I’m fairly sure that St Paul somewhere in 1 Corinthians talks about “things that are Lawful but do not edify”. Well, I’d say that women in the sanctuary definitely falls into that category. However the message is clear; women are welcome to a role serving at Mass (in the OF Roman Rite only), but can in no way be ordained as priests.
Is there not a delicious irony here? That in allowing women into the sanctuary in the guise of greater equality, the Church is making one BIG statement reinforcing the divinely ordained inequality between the sexes.
As there are as yet no gender specific rubrics for roles within the sanctuary (and there jolly well should be); here are my suggestions.
1. In recruiting girls and boys to serve, there must be equal numbers of both. If a boy drops out, so must a girl, and vice versa.
2. If girls decide to stay on and serve into womanhood, bearing in mind that many men serve into their dotage, we may in the future be faced with fully grown women actually being sole servers at Mass, they must dress to the smart standard that the men dress. I’ve never seen a layman serve, or read or be an EMHC in anything less than a suit. Ladies, the same applies to you. Rainbow-plaid, elephant’s ar*e trousers and Scholl sandals are not acceptable. Dress like you want to taste the banquet of heaven not like you’re about to down two pints of scrumpy at a Folk Festival.
3. Modesty is essential, men can not show cleavage or muffin tops, neither can women. And whilst you sisters are think about this, DISCRETELY cover your heads in the sanctuary, you are praying in a very holy space. If you can’t do that, shave all the hair off your head, you know it makes sense.
4. No woman or girl can wear a cassock and cotta, ever. Yes, I know the cream polyester hooded garment you have to wear as servers is revolting. IMHO it should be banned, it is an insult to monks and their vows. Might I suggest a tabard style garment over your modest clothes, like dinner ladies wear only not nylon and not in pink. Might I suggest starched grey linen. The tabard is the best sign of servitude and humility I can think of. And linen is a pain to keep looking good, so it will make you think about what and why you are doing what you do. Strict punishments for a crumpled tabard.
5. Ask yourself sisters, if with all your excellent feminine talents, this really is the best use of them in the service of the Church.