Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trippin' The Liturgical Fantastic

Constance and I just wanted to go to a FASOLA singing ( http://www.awakemysoul.com/) one Sunday morning and ended up at St. Gregory's of Nyssa Episcopal Church. We were met before the service in the narthex or lobby or foyer or whatever you call a place in a church where they have a wine and cheese bar set up, with, yes, wine and cheese. And grapes. Was this Sunday morning liturgy or Friday evening at an art gallery opening? Whatever. Let me at that cheese. Church was never like this before!

We sang, danced, and I'll admit, whispered some asides to each other, too. A portion of the service was like a combination testimony bearing/townhall meeting. Followed by dancing. In a circle around the altar. Under the iconic Dancing Saints, including Lady Godiva and was that David dancing naked and unashamed before God? And Ghandi and Malcom X with wire-framed glasses on? Did I hear some tinklin Tibetan bells and Asian gongs? We followed, doing a circle/line dance,--with Constance in a wheelchair, mind you,--a candle, a cross and some very vibrantly-colored umbrellas.
I may be making it sound sort of cultish, but it really wasn't. More like a celebration. Maybe we were supposed to rejoice. I certainly enjoyed the colorful, enthusiastic and warmly welcoming worship, but probably not for a churchy reason. Didn't feel called to repentance, even "lovingly," or woefully lacking in self-growth or even inspired to go home and start an exercise program, yet again. (Don't forget who's writing this--someone who has a lot of snide up her sleeve, and don't even pretend to be surprised about that one.)
Is it bad to be entertained at church? You know. Like a gawker?
Well, at least we didn't get nakie widdit like some of those high-stepping saints on the rotunda.

..."invites people to see God's image in all human kind, to sing and dance in Jesus' lead and to become God's friends... a 3,000 square foot painting wraps around the entire church rotunda, showing ninety larger-than life saints; four animals; stars, moons, suns and a twelve-foot dancing Christ. The saints—ranging from traditional figures like King David, Teresa of Avila and Frances of Assisi to unorthodox and non-Christian people like Malcolm X, Anne Frank, and Margaret Mead—represent musicians, artists, mathematicians, martyrs, scholars, mystics, lovers, prophets and sinners from all times, from many faiths and backgrounds."

1 comment:

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I am laughing so hard! Oh, man, I needed that today. You shoulda got nakie widdit. ;-)