homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » What puts you off from setting foot inside a church? (Page 9)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  14  15  16 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: What puts you off from setting foot inside a church?
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pancho:
It's very common for Catholic parishes to have an anticipated Sunday Mass on Saturday afternoons (the so-called "vigil Mass"). It's somewhat less common to have one on Sunday afternoon but the larger or busier parishes usually have one.

Episcopal churches as well -- and again, Saturdays (usually around 5 p.m.) are more common than Sundays.

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9544 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
Shipmate
# 1472

 - Posted      Profile for Augustine the Aleut     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Oblatus:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
P.S. to above: do we somehow harbour the thought that churchy language is more "dignified" or "reverent" than ordinary speech? If so, why?

In a resonant acoustic, traditional church texts well spoken bestow a certain beauty, with all the Anglo-Saxon directness and poetic sensibilities, and all the voiced th's tend to soften the sound. For me, at least. It's the voice of the solid past speaking to us moderns beaten down by banality.

I don't insist on attending worship in Tudor-style English, but I do appreciate it and even our modern rites' lack of everyday empty phrases.

As well, being raised in a radio and TV environment, we are accustomed to an intimate rhythm and tone. We only encounter declamation and public speaking in a school setting. Thus, when we run into a more formal use of tone in a church setting, often necessary on account of acoustics (and essential when there is no miking), we find it awkward and alienating-- the three parishioners active in theatre perhaps excepted.

In Ottawa, churches are faced with two major distractions for Sunday services-- that most amateur athletics for children and teenagers happen on Sunday mornings, and that skiers happily head off to the hills at 7 or 8 on a Sunday morning to get in a few good runs before the afternoon crowd.

My RC clerical friends tell me that, if it were not for the Saturday vigil masses, they would never see young families in their churches as Sunday has become a family activity day-- especially for single parents who have the children for the weekend (one priest wondered if his suburban vigil mass had not become a meeting venue for divorced parents). A quick survey of local Anglican websites suggests that there are no (correct me if I'm wrong) Saturday evening masses/communion services, so perhaps clergy are not concerned about the single parent issue.

As far as churchy language goes, several people I know who have no church background have expressed to me their curiosity as to what a eucharist might be, as they often saw the word on notice boards. When I told one graduate student that it meant a communion service or mass, she asked why clear terms were not used and let me know that we should not be surprised if Ottawa be full of curious Jains wondering what we were up to. Another assumed that he would have to make a reservation or get permission of some sort.

Posts: 6171 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Oblatus
Shipmate
# 6278

 - Posted      Profile for Oblatus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I'm no longer a morning person, and for me 1030am is about as early as I can manage - 11am or 1115am would be better...I am told (by a former student) that even as late as 1115am is too early for most students!

Some campus ministries have Sunday-night services for students, and they seem to be well attended. I live within hearing distance of the bells of Madonna Della Strada Chapel at Loyola University Chicago, where they have a 10.30am Sunday Mass but also a 5pm and a 9pm. I often hear the bells ringing at 9 and 10pm on a Sunday and momentarily wonder why, then remember they're ringing before and after the 9pm Mass. They also have a 9.30pm Taize service on Wednesdays, and I hear the bells for that as well. I'm glad I like bells. [Smile]

Our parish church in downtown Chicago is not far from the Loop, which has a large university-student population. With good planning and use of social media, maybe nearby churches could offer late-evening services. Holy Name Cathedral (RC) offers early-evening ones that are well attended.

[ 14. December 2016, 14:29: Message edited by: Oblatus ]

Posts: 3820 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Angloid
Shipmate
# 159

 - Posted      Profile for Angloid     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

As far as churchy language goes, several people I know who have no church background have expressed to me their curiosity as to what a eucharist might be, as they often saw the word on notice boards. When I told one graduate student that it meant a communion service or mass, she asked why clear terms were not used

I inherited a church noticeboard that announced 'Parish Mass every Sunday 10.30'. My judgement then was that it announced the church as for Anglo-catholics (or maybe even Roman catholics) only, so I changed it to Eucharist in an attempt to be more inclusive. On reflection I think that was wrong, since many people have some idea (even if very vague) of what a Mass is, whereas you need to be very much an insider to understand Eucharist.
Posts: 12899 | From: The Pool of Life | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Whatever you say, you'll trip up. Words like "Parish Mass" or "Family Praise" say quite a lot to the "insider" but not to the passer-by. "Morning Worship" satisfies no-one!

