Do you have TLM altar boys? How did you train them?

We have a number of TLM altar boys. This fellow started being an altar boy when he was seven years old. That was seventy years ago. At the main Sunday Mass – 11:00am – in the main parish church, 15 August 2021, he was again an altar boy (that’s 77 years old).

  • Me: Introibo ad altare Dei.
  • Him: Ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam.

His response was immediate, no stumbling over the Latin. Perfect pronunciation. God gave joy to his youth. After seventy years. He rejoices with a profound joy. As do many young families with lots of children. :-)

We had two altar boys. They coordinated well. I didn’t have to train them. Instead, they point out minutiae to me, for which I am grateful.

I’m getting psyched to do a Sung Mass. I did these in the “Upper Basilica” of the Immaculate Conception (high atop the grotto of Lourdes), when I became the first Latin Mass Chaplain in the sanctuaries since the TLM was forbidden there in the early years of post-Conciliar chaos.

Since all main altars must be free standing in the diocese, the altar cards must be supported by the six candle sticks on either side. In the middle we’ve been using two candlesticks with no candles to support the main altar card. Those were replaced by the crucifix you see him holding. I gave him that to bring in as I returned from across the mountain from another parish Mass. You’ll notice that it is very tall. The reason for that on free-standing altars is so that the crucifix is visible above the central altar card. We’ve been using the crucifix above the tabernacle for that purpose (at the back of the sanctuary), but this is rather felicitous.

We’re not letting the perfect get in the way of the good. We’re trying the best we can.

Pope Francis gets mentioned in the Roman Canon, sotto voce, of course. Traditionis custodes is an evil law, and therefore no law at all, and therefore is not to be obeyed or disobeyed, as it is simply nothing. It is to be ignored. But again, let me emphasize, for the gazillionth time, this doesn’t make me or anyone else against the person of Pope Francis. That would be absurd. We have to help each other get to heaven. I offered Holy Mass for Pope Francis this past weekend. Did you? Or did you cause a Mass to be offered for his person?

There’s a reason why I say “altar boys.” I’m very nostalgic. I was an altar boy myself. When girls started serving we automatically called them “girl-altar-boys.” I think pretty much everyone did. And then it all fell apart.

But now… ;-)


Filed under Liturgy

2 responses to “Do you have TLM altar boys? How did you train them?

  1. Gina Nakagawa

    The traditional words of the Morning Offering ends with praying for the intentions of the Holy Father. I have come to fear his intentions, so I pray for his eternal salvation instead

  2. elizdelphi

    The Apostleship of Prayer publishes what the Pope’s intentions are monthly. I see they are even on the USCCB website: . So, you don’t have to pray for unknown intentions of the Pope. You just pray for what his published intentions are (even if you don’t know what they are specifically). They are never anything too weird. If they were weird then you would have Catholic social media full of complaints that it’s impossible to pray for the Pope’s intentions. The one for this month is for the Church. “Let us pray for the Church, that she may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.” I’m not afraid to pray for that. And the other ones for the other months are similarly reasonable things to pray for.

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