Thursday, May 27, 2010

Society of St Tarcisius

A bit late in the day but here is the LMS press release about the new society for altar servers.


On Saturday 15th May 2010, at Blackfriars, Oxford, the Society of St Tarcisius, a sodality of servers of the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form), was founded during a training day for altar servers, arranged by the Latin Mass Society. Thirty servers were present, with the training being delivered by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Br Lawrence Lew OP, Mr David Forster, and Mr Richard Hawker. The day began with an address from Fr de Malleray on the importance of the service of the altar. The servers were divided into two groups of the less and more experienced for training. Some people travelled long distances to attend - one as far as Preston, Lancashire. The two groups each had an experienced MC and a cleric to guide them: the less experienced group was led by Fr de Malleray and David Forster; the more experienced group by Br Lawrence Lew and Mr Richard Hawker. The day was interspersed with prayers and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The Society of St Tarcisius has been founded to encourage servers of the Traditional Mass in their work on the altar, to provide training for new servers and the more experienced, to promote a high standard of reverence and accuracy, and to form a network through which servers can stay in touch and share resources.

The Society of St Tarcisius is sponsored by the Latin Mass Society, though membership is open to all who wish to serve the Traditional Mass. Saint Tarcisius was a Roman acolyte who was martyred while defending the Holy Eucharist from profanation during the fierce persecutions of the third century. The sodality has taken “Fidelis usque ad mortem” – Faithful even unto death – as its motto, and seeks to inculcate in servers an intense devotion and reverence for Our Lord in the Eucharist, as well as a precise attention to the ceremonies of the Mass.

The society’s website is Servers wishing to join the sodality should contact the Secretary, Mr David Forster, at

Photographs of the training event on Saturday 15th May can be seen at

The Latin Mass Society and the Society of St Tarcisius will be holding a residential training course for lay servers at Downside Abbey, Somerset, from Tuesday 10 August to Friday 13 August. This will run alongside the LMS’s Downside training conference for priests to learn the Extraordinary Form. Full details are available from the LMS.

For further information, please contact John Medlin, General Manager, or James Murphy, Office Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585;
(E mail)


David O'Neill said...

In view of the fact that the new society is free & has no age limitations we should encourage all who serve the EF of Mass to join. The society is not meant to replace the Archconfraternity of St Stephen but rather to act as a focus for the men & boys serving the EF. Whilst there is (as at Ushaw College in April) an altar servers course running concurrently with the priests training at Downside Abbey the DRs of H&N & Leeds are looking at a more locally based 1 day course in the north.
David O'Neill

Seeker said...

I'm a little puzzled as to why a separate society rather than a subset of the Society of St Stephen? Seems to be spreading valuable resourse a little thinner than necesary.

Simon Platt said...

Why a separate society? Spreading resources thinly?

I am pleased to be a member of the Society of St. Tarcisius, and to have benefited from the inaugural training day. I'm afraid I thought that the Guild of St. Stephen was defunct, never having come across it in my dozen or so years' service at the altar (although I do know a couple of fellow servers who wear guild medals). I see ( that this is not the case, but existing resources could not have been spread thinner where I am. The society of St. Tarcisius is a much needed development and I applaud it.