FWIW quite a few churches now include a description of "What to expect" on their websites. Here is an example, selected at random from the Internet.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think that's quite a good example.

Our parish church makes an attempt to do the same but for my money falls into the trap of using terms that don't necessarily convey the right impression.

For instance, the vicar has differentiated the more traditional 9am service from the more family-worship or even 'happy-clappy' style 11am one (which I avoid) by referring to the first as the 'formal service' and the second as an 'informal' service.

What do the terms 'formal' and 'informal' convey?

He's now started referring to the first as 'service with hymns'. When I asked whether this meant that the second should be 'service with worship songs' he replied that they use both worship songs and hymns at the 11am and so that wouldn't work ...

So it remains the 11am 'informal service'. Whatever that means. The other vicar in town immediately recognised it as a sub-text for 'happy-clappy' so made sure she avoided it when she came to visit shortly after taking up her post at the liberal-catholic Anglican parish down the road.

As for what is so 'formal' about the 9am service - well, they don't 'process' and it's pretty snake-belly low and rather reminiscent of a Methodist service if anything.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
FWIW quite a few churches now include a description of "What to expect" on their websites. Here is an example, selected at random from the Internet.

I think this brings up another point -- in my experience, people are much more apt to "church shop" on the internet rather than driving or walking by churches and reading notice boards (if there are any). The church website needs to be clear, easy to navigate, informative, and up-to-date.

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9544 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
Shipmate
# 13356

 - Posted      Profile for Albertus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

As far as churchy language goes, several people I know who have no church background have expressed to me their curiosity as to what a eucharist might be, as they often saw the word on notice boards. When I told one graduate student that it meant a communion service or mass, she asked why clear terms were not used

I inherited a church noticeboard that announced 'Parish Mass every Sunday 10.30'. My judgement then was that it announced the church as for Anglo-catholics (or maybe even Roman catholics) only, so I changed it to Eucharist in an attempt to be more inclusive. On reflection I think that was wrong, since many people have some idea (even if very vague) of what a Mass is, whereas you need to be very much an insider to understand Eucharist.
Sounds like the battle of Fr Chantry-Pigge's church noticeboard in The Towers of Trebizond.
The Lord's Supper will be celebrated, God Willing, at....

--------------------
My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6460 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
David Goode
Shipmate
# 9224

 - Posted      Profile for David Goode     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Sounds like the battle of Fr Chantry-Pigge's church noticeboard in The Towers of Trebizond.
The Lord's Supper will be celebrated, God Willing, at....

Top book. And has to have the best opening sentence of any novel, anywhere, ever.
Posts: 644 | From: Cambridge | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
"'Take my camel, dear,' said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass".

Well, the camels moored outside a church might put you off, but the droppings would be good for the roses in the Memorial Garden...

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9447 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Whatever you say, you'll trip up. Words like "Parish Mass" or "Family Praise" say quite a lot to the "insider" but not to the passer-by. "Morning Worship" satisfies no-one!

I agree. To a non-Christian or unchurched passer-by very little that a church notice board might say will be immediately significant. Even 'Baptist' or 'Methodist' won't mean much more than 'Parish Mass' or 'Family Praise', etc.

But once you're past the noticeboard and the front doors most churches aren't designed for unschooled passers-by anyway. IMO most churchgoers and clergy want to be 'welcoming' to outsiders, but they also have an interest in maintaining traditions, practices, beliefs or assumptions that'll always present some sort of barrier to quite a lot of people.

As for the physical space, a lot of Nonconformist chapels are shabby. That's likely to put off passers-by with high aesthetic standards.


quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


The vicar has differentiated the more traditional 9am service [at our church] from the more family-worship or even 'happy-clappy' style 11am one (which I avoid) by referring to the first as the 'formal service' and the second as an 'informal' service.
[...]
The other vicar in town immediately recognised [informal] as a sub-text for 'happy-clappy' so made sure she avoided it when she came to visit shortly after taking up her post at the liberal-catholic Anglican parish down the road.

But it could be argued that this terminology has served its purpose very well; after all, the new vicar probably wouldn't like the 11am service, would she?

quote:

As for what is so 'formal' about the 9am service - well, they don't 'process' and it's pretty snake-belly low and rather reminiscent of a Methodist service if anything.

