Delbarton Memories #2

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Delbarton Memories #2

CJ Gasser, Editor-in-Chief

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“To becomes wise is to die to self”- Abbot Giles Hayes.

Throughout my Delbarton career I have had the blessed opportunity to be apart of the Abbey Altar Association. Coming into Delbarton in 7th grade, I had previously been an altar server at my local parish St. Vincent Martyr in Madison, NJ. As I like to say my “career” all began on the midnight Christmas Eve Mass of my 7th-grade year. I was overwhelmed being the youngest student there but was eager to be apart of the mass. That mass in many ways was one of the most overwhelmingly positive experiences I ever encountered during my time at Delbarton. The late Abbot Giles Hayes was the celebrant of the mass and gave a beautiful sermon on the power of Christmas and the meaning of Christ’s Birth. From that Mass onward, I knew that Abbey Altars was going to be my “thing”.

After serving that initial mass, I started to serve every Sunday, school mass, and special event. This not only gave me the opportunity to grow in my faith, but to serve the Delbarton community as well. Through these masses and services, I became more in tune with myself and became incredibly close with many members of the monastic community, particularly Abbot Giles.

In the beginning, I often did minor jobs as an altar server, but as I matured I became the designated “thurifer”. Now, if you have ever been to a school mass, I am sure you have seen me with the large gold thurible with the “fumes” as Father Edward calls them. People often ask me how I do it and I always respond, “I love the smell”. I really do enjoy the scent of incense and love the ambiance that the incense gives to liturgical service. This job has been a highlight in my Delbarton experience, and will forever be a part of me as a Catholic.

Altar Serving has given me the chance to experience God in ways that I never expected. Whether standing in front of the entire student body with the school hymn playing in the background or serving at the funeral service of Abbot Giles Hayes in 2018, I have found God in so many unexpected moments, and for that, I am truly blessed. I am incredibly thankful to have been apart of the Abbey Altar Association during my six short years at Delbarton, and I hope to come back for a Christmas Eve Mass or Easter Celebration to continue my duties as a thurifer!

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