The Door: A Monument to a Century of Altar Service
By written by Ronald Malooley and edited by Jake Malooley
The year was 1940. I was four years old. Father Seraphim Nassar of St. George Orthodox Church, Spring Valley, told my parents it was time for me to become an altar boy. A robe, the customary vestment, was fitted for me. I carried an icon during the Great Entrance and occasionally gave the censer to Father Seraphim.
Soon, I was introduced to “the Door”—the special entrance to the altar from the basement of the church—and was invited by the senior servers to carve my name into its dark wood. Engraving one’s name on the Door is the traditional acknowledgement that he has joined a sacred club.
Over the years, former altar boys have made many a nostalgic visit to the Door. If only for a moment, these men go back in time, recalling their years of service as a youth to the Orthodox faith. The Door has become a monument to the generations who have served in the altar for the better part of a century. The names of fathers are etched beside those of their sons, uncles next to nephews, cousins adjacent to cousins—a living record of Easter and Christmas services past, and those yet to come.
Louis Malooley, Sr.
Nick Forsa Jr.
George Nimee Jr.
Louis Malooley Jr.
Jim Yeazel Jr.
Bill Miller III
Michael Anderson Malooley