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Source: (consider it) Thread: What puts you off from setting foot inside a church?
Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
A few people have mentioned drum kits surrounded by perspex - what's the issue here?

I mean, you have to keep the drummer penned in somehow [Snigger]

Yes, but why with perspex? I mean, I don't think it is actually soundproof, is it?
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Mudfrog
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What about a Salvation Army Brass Band ?

They're not bad

[ 21. November 2016, 18:13: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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Gamaliel
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I think the Archdeacon was saying that it was he who would bury the blade in the organist's back, Baptist Trainfan ...

[Ultra confused]

On the drums thing, I think I could happily absent myself from any church service that had a drum kit these days, plexiglas or no plexiglas ...

That doesn't mean I object to them anywhere else. Just provided I don't have to listen to them.

I'm fine with drums in rock bands and I like drums and bass and electric guitars like any old rocker ... it's just I can't be doing with them in church.

I'd go to a rock concert or to listen to a pub band if I wanted to hear drums and bass and so on.

To be frank, the whole worship-band thing puts me off too, although I can stand it in small doses and providing they don't have too much kit and caboodle nor act as if they are mainlining at Greenbelt or Soul Survivor or wherever else ...

But then, you can find similar levels of exhibitionism at the t'other end of the spectrum.

I don't have an issue with vestments and so on but some of them can be a bit 'look at me' when the whole idea of them is to draw attention away from the individual and to the particular liturgical actions they are carrying out ...

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Stercus Tauri
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
What about a Salvation Army Brass Band ?

They're not bad

The closest I have been to the jaws of hell was with a Salvation Army tuba player at the door of a hospital room wherein I was briefly trapped a few days before Christmas, a few years ago.

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Gamaliel
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Now, now ... I always used to like the Salvation Army brass band that used to play at the bottom of our street when I was a kid. I particularly liked to hear them at Christmas. I remember one occasion when their playing made a memorable impression during Advent.

I've found the standard of musicianship among Salvationists to be pretty good on the whole, although I'm no musical expert.

Whilst I can appreciate it, hearing a brass band playing 'Nearer my God to Thee' doesn't do a great deal for me on a 'spiritual' level other than to remind me of my time in West Yorkshire, the home of brass bands ...

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
On the drums thing, I think I could happily absent myself from any church service that had a drum kit these days, plexiglas or no plexiglas ...

However a set of timpani can be quite delightful on Easter for "The strife is o'er."
[Smile]

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Albertus
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And, of course, at funerals, with the Purcell Funeral Sentences. (That's what I want at mine, anyway!)
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
A few people have mentioned drum kits surrounded by perspex - what's the issue here?

I mean, you have to keep the drummer penned in somehow [Snigger]

Inasmuch as there's a serious question in there (not much, I know), if you have a worship band including a drum kit in most normal church venues, something needs to be done to muffle the percussion to keep everything in balance at an acceptable volume level.

As far as I'm concerned the jury's out on a drum kit behind perspex, but I would certainly struggle to worship in a context where the drum kit is there and no perspex.

The issue is that the percussionist shouldn't be banging his (invariably his) drums so loudly that he can't hear and isn't listening to what the congregation and the other musicians are doing round about him. It's not about him, any more than it's not about the lead singer expressing how deeply he or she really feels the emotions in the words - and particularly not if he or she does it by wavering on and off pitch and in and out of rhythm.

Rant over

[ 21. November 2016, 20:55: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
What about a Salvation Army Brass Band ?

They're not bad

quote:
Originally posted by Stercus Tauri:
The closest I have been to the jaws of hell was with a Salvation Army tuba player at the door of a hospital room wherein I was briefly trapped a few days before Christmas, a few years ago.

There's nothing like a good bit of music.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Baptist Trainfan
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Hallo Johann Sebastian, are you there? [Smile]
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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


On the drums thing, I think I could happily absent myself from any church service that had a drum kit these days, plexiglas or no plexiglas ...

That doesn't mean I object to them anywhere else. Just provided I don't have to listen to them.

