I have mentioned several times that I am not happy to now have girls as altar servers in the Arlington Diocese. I do not think it added any benefit and I do think it has the potential for harm. However, since they are here, I will make the best of it. Our parish is one of several in the diocese that has decided to not expand the altar server corps to include girls. Of course with one hundred altar servers there really isn’t a need to expand the group.
This evening we went to Sunday evening Mass at St. Bernadette’s in Springfield. This is a fairly orthodox parish so I was a little surprised to see three girl altar servers of about 14 years of age as well as two little boys about 10 years old. All five servers were dressed in albs. (Bishop Loverde appropriately specified that girls would not wear the cassock and surplice) I could tell the boys were both in dress slacks and dress shoes. One of the girls was teetering on white high-heeled sandals. One girl was wearing frayed jeans and flip-flops. One girl had flat casual sandals.
My question is, “What should girl altar servers wear?” The girl teetering on high-heels was also the cross-bearer so we all held our breath as the crucifix swayed from side to side. I know it is hard to find sensible shoes that girls will wear but I definitely think sneakers or flip-flops are out of bounds. Frayed jeans are also unacceptable. So those of you with more experience with girl altar servers, what are your guidelines? Should they forgo dresses and wear dress slacks and flat shoes like loafers? Our male altar servers are required to wear dark dress slacks and black dress shoes. No athletic shoes or sandals.
I am interested in what has worked in your parish.