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LATE TO THE TABLE

One woman's story of how serving as an altar server brought her closer to her faith

By Tammy Thao Tran, Anaheim     6/14/2018

Up until about six years ago, I attended mass with a lukewarm attitude. I was there just because my mom wanted me go to church with her. One day before the final blessing at Mass, Rev. Thomas N. looked at the congregation and asked for help because school kids were no longer serving daily Masses. I avoided his eyes by looking out to the side exit door but at the moment I looked up, I met the eyes of my pastor with his smile.

Oh God, do you really want me to be an altar server?

Serving Mass is nothing new to me because I remember as a young girl my brother served Masses and explained to us what to do whenever he came home from seminary; and I am a good observer and a quick learner.

Deacon Ray D, who assisted Father Thomas that day, asked anyone who could help to please go to see him in the sacristy right after Mass. It took me awhile to think after I asked God again, “Do you really want me to go up there? I don’t feel comfortable as a woman up near the altar with priest and deacon, period.” But somehow I felt prompted to walk up to see Deacon Ray just before he locked up the place. He told me “I am glad that you came up. Sorry I have to leave but remember 3 things ABC: Aim, Book, and Chalice. You will be fine. And remember that you have to be here 15 minutes early.”

The next morning, I arrived early as instructed; just me, my pastor and a sacristan. I asked the pastor if I could wear an Alb. “You really want to?” “Yes, Father, out of respect.” He taught me how to tie a cincture and I was ready to go serve. Wearing the white Alb with cincture dangling on side, I feel blissful and exciting because I am an over-the-hill Asian woman having a sensation of a 12-year -old schoolgirl serving my Lord.

Looking back on my years as an Altar server, I feel blessed, honored and truly happy to do what I do because I have the best boss, Jesus, with a few managers (priests) who are compassionate and humble. He has never laid off me, pays me more than I deserve, and gives me chances to observe and learn from others’ unselfishness acts that help me to growth in Faith. Second to this is being a docent at Christ Cathedral.

 

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