Monday, May 13, 2013

The Walsingham Bubble Mass

Bubbles at the Elevation from Fr Simon Rundell on Vimeo.

His Grace was going to write today about something religio-political that irked him, but then he saw this, and he was sorely angered. Apparently, the Diocese of Exeter held a 'taster' for the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage, which included Mass celebrated by Bishop John Ford of Plymouth. We are told: 'Having used bubbles earlier to consider their beauty, uniqueness and specialness - just like us - filled with breath which ultimately goes right back to God, we were encouraged to blow bubbles as the holy elements are raised, and fill the sacred space with light, airy prayer-filled bubbles...'

Right.

His Grace is so convulsed with incredulity, he can scarcely type. He is so used to writing about those who inhabit the metaphorical Westminster Bubble that it had completely escaped him that the Church of England was blowing its own, quite literally. Can you imagine Jesus getting Judas and Peter to do these on the night he was betrayed? "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is clouded in bubbles for you." Or St Paul:
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to blow bubbles at the Lord's supper.
For in blowing every one showeth himself to be a pillock: and one is dippy, and another is just preposterous.
What? have ye not houses to blow your own fairy liquid foam and froth? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
He didn't blow bloody globules of air.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
And the Lord's death isn't a particularly effervescent soapy fest.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
And unworthily includes jocularly, trivially and absurdly.
But let a man examine himself (yea, and a suffragan bishop, too), and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, but cut the bloody spumes of lather.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (yea, with fizzy globules), eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

61 Comments:

Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Verily, I say unto thee, why the long face?

There is a balance to be held between reverence & flippancy. However, I don't believe the Lord intended the eucharist to always be the somber, macabre, misery fest that we confuse with being reverent.

The act of communion should be as much about remembering our Lord's LIFE & His VICTORY over death & sin.

Look how other people raise a cup to celebrate their victory over their opponents. That is how I would like us to celebrate communion from time to time.

I'm sure our Lord looks down sometimes at our eucharistic services and says, "Cheer up a bit, a won!!".

13 May 2013 at 09:59  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Your Grace's ashes seem disturbed.

Have you been to a "Lord's Supper" in a happy clappy house church? Pioneer? New Frontiers? Ichthus? Bubbles would be the least of your worries!

Bread randomly passed around with the bidding to enjoy yourself. Nothing about this being a memorial of Jesus' passion and death; a vehicle of God's grace to unworthy dust licking sinners.

Bubbles is nothing. At least they heard the mass.

13 May 2013 at 09:59  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Churches of all denominations have scraped through the bottom of the barrel of naffness and dug into the cringe-soaked earth beneath in the name of being relevant to 'yoof', but even by those standards this is something to be treasured.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the planning meeting when the Bishop says "How do we get the young folks interested?" and the Bishop's chaplain says, "I know, let's treat them like complete idiots who can't understand anything that isn't presented to them like Teletubbies", and the Diocesan Youth Rep., with a degree in Getting Down with the Kids Studies from Luton goes, "By George, I think we've cracked it!"

If anyone had tried a bubble mass on me when I was about 12, I'd have joined the Richard Dawkins fan club when I got home. Why do Churches and the people who design the National Curriculum persist in believing that the best way to engage young people is patronise and talk down to them?

Bubbles to carry our prayers heavenward? I thought that gap in the market was neatly filled by incense; they sell it at Wippells, I believe.

13 May 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Darter Noster

"Bubbles to carry our prayers heavenward?"

Heaven forbid any imagery other than that used in scripture!

And as proof that absurdity lies in the eye of the beholder, I notice how it is the bubbles which are the cause of your indignation, yet the sight of a grown man wearing a white dress whilst distributing polystyrene-like wafers is considered somehow reverent & "uncringeworthy"!

13 May 2013 at 10:58  
Blogger David B said...

Darter Noster put it well, I thought.

The church shoots itself in the foot again, annoying the traditionalists while at the same time making itself a laughing stock to any adolescents who happen to see it.

"Why do Churches and the people who design the National Curriculum persist in believing that the best way to engage young people is patronise and talk down to them?"

Perhaps it is evidence of how religion can rot the brain?

