"There were about 20 different things that irritated me about that service"
April 9, 2007 11:00 AM
That's what I said to Mrs. NBS, on the way to the car after the Easter Sunday service at the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park. Was I exaggerating? Could there really have been 20? Let's make a list:
1. The service was at 11:00, a special Easter Sunday time that is an hour later than the 10:00 service we usually go to. We arrive at the customary time, and learn we are an hour early. So, we go home, and sit around in our church clothes, because it's not like you can get anything done at that point. [We do feel sorrier for the family with young kids that we saw running to make it in time a few minutes before ten. You know they went through hell to get the kids ready for church and out the door. For nothing! Also, they prove that we aren't the only ones who didn't get the memo].
2. An hour later, we return to church. There is no place to sit.
3. They didn't copy enough service leaflets.
4. One of the associate priests, a male who is well in to his forties, is sporting a ponytail. It looks ridiculous. But the more annoying thing is that you just know he thinks it makes him look cool. Good Lord, deliver us.
5. The rector mentions Iraq in his Easter sermon. Whatever his point was, it was lost on me, because I was bored out of my skull, gazing at the stained glass. I perked up when I heard the word "Iraq," though. And then I waited for his point. I'm still waiting.
6. Then, the rector mentions the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up during his sermon. He doesn't understand why we can't learn to live with our differences. Funny thing is, he earnestly seems to believe this is the middle of the road position. It's not.
7. I can't listen to the rest of the sermon, because I am so annoyed that the rector mentioned Iraq and the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up. But, it's not like I listed to the first half of the sermon, so I guess I didn't really miss anything. I had actually thought on Easter Sunday we'd be safe from this kind of thing, and the rector's sermon would be on point, appropriate and resurrection-focused. How naive!
8. The offertory anthem is by Bruce Neswick. He's very well regarded in the church music world, and I don't hate all present-day composers. But I've never heard anything that he has done that is particularly good, or which will stand the test of time. Selecting one of his works for Easter Sunday is just a completely strange decision.
9. And then: Oh, no it's Eucharistic Prayer C! This is the flaky as hell one, about "the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home." It's the "2001 A Space Odyssey" version of the Holy Eucharist. Most parishes know this, and avoid it like the plague. What they hell are they thinking? Isn't Easter Sunday the day for the best of the best, and not the worst of the worst?
10. The Easter Floral Array. You contribute for dead people, people. Not out of thanksgiving for the lives of your own children. Especially the ones that are hopped up on candy, climbing the walls, sliding under the pews, and trying to play peek-a-boo with me the entire time. Come on!
Well that's it, I guess. Only 10! But, I am generously not blaming the clergy for the weather (colder on Easter than Christmas) or for the some of the appalling clothing choices of our fellow parishioners, etc. etc.. But that's the kind of guy I am. Generous!
UPDATE: How could I forget? There were two more things:
11. The rector commencing his sermon with "In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer & Sanctifier." Those words are only partially discriptive of the three members of the Trinity. They are not to be used to identify the members of the Trinity. For further details, see the comments on this thread.
12. Everybody got a pansy on their way out. Irony of ironies!