Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!

August 17, 2010, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: , ,

I commented recently on some who hope that the new Ordinariate will see fit to ban female altar servers. I read with great pleasure today, in the English-language L’Osservatore Romano, the following Editorial piece on the recent meeting in Rome of altar-servers with the Pope.There were some 44,000 from Germany, with 8,000 from other countries.

“Who are the ministrantes? Ordinary boys and girls and young people full of the joy of life. They were once known as ‘altar boys’, a term less precise than its modern form taken from the beautiful Latin verb ministrare (‘to serve’, in this case above all in the liturgical sense), but that sounds less cold and formal.

Also in the feminine case [Ministrantinnen in German], to tell the truth a word with an odd ring, yet usually spoken sympathetically, to indicate the mass entry in recent decades- especially in German speaking countries- of little girls and young women in a role that in the past was an exclusively male domain.

Today instead this role has broader dimensions because- open without distinction to both boys and girls, young women and young men, altar girls and altar boys- it teaches and accustoms them with greater clarity to being close to Christ. They learn this in the family above all but go on learning it at church and in the Church, training and preparing themselves for a truly Christian life.

They also do this through serving at the Liturgy, through listening to the divine Word made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, Verbum Domini, and through adoration and contemplation of his Real Presence in the Eucharist…

Girls and boys to whom she teaches closeness and friendship with the Lord “friend of man”, as he is defined in the Eastern Liturgies; as was expressed by the joy of thousands of young people who celebrated in St Peter’s Square, waving their hats to Benedict XVI”

Roma (or at least L’Osservatore Romano) locuta


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