Monday, September 8, 2008

Ministry Questions.

My ministry was founded on the principle of never letting a surplice fee pass one by, no matter what needs doing to get it. Consequently I’ve conducted marriages according to just about every rite known to humanity, including Scientology (the bride and groom wear matching tinfoil hats), but yesterday’s wedding booking has raised a few questions.

These have nothing to do with the fact that groom will be held at gunpoint, and quite possibly handcuffed, since that sort of thing is by no means uncommon if one is commercially astute enough to let word get around that you have no scruples about proceeding if the happy couple are clearly not exchanging vows of their own volition.

Nor is there any uncertainty about the sort of service that will be required. A generic Fundamentalist Christian Protestant show will do fine, with lots of references to Jeee-zuzz and a short sermon taking for granted Adam and Eve’s existence as the original honeymooners will keep everyone happy. Maybe someone praying in tongues, but only of the I-can’t-quite-catch-what-that-guy-in-the-blue-suit-is-saying variety. The DEAR-HOLY-JEEZUZ-I-REALLY-WANT-TO-TELL-YOU-I-LOVE-YOU-BY-SCREAMING-AND-GARGLING-AND-CUMMING-ALL-AT-THE-SAME-TIME kind of tongues probably won’t go down too well with the old Republican money funding this whole double-or-nothing Alaskan gamble.

No: the questions are entirely practical ones of ceremony. Such as how does one indicate the congregation should stand without alarming any “Security advisors” and starting a fire-fight? How do you discretely prevent the couple from playing an extended round of tonsil hockey when told “You may now kiss the bride”? Does advising them to wait until they’re back on Mom’s chartered jet before going for it like Creationists (“Be fruitful and multiply”) constitute sex education? And if so will I risk being retrospectively fined/conscripted/hung, drawn and quartered under whatever enlightened legislation the new mother-in-law introduces after November 4?

No, it’s not easy being Bible-Teacher to the Stars. Fortunately the money will be spectacular, but that just raises another question. Given how thing’s have gone over the past eight years, if we’re in for another term of Republican economic policy will I be able to spend my fee fast enough to beat inflation? Perhaps they’ll understand my fears, and arrange for payment in gold bullion. Or cocaine; that’s a commodity certain to grow in popularity if we’re going back to the “Greed is Good” days.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

11 comments :

Pierre R. Wheaton said...

I can do the tongues bit for you, my fee is quite reasonable. When I'm done, the congregation will swear they were on Jimmy Swaggart!

I can also secure for you at a slightly extra charge, some very sincere Bible-believing folks who on command will fall out on the floor as if shot by the Holy Spirit and start dancing in the aisles, to give the ceremony that certain evango-fundie-charismatic touch.

PseudoPiskie said...

Be careful, good Fr. Christian. I'm sure Pierre can do what he promises but I'd worry about the boss of his domain - Pittsburgh.

Pierre R. Wheaton said...

+Duncan may be the boss of my domain, but he ain't the boss of me!!! Besides, after October 4th, I'll have the privilege of calling him my 'former bishop.'

Fred Schwartz said...

pierre,
With a little bit of luck most everyone in TEC will be able to call him a former bishop.

Jim said...

Are they in that evangelical world? Given the mom-in-laws views on abortion, I was inclined to guess Roman. Maybe a nice high mass with 12 or so accolytes?

FWIW
jimB

Leonardo Ricardo said...

There are old, very old, ancient even, women sitting on benches at the entrance to the Central Cemetery...they are head to toe in black...what do you think if I hire them, change them into various pastel outfits, high heels and have them attend the service? They usually are professional "mourners" but, I don't think you'll be able to tell them apart from the fundamentalist, dominionist extremist groupies...they add just the right touch of burning madness that I realize you're not short of, but, always ADDS to the ceremony!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

...they scream and shout really first rate defening faster than the speed of sound!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

of course they'll submit to a strip search (for money)...they are naturals for Republican eventos...sorry they missed St. Pauls police confrontation...nothing stops these dynamos!

Two Cents said...

I once spent an afternoon with Bill Clinton's former "spiritual adviser". He agreed that oral sex does not constitute intercourse, which leaves all kinds of possibilities for re-working the wedding liturgy. It may be a little difficult to recite vows but with half the crowd on its knees, security concerns would be diminished greatly.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Hopefully Leonardo, these anciana biddies also have not cut their hair for half a century and you can fix them up right sharp with some of that "the higher the hair, the closer to God" theology along with the pastel dresses!

Erika Baker said...

If the bride happened to be 5 months pregnant she or her husband might find it impossible to consummate the marriage. I have known men who were completely unable perform their marital duties from the moment the baby first moved in the womb until it left home for university.
Would you require proof?