I'm fine with drums in rock bands and I like drums and bass and electric guitars like any old rocker ... it's just I can't be doing with them in church.

Why is that?

Granted, a drummer going off like Keith Moon would clearly be inappropriate, as would a guitarist going into guitar heaven for 10 mins, but if the instrument is played properly and fits in with the style of music etc, where's the problem?

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Gamaliel
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Where's the problem?

The problem is that drums don't tend to suit traditional hymns very well and only tend to 'work' with modern worship songs and choruses. I wouldn't write all of those off but I have an aversion to repetitive chorus singing having spent years and years singing them over and over again.

I s'pose I've also been influenced by the Orthodox who tend only to have unaccompanied singing.

As far as church music goes, give me Byrd, Tallis and Orlando Gibbons. No drums there.

@Albertus, some music scholars claim that there wasn't any percussion in Purcell's original Funeral Sentences - but I think it sounds equally good with or without.

At any rate, as far as church music goes, no, I don't mind drums in the right context - the Orthodox in Africa use drums.

But a drum kit in a mediaeval nave seems out of place to me, as well as often sounding out of synch.

It does depend on the context.

The short answer is I've sung enough worship songs and choruses to last me a lifetime.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


On the drums thing, I think I could happily absent myself from any church service that had a drum kit these days, plexiglas or no plexiglas ...

That doesn't mean I object to them anywhere else. Just provided I don't have to listen to them.

I'm fine with drums in rock bands and I like drums and bass and electric guitars like any old rocker ... it's just I can't be doing with them in church.

Why is that?

Granted, a drummer going off like Keith Moon would clearly be inappropriate, as would a guitarist going into guitar heaven for 10 mins, but if the instrument is played properly and fits in with the style of music etc, where's the problem?

Baggage.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gamaliel
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Baggage? You mean not particularly wanting to see and hear drum kits in church?

Can't see why that's more baggage-laden than not wanting to go to churches which have pews or not visiting one because they happen to have a different view of the eucharist/communion to oneself ...

I'd be more than happy to visit a church that had a drum-kit. I'm not sure I'd want to attend such a church regularly.

That's all I'm saying.

I'm not calling for all drum kits to be smashed or anything of that kind.

Now synthesisers ... [Big Grin] [Biased]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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For what it's worth, our parish church has a drum kit. Mercifully, they don't use it at the 9am service which is the only service I attend there these days.

They reserve it for the 11am service, which is also the service where they provide buckets at the door for you to leave your brains in when you enter ...

[Biased] [Razz]

No, seriously, it ain't that bad ... It's just that I can't be doing with action-songs and the standard three chorus/worship song medley that has become almost universal across Anglican mildly charismatic evangelicalism.

I'd rather watch paint dry.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Leprechaun

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


No, seriously, it ain't that bad ... It's just that I can't be doing with action-songs and the standard three chorus/worship song medley that has become almost universal across Anglican mildly charismatic evangelicalism.

I'd rather watch paint dry.

Really? You've never mentioned it before. [Razz]

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He hath loved us, He hath loved us, because he would love

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L'organist
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@Albertus
Only the Purcell arranged sentences? Surely not, because then you miss out on what is, IMHO, the best - I am the resurrection and the life.

As you know, Purcell only composed three sentences -Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, Man that is born of woman, and In the midst of life; the rest of what are sometimes called 'Purcell's' Sentences are in fact by William Croft.

When Croft published his Sentences he included in them Thou knowest, Lord, clearly identifying it as the work of his illustrious predecessor at Westminster Abbey. Of course, it was the Croft sentences that were sung at Handel's funeral.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Brenda Clough
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I hadn't realized the plastic drum-set enclosure was so common. They installed one in our church because the congregation complained that the drums were too loud. The sanctuary was designed so that things said or sung at the front can be heard by everybody in the pews; it was never set up for modern music. There isn't any way to turn down a drum set (you can dial down the amps on guitars and electric pianos) so they muffled it.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Baggage? You mean not particularly wanting to see and hear drum kits in church?

