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Battle of the Servers

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The bus ferrying the altar servers from Church of Nativity in Burke to the Battle of the Servers, hosted at St. Leo School in Fairfax, was electric with anticipation for the day, brimming with 35 servers coming to take part in the fun and games.

I had been talking about the Battle of the Servers with the altar servers at my summer parish assignment at Nativity for weeks. As we pulled into the parking lot, the bus was buzzing with excitement. As I directed everyone to head to the school gym for the opening announcements, I could see several other seminarians looking on in shock at how many excited altar servers were climbing out of the bus.

Once everyone gathered in the gym, the competitions began and our altar servers immediately began to divide and conquer. Fortunate to have enough altar servers to compete in several games at once, we were able to score points in several of the tournaments at the same time. I found myself on the soccer field for most of the morning managing subs for my team. Everybody competed seriously but showed great sportsmanship and enthusiasm.

By lunch time everyone had played in several of the games and was eager to tally up their points. Over lunch, generously provided by the Knights of Columbus, I caught up with the rest of Nativity parish and checked in to see how we had been competing. By the time that everyone gathered in the gym for the announcement of the winner, Nativity’s victory was a foregone conclusion to most of our altar servers. The announcement that Nativity was tied with another parish and would compete for the title in a final game of tug of war was met with dramatic gasps, followed by cheers.

This final competition was held on the soccer fields as altar servers from parishes throughout the diocese gathered to cheer on their friends. With shouts of encouragement surrounding us, both sides competed fiercely but Nativity pulled through and won the day. After congratulating the other team on their solid effort, everybody gathered in the chapel to finish the day in prayer with Bishop Burbidge.

After the excitement of the day, a hearty lunch and a time of prayer and encouragement with Bishop Burbidge, everybody piled back onto the bus in soaring spirits. By the time we arrived back at Nativity, everyone was already talking about next year’s Battle of the Servers.

Witherow, from Holy Trinity parish in Gainesville, is in his second year of theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019