I know a lot of priests and Catholics in the blogosphere will agree with the notion that it is important to have male altar servers, rather than females, however this is only something that dawned on me in any real certainty the other morning at the Easter Sunday Mass.

Whenever priests have, in the past, shared their opinions with me on why there should only be males serving the altar my general opinion went along the lines of “Yeah, I suppose – but it’s not that big a deal!”

When I searched for “male only altar servers” on Google the following article by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf came up: Cathedral in Phoenix to have male only altar service.

I feel the information given about the opinion and desires of the Rector of Phoenix Cathedral, Fr. John Lankeit, are the same as those opinions and desires voiced by the priests who I have spoken to here in England.  By restricting the ministry of altar server to males, priests hope to promote the vocation of Priesthood to young males. Fr. Lankeit also points out that he hope to encourage girls to consider more fully the vocation to religious life as a nun.

As I say, until Easter morning this issue had not really bothered me all that much. However, as I sat on the sanctuary during the Mass which I was serving, I realised that I felt much more compfortable on the Sanctuary than sitting in a pew. Whilst on it’s own this not enough to make me start their seminary application process tomorrow; I do feel that for some boys, if they were to get the same sense of comfort, it may be enough for them to start questioning in a positive way the possibility of Priesthood!

So let’s ensure that our altars are packed with boys – and lets pray that some of them will feel the same comfort and homeliness that I was lucky enough to feel.

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