Talk:Altar server

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Eastern Orthodox[edit]

When adding this section I realized that I may have introduced a problem in Acolyte. I claimed there that Orthodoxy no longer had a separate office of "taper-bearer" based on the service books available to me, but these all reflect the Slavic tradition. I knew that Greek altar boys were ordained to something, but as I wrote this it occurred to me that I didn't know exactly what. I said Reader (minor orders) here in the event, but it may be that the Greeks still have a distinctive "taper-bearer" and that's what their altar boys are ordained as. I would appreciate it if someone who knows for sure would fix this. TCC (talk) (contribs) (old comment)

List of famous altar boys[edit]

I think it'd be interesting if we had a list of famous (former) altar boys. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was an alter server in 1946.[1]


comment at the beginning of RC altar boy[edit]

As a former altar server as well, I can tell you for a fact that there was formal training involved. After your training, you received your cassock and surplus from the parish priest. -- (talk) 18:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

comment at the end of RC altar boy[edit]

'Many altar servers see themselves usually not as priesthood candidates, even if the church sometimes tries to influence them in this direction.'

This i think, is not 'entirely' true.. All the altar boys in my parish (including myself) and lots in most other parishes ive served at etc all feel they have a vocation to the sacred Priesthood, which is the only reason we are serving! :). I dont know for sure, but im thinking this is a genreal sweeping statement, feel free to discuss though.

The "gold standard" for Wikipedia entries is verifiability. This article is sadly unreferenced overall, mainly becuase it's not a topic much written on. Editors are therefore writing from their personal experience. In this case that's mainly reliable as far as what being an altar server entails, but when it comes to subtopics that really should be statistically based, personal experience is a hazardous guide. If a study or two could be cited, giving the proportion of priests who were altar boys, or the proportion of altar boys who became priests, that would be much more reliable. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:51, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

'Other churches'[edit]

Ive corrected/added to the point made at the bottom of the article on other churches. Mostly based on my own past experiance and understanding with Anglo-Catholic churches. Feel free to correct if needed.


Why is there no talk of the rape of altar boys in this article?

Win —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Is there a point to your bigotry? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Replace Missal with Sacramentary[edit]

I believe that since the 1960's, the missal has been phased out and replaced with the Sacramentary that contains all the prayers related to the mass. Would it be correct to change references to the missal in this article to the Sacramentary? Benrr101 (talk) 23:52, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Altar server vs altar boy[edit]

The article's assertion that altar server has "almost completely replaced" altar boy may well be true within the church itself, but it certainly is not so in general/colloquial use. "Altar boy" is, at least here in the UK, far more common (unless, of course, the person in question is not a boy). See, for example, this BBC article, which uses "altar boy" while mentioning the past of a murder victim. (talk) 01:54, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Female altar servers[edit]

The material on female altar servers is well sourced, so I have restored it again. Please discuss any problems with it here rather than continuing to remove it. Thanks! -- Cat Whisperer (talk) 23:34, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Altar boy[edit]

"Alter boy" is not the usual term anymore, incorrectly stated in the article. Alter server is much more popular, as is female altar servers.Mazeau (talk) 21:12, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The appropriate term is "altar boy," and girls serving as altar boys are called "female altar boys." (talk) 20:51, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Hey, there are new things under the sun: female boys. -- Turris Davidica (talk) 23:12, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
No, they are girls doing the duties of boys as if they were also boys. (talk) 05:29, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
No Sir, this is why we call it altar server. --Turris Davidica (talk) 20:23, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Your opinion does not change the fact that girls are serving as altar boys, hence the term "female altar boys." (talk) 04:34, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
They are serving as altar servers (what abount adult men? Boys too?). There is no such term as female altar boy. But there's no point in discussing this here, since "female boy" is unsourced. --Turris Davidica (talk) 22:15, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Merge with Acolyte[edit]

These two articles discuss the same subject; they should be merged. Neelix (talk) 02:29, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

No, an altar server is different from an acolyte even if their duties largely overlap. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I think, me being a former Lutheran, now Roman Catholic, that they are two completely different people, with different duties. Shark96z (talk) 04:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Gay altar servers[edit]

I noticed that there was a controversy surrounding the existence of gay altar servers, notably about one such altar server in the Canadian province of Ontario, who announced he was launching a human rights complaint against the Church for having been dismissed while he was living with his male partner. The issue of gay altar servers is not really the same as gay altar boys, given that the former are adults, while the latter were often involved in clerical child abuse cases. [1] ADM (talk) 15:09, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


please merge this article with acolyte --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 02:09, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Do not merge[edit]

The lay ministry of altar server, usually filled by young laypersons (usually now both boys and girls), is not the same- not as expansive a role- in the Catholic churches as the former minor order of Acolyte. An instituted acolyte is (especially since Pope Benedict XVI's instruction limiting the role of Acolyte to the following cases) usually a seminarian in graduate theology school or a permanent deacon in formational training who has not yet been ordained a deacon (or who may have been allowed to retain the role when he left beforehand). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:41, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

You are right in stating the expressions should not be confused. Just let me add that of course the acolyte, although instituted, is also a lay minister.--Turris Davidica (talk) 17:48, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Altar boys since when?[edit]

Is it true that the tradition to have "normal" boys (rather than adult men or seminarists) as altar servers dates from the pontificate of Pope Pius X, i.e. after 1900? Generally there is too little on the history of altar servers in this article! -- (talk) 09:49, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Traditional Catholics[edit]

There should be some mention of girls being disallowed service at the altar in Traditional Catholic parishes, as well as by Sedevacantists. (talk) 20:51, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


"Ministrant" is a redlink now. On the other hand, altar ministrant redirects here. Can anybody turn it blue? Staszek Lem (talk) 23:45, 25 February 2016 (UTC)