The title of page boy has referred to different jobs in different periods of time and in different work settings. In medieval times, a page boy was an apprentice to knights, who began their ascendancy to knighthood by becoming educated and serving them. At a wedding, a page boy serves a much simpler (and less dangerous) function. And in the United States Senate, a page (boy) is a young man who works to help facilitate the efficiency of congressional correspondence.
Medieval Page Boy
At around the age of 8, a young boy who was the son of a noble or a knight would be sent to a neighboring castle that was occupied by a knight to begin his training. As a page, the boy's main job was to become strong through exercise and combative training with dummies. He would start to learn sword-play, as well as fencing. He would be taught how to read and write, and by the lady of the house, to sing and dance at court. At around 15 or 16 years of age, he would become a squire and start serving the knight, whose house he lived in, directly. He would dress the knight in the morning, serve him all of his meals, clean his armor and weapons and assist him in tournaments and on the battlefield, according to ThinkQuest.org.
Wedding Page Boy
The page boy in a wedding is the British version of a ring bearer, according to EasyWeddings.com.au. Some couples choose not to have a page boy and instead have just a flower girl; others choose to have both. The page boy's main task is to carry the wedding rings down the aisle; usually he carries the rings on a decorative pillow. Many times the rings are tied to the pillow to prevent them sliding off as the boy walks. The ring bearer is usually between 5 and 10 years of age.
The placement of the bearer in the wedding procession is dependent on the preference of the couple. Some page boys are at the head of the wedding party, getting to the altar first with the rings. Others choose to have the boy walking along side the flower girl. At some weddings, the page boy will arrange the train of the bride's gown. The page boy can sit in a front seat or bench during the wedding (which might be preferable if he's younger) or stand next to the best man. It his also his job to hand the rings to the bride and groom during the ceremony.
Senate Page (Boy)
According to Senate.gov, pages in the United States Senate are 16 or 17 years old. They are nominated by a Senator from his state. In the past, pages were limited to the male gender, but today they can also be young women. Pages have to apply to a Senator's office to be nominated and must have at least a 3.0 GPA. Pages can serve during the school year or in sessions over the summer. During the school year, pages are expected to attend a special school that takes the place of their regular classes. They must maintain at least a 75 percent in their courses or be dismissed. Pages deliver correspondence and legislative material within congress. They prepare the chamber for senate session, take messages and call their senator to the phone. They carry bills and amendments to the presiding officer's desk. They also retrieve easels, lecterns and water for Senators.
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