I was speaking for myself. The sight of drum kits, or any of the other paraphernalia of standard Charevo worship raises too many memories of stuff I prefer to forget.

As a frinstance, take that song "Be Still for the Presence of the Lord". You know the one. That's been appropriated in recent years (OK, decades, make me feel old) by more MoR and even AC places as a communion hymn. And I can see how you can reinterpret the lyrics to work that way. But I know - this is my baggage - the original context. I know it's not about the Eucharist, it's about those (to me awful) "ministry times" with lots of laying on of hands and praying in tongues and expectations of people falling over and whatnot. I have bad associations with that scene. That's what I mean by baggage.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:

All I'm saying is that IMHO pews do not readily or comfortably facilitate many of the activities that go on in the churches I would like to be part of. With the exception of the point made about driving toy cars close to one's parents, there has been no further positive reason given for the pew's superiority. If you were building a place for Christian worship today, why include pews?

I find that a pew facilitates all the activities that I would like to happen in churches than I am a part of, whilst inhibiting activities that I don't want [Devil]

A seat, comfortable without being too cushy, that facilitates paying attention to a sermon and the readings. Built-in kneelers to accommodate kneeling whilst praying. Seating space allocated to each person is adjustable according to width. Scope for small children to lie down, play with toy cars, and so on whilst remaining safely confined so as not to cause excess distraction to other congregants.

For church activities where I want to look at the faces of my fellows: bible study, small group discussions and the like - we have small rooms with furniture appropriate to that use. You can't have a sensible interactive discussion with a church-full of people - meeting for discussion in a room that only holds a couple of dozen people is an advantage, as it prevents the size from becoming unwieldy.

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Gamaliel
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Ok, fair point Leprechaun, and Karl too.

I can visit places like that without having panic attacks or the lurgy. I know a curate who used to be part of the same charismatic evangelical 'network' as me and she says she feels physically sick if she's exposed to that style of worship now.

I don't feel like that. I just sound off about it on here ...

But seriously, I'd have no problem being a visitor at churches like that, but a visit would be all it would be.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
@Albertus
Only the Purcell arranged sentences? Surely not, because then you miss out on what is, IMHO, the best - I am the resurrection and the life.

As you know, Purcell only composed three sentences -Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, Man that is born of woman, and In the midst of life; the rest of what are sometimes called 'Purcell's' Sentences are in fact by William Croft.

When Croft published his Sentences he included in them Thou knowest, Lord, clearly identifying it as the work of his illustrious predecessor at Westminster Abbey. Of course, it was the Croft sentences that were sung at Handel's funeral.

Ah, thank you. I know- knew- virtually nothing of their history.
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Ok, fair point Leprechaun, and Karl too.

I can visit places like that without having panic attacks or the lurgy. I know a curate who used to be part of the same charismatic evangelical 'network' as me and she says she feels physically sick if she's exposed to that style of worship now.

I don't feel like that. I just sound off about it on here ...

But seriously, I'd have no problem being a visitor at churches like that, but a visit would be all it would be.

It's funny. God knows I have my resentments and regrets about that period, but I can't claim to have been spiritually abused they way some people report. But still, once the band starts playing and people start waving their hands in the air and shouting out I just have to get the hell out of there, toot sweet.

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mr cheesy
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Unfortunately almost everything is currently "putting me off from setting foot inside a church". I don't really want to be in a "typical" baptist-style chapel. I don't want to be accosted by someone who wants to know where "I'm in fellowship". I don't want to have my thoughts interrupted by loud music (of many kinds, I dislike organ music as much as drums-and-guitars). I don't really want to be in a High Anglican or the lowest house church.

I'm so tired of the whole thing that I'm not even sure what I do want any more.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Unfortunately almost everything is currently "putting me off from setting foot inside a church". I don't really want to be in a "typical" baptist-style chapel. I don't want to be accosted by someone who wants to know where "I'm in fellowship". I don't want to have my thoughts interrupted by loud music (of many kinds, I dislike organ music as much as drums-and-guitars). I don't really want to be in a High Anglican or the lowest house church.

