Post by John Locke Post by Kevrob
I was one of those trailing altar boys.
Post by John Locke
...you lucky guy ! An altar boy ! ...well, most of my Catholic friends
became altar boys upon recommendation from the catechism
instructor. I, however, didn't make it. Later on, I learned from my
mother, that the catechism lady had apparently found me "unsuitable
for altar boy service". My mother was always unhappy about that...I
was totaly elated !
I had an older brother who was also an altar boy, and one who
wasn't, at least not for long. Eldest brother rose to be Head
Altar Boy. I did double-duty for a few years as a choir boy, which
meant that I served the 8:45 on Sunday mornings in the parish
auditorium, then dash over to the sacristy and vest myself for the
10:15 in the church building. When I hit high school I aged out
of the choir, and quit the altar boys in rather spectacular fashion.
My older brother had lined up the various servers, including
myself, for inspection before the May Day procession to honor
Josh's Mom. In the USA, Catholics do May Day, but only a few
follow Yurpean customs involving labor and unions. We save that
for the first Monday in September. Anywho, while waiting for
Fadda to give the OK on our turnout, I stepped in front of my confreres
and quipped "I suppose you are all wondering why I called you
here today..." This enraged my brother, who clouted me on the
side of the head, thus taking upon himself the authority to
administer corporal punishment he wouldn't have dared due with the
kids from outside my family. He's 4 years older, so think of a
high school senior sucker-punching an 8th grader. I didn't take this
well, refusing to apologize, accusing my brother of being a tyrannical
martinet and flinging my vestments on the sacristy steps as I fled.
I didn't get punished by my parents for this. I think they knew my
brother took the religion thing too far, sometimes. They weren't
happy with him for usurping their authority, or that of the priest.
They acceded to my "resignation" from the brotherhood of the cassock.
I still went to church, and even was a lay reader in high school.
I did debate and speech contests in those years, even winning
one state championship at the junior varsity level. An demurrer
in response to the request to read at mass would have raided eyebrows.
IIRC, the Debate Nun and the Drama Nun would slip the local parishes
names of their students who would make plausible readers with
experience as public speakers.
No tips, doggone it, but I was down to only 1 mass a week. I did
miss some Sundays when travelling for tournaments.