Anyway, I think the mot juste is 'splendid' :)

David

13 May 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Bob Hayes said...

'Youth Pilgrimage Taster'? Looks more like an induction process for Young Synodistas.

13 May 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

"And as proof that absurdity lies in the eye of the beholder, I notice how it is the bubbles which are the cause of your indignation, yet the sight of a grown man wearing a white dress whilst distributing polystyrene-like wafers is considered somehow reverent & "uncringeworthy"!"

Have you ever met an adolescent...? Or perhaps been one yourself at some stage...?

What is cringeworthy is expecting a group of adolescents to stand around and blow bubbles.

Why not, instead of giving them a Eucharistic Happy Meal (perhaps with a little toy Crucifix in the bag), treat them like the growing and intelligent young people they are, give them real food and teach them from an early age the full significance of the Lord's Supper, with its millennia of profound mystery and ceremonial?

They're not going to suddenly become interested in religion if you skip that bit and give them the Ronald McDonald version of Christianity, with a colouring book thrown in.

The absolute very worst thing you can do, if you want to engage children and teenagers, is patronise them. I would be very interested indeed to revisit this group of kids in ten years time and see how many of them are regular church goers.

13 May 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger Peter D said...

Is this chappie a supporter of WestHam: - "we're forever blowing bubbles' pretty bubbles in the air"?

Liturgy reflects theology (or ought to) and this says much about modernist theology. Of course, liturgy also shapes the theology of participants in services and here is the real danger of gimmicks such as these.

The Eucharist remembers and recreates Christ's self-giving sacrifice. Christ as our King and as our Servant becomes present amongst us. And we blow Him bubbles!!!!

13 May 2013 at 11:29  
Blogger Simon Cooke said...

Clearly a fellow West Ham fan!

13 May 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

What!Bubbles without Taylor Swift. Tsk...how uncool!

13 May 2013 at 12:43  
Blogger David Hussell said...

So very, very silly, certainly demeaning to the importance of the event and perhaps even verging on the destructive, theologically. It is condescending to the young people and masks the far, deeper joy contained in the triumph of Christ's victory over death, sin and the grave. It confuses solemnity and gravity with being miserable. God's promise to us as believers is joy, more than sufficient. A hope filled sermon, homily or even a joyous hymn or psalm would be an immeasurably better way to convey a sense of the victory contained within the Christian message to these young people than introducing infantile party games to a sacred moment.
Is this some sort of totally misplaced "marketing" gimmick? If so they need to reflect very deeply on what they have done, demurring from any future repetitions.

13 May 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Interesting to note some of the girls seem more interested in blowing bubbles at each other instead. That's really surprising - I wouldn't have expected they'd do that.

13 May 2013 at 13:52  
Blogger An_enquiring_mind said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 May 2013 at 14:07  
Blogger An_enquiring_mind said...

@Emlyn Uwch Cych

I have no idea if His Grace has been to a Lord's Supper in what you (rather uncharitably) call a "happy clappy house church" but it is rather clear that you experience is limited and, from the tone of your comments, filtered through your own prejudices.

Bread is not passed randomly but pulled from the loaf (in the manner that Jesus would have done) by the person themselves. The loaf is held for them reverently by selected members of the congregation or by the person next to them. The words used as the loaf is held out may not be the ones that you are used to but they are true and from the heart.

You may not believe in the priesthood of all believers but it has far more scriptural foundation than vestments, bishops living very nicely in large houses (or better) well away from their flock.

Not that I am knocking the Church of England or the Roman Catholic churches. I am in good communion with friends who attend a wide variety of denominations and most, if not all, of us have moved denomination when necessary (e.g. relocation for work). The important thing is not the denomination but that church preaches the salvation available only through accepting Jesus Christ.

I cannot ever see my particular church using bubbles as part of the Lord's Supper. As part of a meditative section, thinking about the beauty of God's creation and how we can all, childlike fashion that in a good & godly-annointed, take pleasure in simple things and that beauty.

One final point. Our youth, in the vast majority, stay true to their faith as they grow up, more so than in the established churches. And the falling away of young people in the established churches is a matter of great sadness for me, in case you are getting any wrong ideas.

The fact that our youth stay true to their faith is evidenced by the number of them that get involved in the mission field. Often for a large part or even all of a gap year and in quite a few cases full time later in life.