The terms are obviously subjective. However, if you have the same group of people organising both services, or even a special group operating within a particular church culture, I assume you're not going to get the heights of either formality or informality, so if you really want something that's supremely one thing or the other I imagine you'd be better off worshipping elsewhere.

Better options may not exist, though.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The point I was trying to make was that the more liberal vicar understood the subtext. She's in the know.

Not everyone would be able to decode what 'Informal' means in that context.

I wasn't using this example to initiate comment on whether or not it's the right place for me. I don't think it is. But I've tended to support it as it's my nearest church and my parish one. It doesn't scratch where I itch, but it ain't all about me. At some point I know I'll have to jump ship but for various practical and family reasons I maintain a presence there.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, as Baptist Trainfan implied, it's impossible to find a single label that'll give an unambiguous message to any random passer-by.

But short-hand terms used by vicars in conversation with churchgoers surely aren't designed to be evangelistic. If your vicar were chatting to a non-churchgoer I'm sure he'd explain the nature and content of the relevant church services in more understandable terms. Wouldn't he?

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Probably, but the terms 'formal' and 'informal' are the ones he uses in the church magazine and online.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
So are you convinced that there are people out there who'd enjoy the first service but who won't set foot in the church because the term 'formal' in the promotional material puts them off? If that's what you're saying then I can understand your concern.

IME Methodists don't label their main service. They'll label their Fresh Expression as 'messy church', 'cafe church' or 'jazz church', etc., but the main service is treated as the standard, from which everything else is a deviation that must be named.

In your case, though, it seems that the church no longer has a 'main service'; or maybe the 'informal' service has actually become dominant. Finding a suitable label for something that was once the norm but is no longer must be tricky.

None of the terms I can think of sound particularly appealing. No congregation formally promotes its own services as 'MOTR', 'moderate' or 'low-church'; these are terms used in conversation among people in the know, or are used as shorthand in books, without any evangelistic or promotional intent. 'Traditional' has some currency in Methodism, but might have less meaning in the CofE with its various worship 'traditions'.

Maybe the people who attend the early service could be encouraged to share their own suggestions.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think there is a 'market' for the more traditional or 'formal' service as the vicar's labeled it, but as it takes place at 9am it only attracts the older folk or refugees like me from the 11am 'informal' service.

If it was at 10am, say, I'm sure more people would attend. As it is it gets around 30 to 35 people. The 11am probably gets two or three times that but I've not been for a few years so I don't know.

The more liberal parish tends to have one Sunday service and gets around 60 to 80 regulars, but numbers appear to be dropping since they got their new incumbent.

The issue I have with 'formal' and 'informal' is that neither sounds attractive and neither really describes what goes on.

I like the idea of asking the regulars but I'm not sure what they'd say. I'm not that regular. The 'This is the service I go to because I can just about tolerate it but I can't stand the 11am service' is what I'd call it but that doesn't quite have the right ring to it ...

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

 - Posted      Profile for Leorning Cniht   Email Leorning Cniht   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

The issue I have with 'formal' and 'informal' is that neither sounds attractive and neither really describes what goes on.

But what words do? Faced with two services described as "formal" and "informal", I'd assume that the former had vested clergy entering in procession, possibly a robed choir, traditional hymns and organ music, and standard liturgy straight from the prayer book.

The "informal" service probably has Vicar in shirt-sleeves, a praise band, "modern" music (anything written since about 1970), and as little liturgy as possible. I wouldn't be surprised to see a projector showing the words of the songs and some kind of pretty scenic background.

But that's because I've been to several churches with that kind of division in their Sunday morning offerings. I'd find it hard to imagine how anything that normally happens in a C of E church could be described by the usual modern meaning of "informal".

Posts: 4897 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

The issue I have with 'formal' and 'informal' is that neither sounds attractive and neither really describes what goes on.

I like the idea of asking the regulars but I'm not sure what they'd say.

'Informal' is probably more attractive to the average modern person than 'formal', though. Our culture has become increasingly informal overall.

There are also lots of alternatives to 'informal' in the churchy sense: contemporary, modern, relaxed, etc. Of course, anyone who dislikes the term 'informal' probably wouldn't appreciate this kind of worship under any other name either.

