Saturday, April 11, 2009

Changing times, changing Liturgies.

Here at St. Onuphrius’ we’ve always celebrated Good Friday in the traditional conservative Anglican fashion: by roasting a whole lamb on a spit over a fire in the children’s playground. Innovation has it’s place, but in the past I’ve never found anything that teaches the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement like forcing the congregation to watch little lambsie get slaughtered and barbecued. It’s one thing to enjoy saying the word “Penal” (and if you ask me some of my orthodox brethren enjoy saying it just a little too much, if you get my meaning), but it’s another altogether to actually experience the bloody mess that accompanies the killing of an innocent creature as part of God’s perfect plan of love. If Mel Gibson hadn’t taken the easy way out and used actors he’d have seen the truth and stopped wasting his time with the Roman schism long ago, I can tell you that for certain.

Still, given that Lent ended early this year, it seemed only right to make a few liturgical changes for this Good Friday's services. At Consuella’s suggestion I decided that instead of killing the young sheep, they will become the foundations of a flock we'll keep for their milk and wool, with the intention of developing a range of world’s most Biblical woollen undergarments (why should the Mormons have all the fun? And why didn’t I think of registering the domain name, combined with our own brand of fresh sheep’s-milk cheese.

Not only has their been more than enough sadness around here lately, it occurred to me that if Jesus really has conquered death there isn’t too much point in continuing to wallow in something that no longer rules over us. Besides, although it’s been a while since I’ve bothered actually reading the Scriptures (having been much too busy talking about them), I seem to recall there being something about the Cheesemakers being especially blessed - although of course our Lord mightn’t have been speaking literally, but just referring to manufactures of dairy products in general.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

PS: None of the above should be taken as suggesting we also abandoned our traditional Way of the Cross procession, although Evangelical Eric’s performance was disappointing. I’ve never envisaged Jesus shrieking uncontrollably during the scourging, and I believe our Saviour was still conscious when it came to the soldiers driving in the nails. Perhaps next year someone from CANA might be persuaded to take the role, or I hear clergy in the Diocese of Sydney are getting a little desperate for money…


Anonymous said...

I certainly hope Howie Ahmanspill Jr. donated the lamb this year for you feast on a beast day...he´s paid through the giblet (readings) for many lambs to be slaughtered both home and abroad...most of BIG DEAL slaughtering is where there have been Bishops in Uganda and Nigeria...there is a real hunger by Anglican Bishops who love them lamb chops...rare, blood rare!

Lic. Velveteen Horowitz Jackman

Cany said...

Around here, getting the chihuahua to lie down with the Staffie is indeed a peril making the lamb/lion paradox less poignant.

And in a robust decry of eating lamb, we are having fish. Not just fish, but shellfish.

God help us.

MadPriest said...

Our stations of the cross and walk of witness was a complete disaster, Father. Our vicar, who was playing the part of Jesus, as usual, did the falling three times bit perfectly. But then he continued to fall after coming out of the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh public house on our route. If there is one thing that, in my opinion, makes a complete mockery of divinity it is a saviour who can't hold his liquor.

It was made even more embarrassing by the fact that the fourteen year old playing the part of Mary was still perfectly coherent and upright at the end having matched the old sop pint for pint.

Fred Schwartz said...

If you were to get one of the GAFCON types to take Eric's place you would have to re-title this post Changing times, changing liturgies, changing diapers.

Jim said...

The church moronic might be able to send you someone for next year but if it is their best fatted bishop from Southern California you will need to reinforce the cross. I suggest getting the architect that designed that quiet little number in Kentucky.


The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

But MadPriest, my dear lad, at least you can be proud that the sweet young lass has learned something of value while attending Youth Fellowship meetings.

MadPriest said...

You misunderstand me, dear Father. I am extremely proud of the young lady who, obviously, has a great career ahead of her in the emergent church wing of the franchise. No, it's the inability of the vicar to remain upright after only half a dozen pints that brings shame upon the Church. There is no place for such girliness within the muscular Christianity as taught in seminaries such as St. Stephen's House in Oxford, where they actually have piles of magazines containing photographs of what fit young men should look like if they want to bring glory to God.