13 May 2013 at 14:31  
Blogger RMBruton said...

Silly Gentiles.

13 May 2013 at 15:58  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

I remember back in the late 70s, an American RC Priest had given us all a trendy Mass with dancing and other cool things....at the crucial moment of Holy Communion he did not say the words traditionally spoken. Instead he said, with a catch in his voice,
"Well, here He is, and here we are....and ain't it just wunnerful?!"

Nice to see that after 40 years the loonies are still out and about...

13 May 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger Preacher said...

Sounds a bit John Crowder or Rob Bell to me.

13 May 2013 at 16:59  
Blogger Albert said...

Jim,

at the crucial moment of Holy Communion he did not say the words traditionally spoken. Instead he said, with a catch in his voice,
"Well, here He is, and here we are....and ain't it just wunnerful?!"


If you mean the priest did not say "This is my body/blood" it wasn't a Mass, He wasn't there and it wasn't wonderful. All that happened is that the people were there - which is what so much liturgy seems reduced to, when it becomes "modern".

13 May 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Eaglet2 said...

All rather harsh and uncharitable. Your Grace.

Fr Rundell is a well-known and talented creative liturgist, who's made a notable contribution to the development of high quality liturgy that connects with young people (and the not-so-young). As you yourself were something of a creative liturgist in your day I would have thought you would recognise one of your own, and understood that the creative process does involve an element of risk. Perhaps there were even a few early drafts of the Book of Common Prayer that you are relieved not to have seen the light of day - nowadays it seems in the Youtube/ Vimeo era doesn't give creatives the luxury to experiment without being stamped on.

Fr Rundell has plenty of liturgical 'hits' to his name, and if this one is a 'miss' it doesn't deserve to be traipsed with opprobium all over the blogosphere. For myself I've seen bubbles used very powerfully and movingly in a liturgical setting (although not at the Eucharist) so although I share some of Your Grace's concerns this was surely in the 'worth a try' category.

13 May 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger Peter D said...

Creative liturgist?!

The purpose of liturgy is surely to respect and reflect theology. What on earth does blowing bubbles tell us when Christ's Body is being raised?!

Okay, I'm being harsh. Let's improve it by having Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift singing in the background. Flashing lights too and maybe a dancing troop.

"I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my faith they fade and die.
Jesus' always hiding,
I've looked everywhere,
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

I'm dreaming dreams,
I'm scheming schemes,
I'm building castles high.
I'm born anew, my days are few,
Just like a sweet butterfly.
And as the daylight is dawning,
They come again in the morning!

I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my faith they fade and die.
Jesus' always hiding,
I've looked everywhere,
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air."


What nonsense.

13 May 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

At least it is an improvement over the "Giant Puppets of Doom."


carl

13 May 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Another sign of the times. Heresy being promoted not but uninstructed lay people but by our leaders. When referring to his second coming Jesus asked "Will there be any faith left on Earth". St Paul mentions the great apostasy that will occur before the return of the Lord. One of the reasons for this lack of faith must surely be the leadership of these loonies.

13 May 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Eaglet2 said...

Peter D the original version of the of the song you've used your own creativity on in fact helps me make my point.

In the right context and liturgical space (to use the jargon) bubbles can become powerful symbols of shattered dreams and hopes. In the service I attended where bubbles were blown they accompanied a reflection on loss and hopelessness - and it actually transcended the 'childishness' and struck a deep emotional chord with many people.




13 May 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for a brilliantly entertaining tirade. Like yesterday's post, though, this too provides spiritual food!

On the one hand, I think, Bishop Ford makes a valid point about his bubbles, because Latin spiritus means "breathing, breath" - and even has an extended sense of "the breath of life."* The same denotation/connotation inheres in OE gast [ghost], which = "soul, spirit, life." There, though, the term can apply equally to "good or bad spirit, angel, demon.** So ... although the bishop intends his globular content to include prayers (perhaps of 'praise and thanksgiving'), he might presume too readily that all human breath is so directed.

On the other hand, not being of an illiterate, "visually oriented" generation, in the context of the Eucharist I favour ceremonial articulation of prayers. I revere YG's liturgy, the Bible, and sacred music. Unfortunately, the only music this performance evokes for me is the song "Clementine": about the miner's daughter who drowns in "foaming brine" while "blowing bubbles soft and fine."