However, you're mainly implying that when people attend 'formal' or 'informal' worship at this particular church they may feel misled by inaccurate terminology. It would be instructive to find out if this is actually the case.

In reality, most church visitors are already churchgoers and will have some knowledge of the jargon; the rest will have been invited by friends and so might have been been 'primed'; or perhaps they're attending out of obligation to a relative and are indifferent to whatever label the minister has chosen. But the random unchurched person is unlikely to be misled by a mere adjective, mostly because they have no intention of going to church in the first place.

I'm surprised at the implication that the whole of your church wasn't invited to discuss the labels and terminology on the journey towards the two congregations becoming a reality. And were the starting times not part of the general consultation either? Someone other than the vicar must have thought 9am was a good idea, surely? (It wouldn't have been me - although a number of churches traditionally have an 8am service of Holy Communion, so there must be some acceptance of early starts.)

[ 18. December 2016, 01:35: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thing is Leorning Cnicht, the 'formal' service doesn't have the elements you describe as it's snake-belly low. No procession, no vestments ... Unless the Bishop is looking.

They've recently changed the name to 'service with hymns' - which sounds odd to me too.

I agree with SvitlanaV2 that the only people who are likely to attend are those invited to do so or with some existing contact with the church in the first place, so it's a bit academic really.

The division of the morning services to a 9am and 11am format predates my time here and I have no idea how much consultation was involved. I'm not particularly interested either. I tend to put up with things and get on with life ... I spend more time on non-churchy stuff these days.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

 - Posted      Profile for Amanda B. Reckondwythe     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
They've recently changed the name to 'service with hymns' - which sounds odd to me too.

At least they don't call it "service with worship."

--------------------
"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

Posts: 10352 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
'Service with hymns' does sound odd - if you hail from an era where almost all services were expected to have hymns. But that's not the case for all forms of Christian worship today.

Church noticeboards and websites are going to have to use more descriptive language in future, as the kinds of worship available diversify.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Heh heh ... well, I did ask the vicar why he didn't call the 11am service 'service with worship songs'.

He said that they sometimes sing hymns at the 11am service as well as worship songs.

So I suggested they call it, 'service with worships songs and sometimes hymns', which didn't go down very well.

On the thing about the names for services having to change as time goes on, well yes ...

But why can't someone come up with some sensible names?

I mean, with the Fresh Expressions end of things you end up with cool, trendy sounding names like Zone or Space or Fusion or The Works or something daft like that ...

These mean bugger all to anybody.

Alright, terms like Vespers, Evensong, Matins, Eucharist and so on don't mean a lot to anyone who isn't all churchified already.

But c'mon, why do we have to have silly names that sound like night-clubs or coffee bars?

Surely we can explain things to people?

The traditional title of a non-eucharist Anglican morning service used to be Service of the Word - at least in evangelical Anglican circles.

Sounds a bit portentous, but it's better than 'formal service' or 'service with hymns'.

The other thing that narks me about all of this, and perhaps it betrays my incipient sacramentalism, is that the focus is put on the songs and music style rather than Communion, the Eucharist, Lord's Supper or whatever we may call it across our respective traditions.

Communion then becomes an add-on extra with the focus being on the words/style of the hymns or songs.

This should never be.

Unfortunately, it's what we've come to ...

[Disappointed] [Help]

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
Shipmate
# 13356

 - Posted      Profile for Albertus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Non-eucharistic CofE services- what's wrong with Morning / Evening Prayer as the case may be? Maybe 'MP/EP with sermon' if appropriate. Nice, authentically Anglican, reasonably plain terms.

--------------------
My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6460 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just so - and if the service is Eucharistic, then plain 'Holy Communion' is also authentically Anglican. Agreed, it's a technical term, but there's no escaping at least some such terms.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9447 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Charles Had a Splurge on
Shipmate
# 14140

 - Posted      Profile for Charles Had a Splurge on   Email Charles Had a Splurge on   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We have a similar "Formal/informal" service split at our Baptist place.

Except the "formal" service is now the "Relaxed" service.

In distinction to the latter service with the full "Worship Band" - which I like to think of as the frenetic service

--------------------
"But to live outside the law, you must be honest" R.A. Zimmerman

Posts: 224 | From: What used to be Berkshire | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Warning - Rant alert

Gamaliel and Amanda B Reckondwythe, you've both hit something that is a really raw spot with me.

