100 Years 100 Stories Altar Servers Leave Their Mark

Altar Servers Leave Their Mark on St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church

Spring Valley, Illinois
Written by Beverly Malooley


Altar Servers at Divine Liturgy, 2006. Pictured: Bishop Mark, Father Nicholas Dahdal, Nicholas Medawar, & Father Gregory Buss Servers: Christopher Leonard, Tyler Thompson, Nolan Kaleel, & Thane Kaleel

Some years ago, it was brought to my attention that there was a tradition for altar boys to carve their names into a door in a room just off the Holy Sanctuary during Easter Services. Well, I had to see for myself. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I began scanning the many names carved into the solid oak door and frame.

I was absolutely amazed and delighted at the way the names were systematically grouped together and dated to let everyone know who served that particular Easter service. This sweet tradition is a lasting reminder to all the boys that served in the altar over these many years.

At St George Orthodox Church in Spring Valley, altar servers assist the higher clergy during services. They might carry the cross, candles, or liturgical fans in processions and entrances; maintain the censer, ensuring it has enough live charcoal, loading it with incense, and handing it to the priest when required; preparing the hot water in time for it to be added to the chalice at the Divine Liturgy; preparing the bread for the people to receive after Holy Communion; and any other necessary tasks so that the celebrant need not be distracted during the service. However, there is one very unofficial duty that is an Easter tradition, which is to carve one’s name into a side door that leads to the Holy Sanctuary.

Generation to Generation

I recognize so many of the names carefully carved, especially that of my late husband, Bob Malooley, on April 25th, 1962, at the age of 17; as well as those of his sons, Keith, Nick, and Jake, many years later. What a great tradition!


Legacy Fundraising Campaign
Make checks payable to:
St. George Orthodox Church
100 Years

Send to:
St. George Orthodox Church
Attention: Anysia Medawar
211 E. Minnesota Street, P.O. Box 121, Spring Valley, IL 61362

We’d love to hear from you!

If you have memories to share of St. George Church or the “neighborhood,” Spring Valley, IL.; please scan pictures and email them with a brief story, description, etc., and we’ll publish them.

Thank you!
Beverly Malooley bmalooley@comcast.net

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