Which leads me to thoughts like: on the night before the death of a beloved family member, will these youngsters activate their bubble kits? Will they do the same over the dead body? When human sacrifice again rears its ugliness (not symbolically but, e.g. in real war, or prison camps), will they blow bubbles over the corpses? Or will they show more sombre respect and gratitude for love, sacrifice, suffering, and death? After all, the Mass presents these concepts, but as Love, Sacrifice, Suffering, and Death.

My own answers to the questions suggest that the Bishop's venture from safe haven has headed into a rip-tide of trivialisation --- of the Mass, and of communicant mentality. However, only the Saviour knows if the Exeter crew will receive help, and return to port.






____________
*Cassell's Latin Dictionary. Ed. D.P. Simpson. New York: Macmillan, 1968.

**Clark Hall, J.R. A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. 4th. Ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996. (Originally published by University of Cambridge Press, 1960).

13 May 2013 at 19:14  
Blogger Maccus Curia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 May 2013 at 19:20  
Blogger Peter D said...

Eaglet2
"In the right context and liturgical space (to use the jargon) bubbles can become powerful symbols of shattered dreams and hopes."

Right context and liturgical space? At the raising of Our Lord's Body?

"In the service I attended where bubbles were blown they accompanied a reflection on loss and hopelessness - and it actually transcended the 'childishness' and struck a deep emotional chord with many people."

Maybe at a Sunday School or a Bible Study evening to illustrate a point. But at a liturgical service? Not a funeral, I do hope?

These gimmicks have no place in sacred liturgy. They cheapen worship. Surely, we can give God better than this?

13 May 2013 at 19:31  
Blogger David B said...

@Shacklefree 19.01

Actually I wasn't familiar with those ideas, but having come across them in your post doesn't it lead to the conclusion that those who both believe that there will be a great apostasy before the putative second coming, and who want to see the putative second coming would be well advised to actively work to destroy faith in order to fulfil the 'prophesy' and hence impel the second coming?

David

13 May 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B
Now that is a most perverted understanding. Indeed, its Satanic!

Only an atheist could pose such a question. Doing moral evil to achieve some hoped for good is certainly in keeping with Communism and Nazism - not Christianity.

13 May 2013 at 21:12  
Blogger RMBruton said...

This is about as egregious an example of why the C of E is utterly doomed as an institution to look at for positively impacting anything, much less England. This is precisely the kind of crap which went on and continues in the Church of Rome, to this day. Anyone remember "Clown Masses"? The clerically licensed miscreants who author such incidents would do better to go into the other room and do the honorable thing and save us the collective shame of witnessing what they do in the name of their messiah.

14 May 2013 at 00:29  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Whilst we're on about silly, trivialising nonsense, I was actually in a church the other week and some moron thought it'd be funny to tinkle a little bell just as we were preparing to receive communion; some other moron actually went round swinging smoke everywhere - got right in my eyes & nearly choked me; to top it all, some idiot thought it be funny to come out and flick water everywhere. The guy at the front thought it'd be amusing to dress up in a comical hat & what can only be described as batman-like cape. And then to add to the sense of farce & pantomime, he would sing things out in a silly voice and the audience would shout things back. Oh no they didn't ... oh yes they did. And they did it all in such a deadpan manner.

Have they no respect?

14 May 2013 at 00:59  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Well said Bruton. Clown masses are a sickening condoned sacrilege!The new Pope needs a very large broom to sweep his Church clean.I feel for those poor sick children in hospital who are visited by clowns...research will eventually show it hastens their demise!

14 May 2013 at 02:03  
Blogger Eaglet2 said...

Peter D - my point is that in the service I attended where the bubbles were used they supported the other aspects of the liturgy. The actual type of service is not particularly relevant in my view.

It's ironic that in the video we see at least 4 other features that have caused bitter controversy across church history: Fr Rundell presides facting West, he's wearing vestments, he elevates the host, and then genuflects. As far as I can see none of our commenters has batted an eyelid on these areas.

14 May 2013 at 06:52  
Blogger David B said...

"...4 other features that have caused bitter controversy across church history: Fr Rundell presides facting West, he's wearing vestments, he elevates the host, and then genuflects."