First, it's referring to the singing as 'worship' as in 'we had a time of worship, then we had a sermon and then we proceeded to break bread together'.

Then it's 'worship leader' which turns out not to mean the person presiding or leading the service, but the head musician.

It's the assumption that the music is 'worship' and the rest isn't that really drives me up the wall.

If the concept of Christian worship means anything at all, then whether we call it the Eucharist, the Mass, the Holy Liturgy, Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, the Breaking of Bread Service or whatever, then whatever else we do, and however else we may praise and thank God, that must be fundamental to informing what we understand worship to be about.

Well, that's my view.

Rant over

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7389 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Rant agreed with! [Cool]
Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Rant seconded.

On the 'relaxed' thing ... Blah-dee hell ...

'Relaxed' my arse.

That's worse than 'informal'. It conjures an image of people lounging around on bean-bags.

What's so 'relaxed' about it? Unless it's not frenetic like the worship-band led service?

'Relaxed' is one of those words that ought to be banned from the lexicon on pain of being strapped to a pillar and forced to listen to [insert blush music of choice] until you repent in sackcloth and ashes.

Enough of this 'relaxed' tosh already.

'How are you feeling now you've been condemned to be devoured by lions in the arena, Ignatius of Antioch?'
'Well, I'm feeling pretty relaxed about it ...'

'How do you feel about your impending execution, Pastor Bonhoeffer?'
'Pretty relaxed ...'

There might have been silence in heaven for half an hour according to John's Apocalypse, but what were they doing? Relaxing?

I mean, c'mon ...

'Relaxed'. I ask you ...

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Gamaliel, your rant seconded too. And your parallels. 'Hey lions, isn't it great that we can chill out together like this, and that I can give you your dinner.' 'Ach mein Führer, how proud I am to assist full employment among your executioners'.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7389 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, we're covering old territory here.

On the positive side, it shows that certain unimpressed gentlemen will obviously never darken the doors of any church where 'informal/relaxed' worship is taking place, hence leaving those who enjoy this sort of thing to worship in peace. So it's all good....

ISTM that the CofE's broad church policy inevitably creates churches that its own churchgoers wouldn't want to set foot in; regardless of the parish system, people will choose the church that's right for them and drive straight past the one they don't like. Otherwise, as we've seen, a well-heeled church will have multiple congregations, each one designed to attract - or repel - a different demographic.

We might argue about the labels, but if something's available and people want it, eventually they'll find it. And if they don't want it, it doesn't matter what you call it.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Well, we're covering old territory here.

On the positive side, it shows that certain unimpressed gentlemen will obviously never darken the doors of any church where 'informal/relaxed' worship is taking place, hence leaving those who enjoy this sort of thing to worship in peace. So it's all good....

I thought more that it showed they thought a particular adjective was unhelpful or downright meaningless.

I take their point. You might nearly as well say your worship service is "grksbl" for all "relaxed" means. Maybe that's me looking at it as an American.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63203 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The terminology can't be all that meaningless if it rightly makes people aware that they wouldn't like the form or content of the service!

All of these terms are jargon, and will be misunderstood by those who don't know much about church worship. But the same applies to the names of many denominations, and also to the different historical types of church service. We live in a secularised culture here, and relatively few people know or care what any of the terms mean.

Still, as I say, I think one day 'informal' will mean even less than it does now, because almost all forms of worship will be dramatically deconstructed and simplified in some way.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The Quakers have done that already, SvitlanaV2. I don't see thousands of people beating a path to their door.

How deconstructed and simplified does it all have to be before anyone takes any notice?

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My guess would be that Christianity in the Western world will become such a minority sport, as it were, that attempts to deconstruct and simplify things beyond a certain point will prove counter-productive.

If there are only three of you meeting in someone's front room you may not want a full Tridentine rite, but then you aren't going to be able to have lots of speakers and dry ice and Power-Point slides and so on either.

So you might as well have a fairly simple liturgy - a bit Northumbria Community perhaps - or else stick with something you know - if you're Orthodox or Lutheran or RC or high-churchy Anglican and go by the book. After all, there would be comfort in retaining and maintaining your heritage.

I do foresee more fluid and simpler structures but that doesn't necessarily mean that the services/meetings themselves have to be 'deconstructed' any more than they are at present.

