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Summer fun at battle of the altar servers

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Every Mass, altar servers are dressed in white, silently assisting priests prepare the altar and hold the missal from which they read.

The silence and white albs were traded for shorts and shouts of competition at the Battle of the Servers July 30 at St. Leo the Great School in Fairfax. The event was sponsored by the diocesan Office of Vocations.

The 220 servers from more than 15 parishes, along with seminarians, brought their game face to compete against other parishes for points. Servers in the gym battled each other in unusual games like noodle hockey, 9 Square in the Air, and gaga ball. Outside, the servers played more traditional games of tug of war and soccer.

The Knights of Columbus from St. Leo provided the servers with hot dogs and hamburgers.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge presided at a prayer service after lunch.

“I hope you all had a wonderful time today enjoying the activities and the competition,” said Bishop Burbidge. “I think it is wonderful we are concluding the day by coming into church, gathering in prayer around this altar where the Eucharist is celebrated, a sign of our oneness and unity. As Christians and followers of Jesus, we do not compete against one another, we treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Altar servers have various reasons for serving at Mass.

“My dad used to be an altar server and he told me that once you get to heaven you’ll see how close you were to God while serving,” said Christopher Marganz, an altar server at St. Leo.

Father Michael C. Isenberg, director of vocations, said they wanted to do things differently this year.

“(The battle) builds up some team camaraderie, so their own parish gets built up,” he said of the games. “We were trying to get a little more purposeful competition and parish unity, so we asked parishes to make t-shirts and do things to build unity.” 

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019

@eelliottACH