and humble attitude, because serving was a way to participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. With that resolution came the realization that I had merely discovered the proper disposition that any layman in the congregation should have. If I was in the pew, I was participating. [She gets it.]
I didn’t need to be on the altar, so what was my goal? It’s not that girls don’t have the ability to be altar servers; it’s just that we don’t get much from it. We can’t use the experience as a way to discern a vocation, for two reasons: one, it is metaphysically impossible for a woman to become a priest, and two, if a woman is serious about pursuing a vocation, she starts seeking orders of nuns and spending time with them, and those nuns are not on the altar.
Sometimes people who identified as “feminist” would try to convince me that the Church was unfair to women. I just had another perspective: I don’t think that anyone would argue that their young son “has a right” to spend time with a religious order of nuns, or that he should take part in a retreat held by a convent that is geared towards fostering the vocations of young women to the religious life. I mean, such a retreat is obviously not a formal profession of vows, and boys ought to be allowed to do vocation exercises designed for women religious, because he can do works of mercy just as well as any girl, right?
Such a boy might conclude the same thing I did: it might be nice, but nothing is gained except a sense of not belonging. He won’t ever be joining an order of nuns. The experience would be little more than an exercise in futility.
Read the rest there.
Fr. Z kudos.