So facing East, wearing vestments, elevating the host and genuflection are not the eternal truths that church-people seem so fond of saying they represent?

Perhaps the time taken up by these controversies might have been better spent aiding the poor, finding more effective treatments than prayer for various forms of sickness, working out that the earth was not the centre of the universe, discovering the origin of species, exploring the nature of matter, and various other topics that have better claim to be interesting, and/or useful, and, crucially, true.

David

14 May 2013 at 08:08  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

As my late Dad used to say, "And the tragedy is that this was done by a Bishop."

14 May 2013 at 08:16  
Blogger David B said...

Further to my last, was it not also a great controversy within various churches the question of whether the use of lightning conductors on church spires was to interfere with the putative divine will?

Was there not a lot of resistance to the now uncontroversial idea of increasing understanding of how nature works preventing churches, and perhaps their congregations if present, from destruction?

Is this not a theological question?

And yet I often see written something to the effect of 'That Dawkins fellow may know a lot about science, but he is ignorant about theology' as if knowing about theology was somehow more useful or valid than knowing about astrology, phrenology, ajur-vedic medicine......

Something that has certainly not been demonstrated in any sort of evidence based way, to the best of my knowledge.

David

14 May 2013 at 08:17  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Well done Eaglet2 on being the only one to have any sense of proportion here (except myself of course!) [I have twice mentioned the issue wearing vestments btw]

14 May 2013 at 08:48  
Blogger David B said...

Off topic, though topical, I see from a report in today's Irish Times that, in the interests of being pro-life, the Catholic Church in El Salvador is likely condemning a woman to death, and her young son to being motherless, because they would deny her a life-saving operation.

Utterly contemptible!!

David

14 May 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@David B. Rejoice though that that is considered newsworthy. On the other hand the 125,000 children who will be murdered in their mothers womb today in the interests of being "pro-choice" [though I'm not sure the babies would see it that way] will not feature in any news story. Indeed, there was something akin to a news blackout in the trial of a man who delighted in breaking live-born babies necks in the interests of being "pro choice".

14 May 2013 at 08:57  
Blogger David Anderson said...

This post itself is a sad reflection of religious decline.

The actual Thomas Cranmer was righteously offended, and ready to die, and actually died, in protest against the (objective) offence of the Mass itself.

Blogger Cranmer, on the other hand, doesn't even have a passing remark to spare for the false teaching represented by the Roman Mass. He passes by that entirely to direct his ire against something else.

There could be no plainer way of insulting the actual Thomas Cranmer than this, not to mention Jesus Christ.

14 May 2013 at 09:20  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

David Anderson,

Do your homework: this was an Anglican service.

14 May 2013 at 09:23  
Blogger Rose said...

Personally, I am more concerned by the content of that eucharistic prayer than I am by the bubbles.

14 May 2013 at 09:37  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

David B,

"And yet I often see written something to the effect of 'That Dawkins fellow may know a lot about science, but he is ignorant about theology' as if knowing about theology was somehow more useful or valid than knowing about astrology, phrenology, ajur-vedic medicine......"

Perhaps if Dawkins spent less time heaping scorn on people's religious beliefs, the fact that he doesn't actually understand them would be less important. If, however, you're going to dedicate large amounts of time and effort to speaking publicly about religion, I would have thought that understanding it first would be quite useful.

"Perhaps the time taken up by these controversies might have been better spent aiding the poor, finding more effective treatments than prayer for various forms of sickness, working out that the earth was not the centre of the universe, discovering the origin of species, exploring the nature of matter, and various other topics that have better claim to be interesting, and/or useful, and, crucially, true."

Do you mean by people like Galileo and Newton, who were both devoutly religious? Or like Buzz Aldrin, who celebrated Holy Communion at Tranquility Base? Or the thousands of other scientists and engineers throughout history whose religious beliefs have inspired them to understand the workings of the Universe, but who people like Dawkins will condemn as stupid and deluded just because they don't share his views on Metaphysics?

14 May 2013 at 11:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Rebel Saint

Do you take the same view of State ceremonies such as the Opening of Parliament and the Queen's Speech? The recent State Funeral of Margaret Thatcher? The Coronation?