I'm so tired of the whole thing that I'm not even sure what I do want any more.

You and me both. I sometimes think that Church is only as good as my spiritual life the rest of the time. Which is shite.

[ 23. November 2016, 10:05: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Unfortunately almost everything is currently "putting me off from setting foot inside a church". I don't really want to be in a "typical" baptist-style chapel. I don't want to be accosted by someone who wants to know where "I'm in fellowship". I don't want to have my thoughts interrupted by loud music (of many kinds, I dislike organ music as much as drums-and-guitars). I don't really want to be in a High Anglican or the lowest house church.

I'm so tired of the whole thing that I'm not even sure what I do want any more.

I can sympathise with that, it's how I felt just before I moved house last year. What won me over was the desperate chaos of the church in my new village.

Benefice of 8 churches, 2 vicars, and a lay reader just for our village. Service is at 1100 every Sunday and rotates for our village between lay led "family worship" (average age 60+, inevitably), lay led 1662 Morning Prayer, Family Communion (60+ again), and 1662 HC. Bizarrely, it seems to work. I wouldn't miss family worship if they decided to replace it with another 1662 MP it must be said.

The joys of the rural church.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Gamaliel
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I can sympathise with all of that, Karl, mr cheesy and Betjemaniac.

I suspect it's simply a feature of having gone around the block a few times.

It's not restricted to any one tradition or expression or particular worship style either ... I'm sure there are plenty of people out there from whatever strand of Christianity who say to themselves, 'If they do X, Y or Z again I shall scream ...'

I'm not sure what the solution is.

Non-involvement doesn't strike me as an option.

It's bit like my involvement with the town council. That drives me scatty at times but I hang on in with the intention of trying to make a difference.

It's the same with any significant relationship or involvement we have with anything - not just churches.

I've not given up on churches per se - but at the same time I don't have any high expectations of them. They are what they are. They do what they do. They are full of sinners and fallible people. And yet ... and yet ...

That's part of the point.

I no longer enter their portals expecting to 'get' anything 'spectacular' as it were, but I've learned that you can find and discern grace at work there in each and every setting. How could it be otherwise?

If we take the Incarnation seriously, that's always going to be the case - irrespective of whether a particular style or format sets our teeth on edge or heading for the door ...

That doesn't mean we should put up with crap or endure purgatorial settings in the hope they are doing us good ... but it does mean that we have to learn to take the meat and leave the bones.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


I've not given up on churches per se - but at the same time I don't have any high expectations of them. They are what they are. They do what they do. They are full of sinners and fallible people. And yet ... and yet ...


quite - see my sig block; wise words from the sainted John Betjeman. The last 3 stanzas of "Christmas" (freely available on google for the interested) are the whole point for me.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
but it does mean that we have to learn to take the meat and leave the bones.

There comes a point when the enjoyment of the meat is completely lost by it being full of bones. Though it's more like the gristle and yellow wobbly bits sometimes.

[ 23. November 2016, 11:14: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Gamaliel
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Perhaps, but I haven't reached that point yet, for the reasons betjemaniac has outlined.

Even if it's all gristle and bone there'll be some marrow and some juice from the gravy.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Long, long years ago, when I was 14 and green of judgement. I had just heard from my headmaster, that there was such a church as Westminster Cathedral and not the Abbey, when on my own, when I was in that part of London on a winter's evening, I ventured in out of curiosity.

However, that visit was extremely short-lived indeed; for I had hardly entered and right where I was standing, crowds of people were crossing themselves and genuflecting like mad! In those days, I knew nothing of such devotional practices as holy water stoups, nor genuflecting to the MBS. This was too much for me and I took fright and ran a mile!

This was remedied the following year, when I had a much more relaxed visit with my father.

