Catholic Nerdom…

… The Boy has been altar serving two years now. Two years; it’s hard to believe how quickly it all flies by. Last night he learned he got a promotion of sorts. He is no longer the lowly torch bearer. That position is for the newbies. No, now he is training for the position of cross bearer/ book bearer/ bell ringer.

Upon hearing the news of his advancement, The Boy declared “Huzzah! I leveled up!”.

This from the child that kicked, wailed, and screamed when I made him start serving. I was the meanest mom ever for an entire year as I forced him into stuffy clothes to sweat under a hot, itchy collard cassock. And the shoes! Oh, the humanity! The dress shoes! When they were new and not broken in he squeaked from one end of the altar to the next. It was mortifying and I was a horrible horrible mother who hated her son for making him endure these humiliations.

Such were his histrionics that he had me actually questioning whether I was doing the right thing. No one wants to make their kid loathe church.

But really… what’s a bi-weekly altar serving obligation when compared to the time and energy he invests in other activities like scouting and baseball? Three hours a month to serve at the altar of our Lord v. 40 hours a month playing baseball and scouting. When I put it like that he felt like a schmuck and stopped fighting me.

Catholic guilt for the win.

But you see, it had a happy ending. It was worth the struggle to stand my ground. Two years later and he’s super excited to be advancing the ranks. Even more exciting is the next level, that of thurible whirler, which involves every boy’s favorite thing, SMOKE AND FIRE.

In related news: Catholic Nerdom, you’re doing it wrong. Go home, Germany. You’re drunk. Priest celebrates first communion with lightsaber Star Wars mass.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Kim Whelan

    Good for you! Glad you didn’t second guess yourself. So happy that he is now liking it! Luckily at our parish the Altar Boys are considered the “A” team and are treated with such respect, we have many and they are like rock stars.

    Sadly, yesterday we had to bury one of our Altar boys that died in a skateboarding accident. He was to graduate and be thanked at the farewell Mass for Seniors at the end of the month. All the altar boys came to the funeral and suited up in cassocks and surplices, processed in by height order with the procession and sat together. It was an awesome thing to see the boys come together like that.

  • Newp Ort

    This is a really nice post, thanks. Congrats to you both.

    Was a bit disappointed, though. When I clicked the link I thought it was about Marc Barnes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Marc who?

      • Newp Ort

        LOL! I’m sure he’ll love you said that. You are joking, right? Your colleague? Goes by the blandle Bad Catholic?

  • Christine Hebert

    My son begged to be an altar server and just received an award from the Knights of Columbus for 5 years (which he will actually achieve in October). He has helped to train new altar servers and is one of the most senior servers in our parish at the ripe old age of 13. :-)

  • Mary H.

    “…every boy’s favorite thing, SMOKE AND FIRE.” So true — every red-blooded boy is a pyromaniac at heart.


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