It's okay adopting the perspective of a "visitor from Mars". But it is one based on an ignorance of or a disagreement with with what lies behind ritual and ceremony.

Theologically you may disagree with the Catholic Mass - or Anglican variants of it. The problem is church goers are becoming increasingly ignorant of the meaning of sacred worship and ceremony which reflect and reinforce doctrines on the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather than address this issue some church leaders are debasing worship so people "feel" "included".

14 May 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Peter D

I have no problem with high church worship (though I myself come from a "bottom of the barrel" tradition!). Indeed, I was at a sung eucharist this past Sunday. I love the majesty and grandeur of it - and seem to appreciate it more & more as I reach middle-age! [My wife who is from a Pentecostal background said this Sunday was the first time she has wanted to cry with despondency at such an Anglican service!]

You have hit the nail on the head when you say it is comprehending the significance & meaning behind the rituals that is what is important. It is when we transmit HOW we do things rather than WHY we do things that traditions become vacuous & dead. Form over substance.

When you understand WHY things are done, you don't get so hung up about HOW they are done. So that if someone wants to use bubbles instead of incense; a mural rather than stained glass; an airhorn over a bell etc, it doesn't upset you quite as much because you realise they actually get what the purpose is.

I am against the idea that antiquity is always better. It's the same with most austere religious sects - Amish, Exclusive Brethren etc - who decided they are going to live in a particular period of history in the belief that their chosen era was somehow more "holy".

Same with State occasions. I love the pomp & ceremony - especially as you understand the historical origins & significance of it all. But using the Queens Jubilee celebrations it has to be noted that there is just as much skill & splendour in the contemporary celebrations as the more formal state occasions. AND - more significantly - comparing the expressions of the celebrants, it's obvious which ones were the more enjoyable.

You have to remember that everyone of the aspects of the "traditional" eucharist service were in themselves new, contemporary & derided in their time. New things need time to mature - "And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”"

14 May 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Correction: This was the first week my wife hasn't wanted to cry with despondency

14 May 2013 at 13:58  
Blogger Peter D said...

Rebel Saint

Thank you for a full answer and I'm pleased you and your wife found the Anglican service spiritually uplifting.

As a more traditional Catholic I do not believe in introducing novelty into worship to make it inclusive or to dumb down services so people feel better. I believe God is entitled to the best man can offer in terms of sacred
choreography, vestments, music, art, prayers and sounds of worship. And because the form has taken centuries to develop, it links us in time with fellow Christians.

I do take your points about the evolution over time of forms of worship. However, I can see no value in replacing bubbles for incense or clapping for ringing bells, at the point when the bread and wine is consecrated and transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. The point of worship is to honour God - not to feel good or excited.

14 May 2013 at 15:35  
Blogger non mouse said...

Nice measured thinking, Rebel Saint @ 13:56. Speaking of the antiquity of sacred ceremonial, we might do well to recollect Exodus 28. I've often noted that the purposes of bells in the sanctuary include the notion: "that the people might know his [Aaron's] going out and coming in, and so give themselves up ...(34ff).

Of course, we extended the usefulness of church bells, over the centuries. And other elements of the service were also adapted to time and place - though obviously it was more difficult in some cases. Just look at the battles we had to get liturgy and scriptures into the vernacular!

Getting back to Bubbles??? I find it hard to believe present-day realists have replaced solid value (jewels) with breath (spiritus/gast). But so long as everyone already knows the linguistics, obviously the imagery follows. :)

And what with the bishop's offering being so soapy: cleanliness and Godliness together call on another tradition...

Still, I'm with Rose @ 9:37: at the most sacred moments, I'd rather concentrate on liturgy and the Presence.

14 May 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

David B
Your comment about actively working to destroy faith in order to fulfil the 'prophesy' is what we might expect from people who believe they can make up their own morality. Prophesies do not give us license to decide the rules unless you happen to be an Islamicist or an abortionist. Those of us who believe, consider that we have have to conform to the true law rather than re-inventing it each generation.

14 May 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This doesn't seem like very reverent worship to me. It feels like treating G-d as a joke. I'd be appalled if we did that as worship in our Shul. I don't think Moses blew bubbles, but took off his shoes, when he met G-d in the burning bush...

