...the news that there was a female serving Mass at the EF took me rather by surprise. I might be a right old reactionary, but if faced with a serviette at an EF I'd vote with my feet. At an OF you have to put up with it along with all the extraneous ministers, even though I'm even more sensitive to the wrongness of it since I've been assisting at the EF. That's where a long mantilla comes in very handy, acts like blinkers. Come to think of it, perhaps that's why some people think women who wear them are doormatty: you have to have your head down and practice serious custody of the eyes to avoid looking at abuses that could be occasions of sin (have you never left an occasional OF Mass slightly peeved?).
What is it that makes people misunderstand so painfully, deliberately or not, what's going on at the EF Mass? The main attraction for me with the EF from the point of view of being a pew sitter is the simplicity of it. The silence, the time to pray, the total lack of distraction in the Sanctuary except for what the Priest is doing, the specialness of the Sanctuary, and the inclusivity (yeah, I can do lovey jargon). The entire congregation is included in what's going on at the altar. You don't need to be up there and doing, you can relax NOT having to do anything but be and pray. You are at Calvary, isn't that enough?
Annie I think that this will happen more as Parishes start to celebrate the EF as well as the OF of the Mass.In an average English parish a good proportion of servers are female and it would be a brave priest who having learnt to say the EF form then trys to have a male only group of servers for the EF and male and female servers for the OF Mass,I can hear the arguments now.Latin Mass Society Masses obviously will not have this problem,but the poor old parish priest trying to accomodate both EF and OF Masses in one average parish will be on a hiding to nothing from different parish groups.
Which is why there will have to be parish catechesis, and lots of it.
But I think though that as more parish priests do start to discover the EF, girl servers will disappear.
I really do believe that the presence of girls in the sanctuary at Mass is wrong, even in the OF. For one thing, in every parish I have been in, when girls join the serving crew, the boys drop out. For another, only men can be priests, is it so shocking then that only Y-chromosomes should serve Mass?
Annie from my experience boys drop out of serving in their late teens because they discover girls and serving is not percieved to be a cool thing,often only parent pressure will keep them serving a little longer.Some do return to serving later as they settle down.I dont think female servers would put them of serving.
Girls too drop out when they reach a certain age and the Rite of Exit, and they discover boys younger than most boys discover them. My experience has been when little girls take over, the boys walk. It ultimately comes down to the tradition of the church, and the tradition is no women serving Mass. I can see why it might be slightly problematic in the short term (using Vatican time here!) but in the long run, I think a return to the tradition of men only serving will strengthen faith.
As a mere man I agree with your sentiments and I would also ban the clergy from taking the "Guardian" this is where this inclusive nonsense about girls must also serve is a breeding ground.Oh who dreamt up V2.
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