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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Quality Preaching

Honest, I do not troll the internet looking for things to decry in other people's liturgies -- but this is a bit much, don't you think? (Yes, I'm doing a little Christmas planning in July)

We did have an interesting "homily" about a decade ago. After the gospel, the priest left the altar and a singer led "City of God". Then the priest, dressed as John the Baptist, came in singing "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord". After a minute or so, the choir started "Here Comes Santa Claus" and Santa came in with a sack full of catalogues that he handed out to a few members of the congregation. That led to a "debate" over how we should really be preparing for Christmas, and whether shopping should take precedence over prayer and fasting. It was extremely effective, and people in the parish still talk about it. (When "John" talked about the birth of Jesus, "Santa" pulled out a really cheap nativity set and gave it to a kid we had planted in the front row with instructions to give it back.)
Every member of the congregation was in rapt attention because they didn't know what was going to happen next.
[sometimes, IME, it is difficult to differentiate between "attention" and what I refer to as the "Springtime for Hitler Face", i.e., the faces on the audience in the non-musical movie of Mel Brooks' The Producers, as they are watching the 1st act.] They actually paid attention to every word, and many of them still remember that homily a decade later. [I would as well.] Someone mentioned it to me this year. (You probably won't be surprised to know I was Santa.) We had well-attended Advent prayer services that year and it was standing room only for our Penance Service as well as for all three of our Christmas masses.

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

That dog-and-pony stuff would make a very fine NON-Mass thing--exactly what the 'mystery plays' did.

Similarly, why not a dramatized St John Passion some Sunday afternoon in Lent?