14 May 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Hannah

A good point. Part of the problem today is that people and their 'ministers' overlook the fact they are in the presence of God. It is all about one's 'experience', you see, not reverence before the Almighty.

Bubbles, indeed .....

14 May 2013 at 21:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector has only this day returned from his beloved Free State, so has not had time to assess the responses. With this in mind, can this man offer a most profound statement, and apologies if it’s already been aired.

“Be careful what you do, lest your efforts be construed as bringing into disrepute that which you wish to promote”

From a man who was permanently damaged as a child when some good meaning blighter brought a guitar into Mass.

(May the saints preserve us...)

14 May 2013 at 22:23  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I dunno, it does seem a bit strange, if you

1) believe Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose again.

2)that in some way he is 'present' in the service.

1 is quite a profound statement if you believe it to be true. So it seems to me to show a lack of thanks if you really do believe it. And 2. If Jesus is there, then I am not sure if he would appreciate people blowing bubbles into his face.

Or am I just 'mouthing off' not knowing some key and hidden christian ritual or reason for the bubbles here?

14 May 2013 at 22:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Kavanagh. Even simpler than your simple attempt at humour, that man. You are just being a smart arse.

14 May 2013 at 23:01  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Ow! You do put yourself down! Why do you think of yourself as being simple. Poor old you. I think you need to go on a confidence building course. When you are back at work, speak to your boss/HR to see if there is any training you can get for it.

As for David being a 'smart arse'. Quite. But he can't help being him.

14 May 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Smart Arse?

Moi??!

Oh come now Inspector. I pale in comparison to you. If I may say you are a smarter arse than me.

Besides which I was merely trying to be ecumenical and empathize with the rest of you here about the blowing of the bubbles, the lack of decorum and deep spirituality and the respect one should show in Church.

But if you do agree with blowing bubbles, that this is a respectable form of Christian worship, then may I be the first to get some and go round Gloucester Cathedral, blowing away bubbles and being respectful and being into inter faith dialogue at the same time....

14 May 2013 at 23:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Kavanagh. One suspects you are inebriated. Perhaps another time for your angst, what !

15 May 2013 at 00:10  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

No, I am quite sober. I was simply being ecumenical, it was not supposed to be a gag. You were the one who launched himself into a tirade against me. For no good reason, I might add.

I have to agree with Hannah. You are putting yourself down by calling yourself simple. Also, you are seeing attacks when they are not there.

Calm down old son.

15 May 2013 at 00:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Kavanagh. The Inspector admits he is unable to determine whether you are drunk or sober. And as to whether you post in all seriousness or in humour.

Combined, a rather unique attribute that is yours and yours alone. Says volumes about you, you know !

heh heh !

15 May 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger Peter D said...

"The Inspector admits he is unable to determine whether you are drunk or sober. And as to whether you post in all seriousness or in humour."

Pot ...Kettle ... Black!

16 May 2013 at 01:28  
Blogger David Anderson said...

> Do your homework: this was an Anglican service.

I had done my homework. I was working with the assumption that the "celebration" was sufficiently similar to the Roman rite that there was a reason for using the usual Roman word. Wikipedia's statement on this occasion is accurate: 'In general, Protestants avoid the term "Mass" and use such terms as Divine Service or service of worship, for doctrinal reasons.' Hence, amongst Protestants, phrases like this one are usually used without the need for clarification of what "Mass" means:

"A peace having been made, Henry, and the French king, Henry the Great, were unanimous to have the Mass abolished in their kingdom, and Cranmer set about this great work" - http://www.theologynetwork.org/unquenchable-flame/the-reformation-in-britain/getting-stuck-in/the-martyrdom-of-thomas-cranmer.htm

16 May 2013 at 10:43  
Blogger David Anderson said...

Looking back through the comments, I see that Eaglet has already made the comment I was about to make, more eloquently too:

"It's ironic that in the video we see at least 4 other features that have caused bitter controversy across church history: Fr Rundell presides facting West, he's wearing vestments, he elevates the host, and then genuflects. As far as I can see none of our commenters has batted an eyelid on these areas."

Given that the real Cranmer died over such matters, "ironic" is a rather mild word to use.

16 May 2013 at 10:54  

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