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ExclamationMark
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Anything involving choirs is a turn off - and that includes Kings College Chapel
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ExclamationMark
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1. Anything involving choirs (or soloists whether singing or instrumental) is a turn off for me - and that includes Kings College Chapel. I might drop into Sung Eucharist but the very words send out a signal I am usually keen to avoid.

2. Any church where I am told how I should worship (clap, stand, close my eyes, receive, not pray etc). It's up to me and God

3. Music leaders who give out the words of the next line of the song .... I can read/watch/listen you know

4. Any church where I am required to share the peace - ie everyone ignores the fact that I am sitting reading the bible and pesters me anyway. It's a personal invasion and IMHO theologically indefensible anyway. The drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.

5. Supposed use of the gifts/ramping up the emotional temperature. Yes I have a brain and prefer to use it, not suspend it.

6. Preaching that bears no relation to a read text: silly jokes, "in house" quips and references to the Vicar's family or supposed key congregation members

7. Any mention of C S Lewis.

8. Ditto football or Top Gear

9. Anywhere that wants me to identify myself as a visitor

10. Churches that assume I know what's going on/what I believe - I'm here for you to help me and for me to be able to share with you

Interesting comments about pews in the thread. We still have them and visitors seem pleased that we are one of the few churches of our "type" (mildly charismatic, con evo) who still have them.

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Bishops Finger
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What Exclamation Mark said!

Re Sung Eucharist - could be that it's sung by the congregation (maybe with a cantor leading):

Re The Peace - adopt an attitude of deep prayer, with eyes closed, and hands modestly folded. The bugg...er...huggers will leave you alone.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
What Exclamation Mark said!

Re Sung Eucharist - could be that it's sung by the congregation (maybe with a cantor leading):

Re The Peace - adopt an attitude of deep prayer, with eyes closed, and hands modestly folded. The bugg...er...huggers will leave you alone.

IJ

I was going to say something similar about not sharing the peace and no-one is required to share it.

One has only to attend a BCP (1662) service of Holy Communion, when the sharing of the peace does not occur.

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Gramps49
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Regards: Drums

Depending on how you translate the Hebrew word "toph," which is definitely a percussion instrument, you could say drums where a part of temple worship, even (gasp) dancing! For more info, click here

We often use an African drum in a liturgy that was written for our congregation. The liturgy has a Middle Eastern/African theme, so it works well.

I must say, I find this discussion very interesting, since our congregation is looking at ways of attracting millennials through our doors. We do have a good mix of people, so we are not necessarily threatened.

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Gamaliel
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The Ethiopian Orthodox use drums. They've got some strange practices too, mind, as well as a lot more books in their Bible than anyone else.

I wouldn't be surprised if they did use percussion in Temple worship in OT times and of course there's the thing about Miriam and the Israelite women with tambourines or timbrels or whatever they were after the crossing of the Red Sea.

They also seem to have had choirs, if some of the directions in the Psalms ate anything to go by.

So that's ExclamationMark stuffed on the choral side and me stuffed on the percussive side ...

Seriously, I don't object to percussion in the right context. Anywhere where I'm not is the right context ...

Beyond that, I agree with all of EM's qualms apart from the bit about choirs. Soloists I don't like - unless it&s a cantor or deacon doing his bit in an Orthodox setting, and then the context is appropriate.

'It's all about context,' is going to become my new mantra alongside both/and not either/or ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Fineline
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I am generally open to trying different churches. Even if I don't agree with a particular theology or approach, I'm still interested to go once and see what it is like, and how the congregation worship and express their faith. Things that put me off are more practical things that would make me feel unwell, like bright fluorescent lighting, or loud noises, or when the speaker system is turned on too high and has a high pitched hum. Or if you're expected to stand for long periods of time.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The Ethiopian Orthodox use drums. They've got some strange practices too, mind, as well as a lot more books in their Bible than anyone else....

I think that "strange" is not correct. Much better and far more accurate to say "Some of their practices are very different to ours".

