About Knights of the Altar Society
The boys assisting the priest at the Mass and other liturgical functions for the Mater Dei Community are all Knights of the Altar. This is an organization established in the United States in 1938. Knights are used as a model most probably to instill in the boys the ideals of Medieval Knighthood which included honor, loyalty, justice, chivalry, and respect for all.
The purposes of the organization are to form a worthy guard of honor for Christ in the Eucharist:
- To render service to God by assisting in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other liturgical functions
- To inspire greater piety and devotion in the congregation
- To establish a society of service to the Church
- To establish a social fraternity
To enter into the organization, a boy must have at least completed 3rd Grade and have received Holy Communion. Many months of study and training are required while the applicant perfects the Latin responses said at the Mass with the priest, as well as all the duties and procedures of the Mass. He must also be neat in appearance and have excellent bearing while on the altar. After all of this, he is finally granted the privilege of entering into the holy place, the sanctuary, with Christ in the Eucharist and the priest, and assist in the most perfect prayer, the Mass.
The knights pass through ranks based on their age and perfection of additional functions for the Mass and other liturgical functions. They pass through Apprentice, Page, Knight, Knight Commander, and finally Grand Knight.
Grand Knight is the highest rank, indicating perfection in all aspects of serving the Mass. Upon promotion to this rank, he will be presented with the Knight’s Cross which he is privileged to wear over his vestments.
The Knights have monthly meetings where they have discussions regarding performance on the altar in minute detail, always striving for perfection. Social activities are also discussed and planned.