Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

St. Pius X and the Box

October 6th, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

The following is taken from the St. Pius X parish’s “Altar Server Training Manual.”

Altar ? the table in the sanctuary at which the bread and wine are prepared and transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Along with the ambo (see below) the altar is the most important object in the church. (Table? Sounds a bit too informal in my opinion. However, it is “important” as the manual says. Keep reading, though, to see what is considered unimportant.)
Aspergillem/Sprinkler ? the ?wand? which is used to sprinkle people with holy water. (Wand? This isn’t Harry Potter time. It’s the Mass.)

Chalice ? the cup, used by the priest, which contains the wine/blood of Christ. Chalices can be made of metal, wood, or ceramic. (“Wine/blood of Christ?” Clarification needs to be made here. And, no, they can’t be made of wood or ceramic. Our Lord is more precious than any comodity, but to bring about His presence in a clay pot is wholly inappropriate.)

Tabernacle ? the large, metal or wood container in the church which holds the consecrated hosts. A candle is left burning at all times by the tabernacle. (Perhaps the most massive understatement I have seen in a long while. I think it would have been better if they had said, “this is the most important spot in the church” or “this is the container where the Body of Our Lord is kept.” Server manuals like this are one of the many reasons why many children are so oblivious to the sanctity of the Mass.)



20 Responses to “St. Pius X and the Box”

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    I dunno – it seems like you're stretching to criticize here. Sure the wording could be better, but this is a glossary just so servers know what is what – not something which gives a full theological dissertation.

    What'd you do – just stroll into the church and start poking around? Did you talk to Mr. Rabjohn about it – I'm sure he'd be more than happy to hear your concerns.

  2. Ben Anderson says:

    And where did you get the title from? I don't see the word "box" anywhere in your post.

    You realize each thing you criticize makes your overall criticisms seem less and less legit in the eyes of many.

    And why pick on spx? Why not just call out the manual itself?

  3. You may find the attached post concerning the renovation of St. Pius X to be of interest:

  4. Gen says:

    Children are young, not incapable of higher learning. To dumb down the language of the Mass is to do an immense disservice to the youth. If they aren't instructed properly, their further learning, catechesis etc . . . will be sorely lacking.

    I have not spoken with Mr. Rabjohn, but I have spoken with many of the servers and parishioners who left before he took over, due to the lack of orthodoxy and proper instruction. The title comes from a private discussion. I'm not picking on St. Pius X, just using the parish's name in regards to the parish's server's manual.

    I did not pick out St. Pius X for any reason, save that of raising awareness for the parish. Pressure must be applied to affect change. I am certain that, from what I have heard about Mr. Rabjohn, he will surely bring a sense of Tradition to the parish, but anything we can do to "keep the fires stoked" is a service to the longevity of the parish.

    It would have been very easy indeed to use proper and understandable language for the manual: Tabernacle: the container in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept and worshiped. We keep a candle lit in front of it to remind everyone that Jesus Himself is inside.

  5. ben says:

    WOOD CHALICE thats horrible, its an absorbant material our Lord will soak into it.

  6. Ben Anderson says:

    You have a valid claim – I won't argue that. But why not try addressing it privately first before complaining to the world? It just seems like an unnecessary attack which could potentially push people on the fence further away from orthodoxy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Consecrated hosts sounds like an attempt to get around saying Jesus Christ. Why are people teaching our young the faith if they barely believe in it themselves? The bread becomes Jesus. We shouldn't need to dance around that fact, we should be proud to say it. Just my two cents.

  8. Gen says:

    It was, actually, addressed privately. Indeed, many of those with whom I spoke told me of how they and others tried to reform the parish from the inside.

    This wasn't put up out of hot-headed zeal for orthodoxy. It was posted after many emails saying, "What about St. Pius X? What about the suburban parishes?"

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    fair enough – it might be worthwhile to say that from the get-go. The post just gave the impression that you're going around looking for offenses.

    spx is close to my heart – I was a parishioner there for several years before being pushed over the edge. I believe that change is possible, but we must tread lightly. I know it's difficult to do so since some circles are just so far out there.

    Far be it from me to question your approach – continue on – nothing to see here.

  10. Gen says:


    **Visualizes Ben ushering poorly-trained altar servers past a scene of liturgical abuse.**

  11. Anonymous says:

    BEN..Sorry treading lightly when our Lord is being disrepected is hard to do. In fact it sometimes makes me want to scream.

  12. Ben Anderson says:

    My point is – what's the best way to effect change?

    1) Actually talking to the person in charge who in all likelihood would listen?


    2) publish an Internet article making them seem foolish

    Believe me, I understand #2 is sometimes necessary, but I just wanted to make sure #1 was actually done and it doesn't sound like it was.

  13. Ben Anderson says:

    and I believe I heard Rich say something similar on the radio last Friday. care to comment, Rich?

  14. Gen says:

    #1 was done under the administration of Fr. Holland.

  15. Nerina says:

    Hi Ben A.

    Regarding addressing things privately: from my own experience this is often an exercise in futility (I sat on both our parish council and stewardship committee). Even when a person approaches the people in charge with charity and humility, he or she is often treated with contempt and laughed at as being "old-fashioned" or "uncharitable." It is their first defense to any questionning.

    But I agree that we have to try hard to avoid the appearance of a vendetta. (Gen, I'm not saying you are on a vendetta, but that many people will conclude that you are just looking for things to complain about).

  16. Sister Emily says:

    Sitting back and watching our Lord be abused, insulted and disrected is hard to take. Pointing this out to us I don't think is a vendetta. If we ignore this abuse we will become use to it and then be a part of it. In the DOR we don't have to look for things to complain about it is right in our face.

  17. Sister Emily says:

    YIKES!! disrespected..

  18. benanderson says:

    I’m learning a lot by reading through the “Liturgical Question Box”. I was just reading about the altar when I recalled this post, so my curiosity led me back here. Very funny to read this in hind sight. mea culpa!

  19. benanderson says:

    btw – I didn’t know you had imported comments and all into the new site – nice work DrK!

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