My recollection is that the Ethiopian Church, along with that established in Kerala by St Thomas, use the Sursum Corda in their liturgy. To my way of thinking, that's strong evidence of its antiquity, perhaps even the oldest party of the liturgy not to carry over a biblical passage.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
So that's ExclamationMark stuffed on the choral side and me stuffed on the percussive side 'It's all about context,' is going to become my new mantra alongside both/and not either/or ...

Yeah but I bet that their choirs were a) audible and b) not up themselves like so many I come across. I can sort of accept choirs if I can hear the words a nd they are in the vernacular tongue and if the members of said choir don't come across as doing me soem sort of favour by singing "for" me.

OTOH I find what passes for "charismatic" to be very shallow and vapid in a lot of cases. I guess that's because I am pretty well known as being from that stable myself and, from experience, have an idea of what might (just) be helpful. I also try to think of how a 1st time visitor might see what we do and either wince of want to get involved.

I think/work/prepare hard to have a "liturgy" which engages with everyone but which doesn't require them to switch off their brains. The reverse in fact: I want to make people think but also to engage with their heart. That needs passion - and I don't see much of that around in any theological flavour.

I find that a lot of charismatic worship and preaching presents a Christian lifestyle and not a life. It presents a package that it doesn't really unwrap. My usual off duty visits are usually therefore to more traditional settings where I have a liturgy to fall back on.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
What Exclamation Mark said!
Re The Peace - adopt an attitude of deep prayer, with eyes closed, and hands modestly folded. The bugg...er...huggers will leave you alone. IJ

It might work for you but it certainly didn't for me recently. They just wouldn't leave me alone: Mrs M was similarly bothered by individuals who wanted to get rather closer to her than she was really comfortable with.

The downside to the exercise from a broader pastoral POV was the people who WERE ignored/overlooked etc in the process of passing the peace. Let's just say they were the least well dressed people there and one or two seemingly had mental health issues. Not many people talked to them afterwards either or sat with them at lunch. Mrs M is great on picking up on such things and spent time with them.

This wasn't in some out of the way rural backwater but in a pretty well known and growing church, self describing as charismatic/evangelical. The latter seemed bourne out by the preaching but the former was a contravention of the trades description act.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
I think/work/prepare hard to have a "liturgy" which engages with everyone but which doesn't require them to switch off their brains. The reverse in fact: I want to make people think but also to engage with their heart. ...

I find that a lot of charismatic worship (presents a package that it doesn't really unwrap.

I doubt, EM, if you'd like our worship - we have a choir anthem every Sunday, we sometimes do the Peace (but very gently), and I have been known to ask people to sit or stand ...

BUT I certainly agree 100% with what you've written there! And I'm sure our brother Gamaliel would, too.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
I think/work/prepare hard to have a "liturgy" which engages with everyone but which doesn't require them to switch off their brains. The reverse in fact: I want to make people think but also to engage with their heart. ...

I find that a lot of charismatic worship (presents a package that it doesn't really unwrap.

I doubt, EM, if you'd like our worship - we have a choir anthem every Sunday, we sometimes do the Peace (but very gently), and I have been known to ask people to sit or stand ...

BUT I certainly agree 100% with what you've written there! And I'm sure our brother Gamaliel would, too.

Mrs M - comely as she is - finds that even the gentle peace tends to attract unwarranted attention.

I have significant theological issues with the concept anyway - why wait until you are told to express koinonia? Why not do it as soon as you meet? [Cynic as I am, I wonder whether everyone does really wish me "peace" (even if hey know what shalom means) or whether it's become empty words? Do they really know and do they mean it?).

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:

I have significant theological issues with the concept anyway - why wait until you are told to express koinonia? Why not do it as soon as you meet? [Cynic as I am, I wonder whether everyone does really wish me "peace" (even if hey know what shalom means) or whether it's become empty words? Do they really know and do they mean it?).

Do we really know or intend any of the things we pray? How are we to judge? Surely the choice to be there and participate indicates a desire to know and to intend even if not fully realising that desire?
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Gamaliel
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Baptist Trainfan is right, I do find myself agreeing with you, EM.

