Yesterday, on the anniversary of her baptism, my older daughter participated in the Mass as an Altar Server for the first time.

As one of four servers, she assisted the Liturgy of the Eucharist. She and an older boy, the veteran, processed down the aisle with the priest and others; she helped to receive the gifts, held the bowl and towel as Fr. Mathew washed his hands, and stood proudly to receive communion with the other servers and Eucharistic Ministers.

She didn’t fidget or look bored, but responded and sang in the appropriate places. She behaved like a very mature young lady. Words cannot express how proud I felt watching her participate.

My mother drove an hour to attend our morning Mass and see her oldest granddaughter. I wish I’d been able to take a picture of them together, with my daughter in the alb. Growing up, Lisa and I often heard Mom wistfully comment how much she wished she could be an altar server, and she said it again more than once this morning. I don’t remember having any such desire myself, but it wasn’t available even then. Girls have only been allowed to serve since 1994.

As a parent, you try to teach and lead your children by example, without pressure. My daughter’s interest in participating shows me that she is beginning to develop her own identity within our church community.


Shelly Henley Kelly