On the choir thing, there are choirs and there are choirs ... some are pretty dire, others aren't bad. It depends. Of course, it helps if you like choral music (I quite like it) and if your wife's into it (as mine is, or was until the chemo took hold ... [Frown] ).

My wife used to sing regularly with a very traditional robed Anglican parish choir in a medieval church a few miles north of here. She and a friend liked to practice with them on a Friday night and in exchange would sing at high days and holidays and at weddings.

I liked going along, Candlemass, choral evensong, various special Easter and Christmas services. Sure, they aren't the best choir in the world but there's something down-to-earth and villagey about them and the choir director is an expert on 18th century church music ...

Ok, not a great deal of fire and passion there but I liked it to dip in and out of, even though the choir itself was bigger than the congregation on most occasions.

Closer to home, most of those who like robed choirs and traditional anthems have fled to a rural Zoar about three miles away, where they have swelled the village congregation. That happened about 17 or 18 years ago and people still talk about it ...

The more liberal Anglican parish here has a choir but they're pretty ropey. I admire their efforts though, they make the best of what little talent they've got ...

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm among those who feels that something was lost when the old church wakes and bands were replaced by more dignified robed choirs from the mid-1800s onwards - as per Hardy's Under The Greenwood Tree and so on.

But given the choice between a surpliced choir singing 18th century anthems and a band made up of Soul Survivor wannabes or, worse, dad-dancing middle-aged dorks trying to recapture the glory-days of the 1980s/90s Bible Weeks, then I know which I'd go for ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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The thing about 'the peace' is an interesting one. I know of people who say they don't go to church at all because 'the peace' puts them off ...

It doesn't bother me at all, but I can understand people's reservations about it.

The thing is, however we conduct our meetings and services, none of them are as free-flow and spontaneous as we might imagine them to be - there are always something that is standardised or stylised. That's unavoidable.

I've noticed when I host/compere poetry open-mic/live music evenings that my ab-libbing can become somewhat formulaic after a while. I don't fret about that, sometimes you have to work hard to appear spontaneous ... [Biased]

If we're going to worry about 'the peace' become ritualised and losing its meaning and force, then we might as will worry about each and every aspect of a church service or meeting - from the sermon to the prayers, the way communion is conducted, the way people are or aren't greeted and so on and so forth ... where do we stop? Where do we draw the line?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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venbede
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But the peace (in its original eucharistic context) is a ritual.

So is shaking hands someone when you meet them.

What's the matter with ritual actions? The idea that they are somehow less "sincere" than words is very misleading.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Gamaliel
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Well yes, although it's a particularly 'Baptist' thing to be concerned about 'empty rituals' - hence EM's unease I suspect.

I know he wouldn't go as far as some Baptists I've come across though who were convinced that Anglicans were 'insincere' in their faith purely because they used set liturgical prayers rather than using their own extemporary ones ...

As though extemporaneousness in and and of itself was a mark of sincerity.

I can understand the concern. I mean, I always puzzle as to why the Orthodox insist on retaining the bit about 'the doors ... the doors ...' and 'Depart ye catechumens ...' in their Liturgy when nobody has shut and bolted the doors since the time of the Roman persecutions (other than, perhaps, in Soviet Russia) and I've yet to see a catechumen get up and depart as bidden.

But yes, our daily live and transactions are full of little rituals, many of which we are completely unaware of.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
But the peace (in its original eucharistic context) is a ritual.

So is shaking hands someone when you meet them.

What's the matter with ritual actions? The idea that they are somehow less "sincere" than words is very misleading.

In particular, (for me at least: this is more a sense I've acquired over a number of years rather than anything I've ever been formally told), it has the effect of affirming and constituting the community that is the body of Christ in that place, by the contact of person with person, which is about to offer and be nourished with the precious body and blood.

--------------------
Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Gramps49
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You know, at this stage, in my congregation if we forgot to include the peace people would do it anyway. I am betting more people are attracted to it than detracted from it.
Posts: 1912 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged



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