Clearly, with a squeeze on resources there are going to be limits to what individual congregations can lay on, as it were - but the style would probably still vary from place to place. Monks and nuns seem to manage without a great deal of kit and caboodle.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm all for keeping things simple, and, indeed, it's become the norm at Our Place to have, for example, just one or two servers at the Parish Mass, rather than the large 'Sanctuary Party' of a generation ago. I'm told that the said 'SP' frequently outnumbered the rest of the congregation, anyway...

That doesn't mean that our Anglo-Catholic ethos has been dispensed with, of course, and we still provide things not found in our neighbouring churches, such as a Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham, monthly Benediction, Stations of the Cross in Lent, incense, etc.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9447 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The Quakers have done that already, SvitlanaV2. I don't see thousands of people beating a path to their door.

How deconstructed and simplified does it all have to be before anyone takes any notice?

Whether or not anyone takes notice is a different question! And I don't think the choice of adjective has much has much to do with that.

But anyway, your (former) church is actually trying harder than most to make someone take notice, and its attendance figures are higher than average for the CofE so the vicar doesn't appear to be hopelessly misguided. I suppose he could be doing even more to get thousands beating a path to the door, but the same could be said for most churches leaders.

I suppose one argument is that if everyone is losing interest anyway, the churches might as well just stick with the historical ways of doing (and naming) things and manage decline in as dignified a way as possible. That seems to be a fairly widespread approach in some denominations and church traditions.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
Shipmate
# 13356

 - Posted      Profile for Albertus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
My guess would be that Christianity in the Western world will become such a minority sport, as it were, that attempts to deconstruct and simplify things beyond a certain point will prove counter-productive.

If there are only three of you meeting in someone's front room you may not want a full Tridentine rite, but then you aren't going to be able to have lots of speakers and dry ice and Power-Point slides and so on either.

So you might as well have a fairly simple liturgy ...


I would have thought that the fewer of you there were, the less likely you would be to be able to produce anything much original and the more you might want to feel connected in some way with other groups in the same position. Both of those considerations would seem to point up the advantage of having some- peerhaps simple and plain- liturgy which you follow reasonably closely. Just as, for example, when you are saying the office by yourself you're (i) glad you don't have to go to the time & trouble of making it all up and (ii) sustained by the sense that you are pulling on the same rope as a lot of other people in other places.

--------------------
My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6460 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
Shipmate
# 13356

 - Posted      Profile for Albertus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
By the way...

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
...If there are only three of you meeting in someone's front room you may not want a full Tridentine rite...

I take it you've not met many episcopi vagantes, then?

--------------------
My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6460 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Heh heh ... Yes, episcopes vagantes - blokes operating from garden shed with dioceses that consist of two old ladies and a dog ...

Meanwhile, @SvitlanaV2, of course I don't have a problem with our local vicar maintaining numbers and even drawing in new people - but like many evangelical churches, our parish church has revolving doors. There's not a great deal of depth to it.

I take my hat off to the vicar in lots of ways but I have reservations about what's on the menu.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We might laugh at the antics of 'two old ladies and a dog', but let's be honest; there aren't enough clergy to care anyway, and there'll soon be far fewer. I should think they'll be grateful for any weird, tiny sect that takes the pastoral and spiritual care of old ladies off their hands!

Anyway, I'm sure there'll always be church communities that can maintain a historically authentic and theologically profound experience of Christian worship. But they'll be a niche interest. Other Christians elsewhere won't feel obliged to take lessons from them regarding liturgy and theological developments.

As for the issue of 'revolving doors', etc., if there are churches that have managed to grow, keep hold of their members and also maintain an impeccable 'menu' it would be interesting to hear about them. I suspect that any significant 'buzz' around a church will generally attract a percentage of people who are just curious, or who want to be at the 'in' place. The fascination will wane at some point for such people.

Some commentators might say that the postmodern church should accept that people will experience spiritual diversity throughout their lives. Fewer and fewer people are going to be loyal to one denomination, and even fewer will subject themselves to organised religion of any sort for an entire lifetime, even if they find it useful for a while. We expect to move on from almost everything these days....

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Ratratrat
Apprentice
# 18669

 - Posted      Profile for Ratratrat     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I found the discussion of language here very interesting. One poster referred to his experience of being put off by clergy using faux-hip words to try to appeal to younger churchgoers. As a "young churchgoer" myself, I second that aversion.

One different but related thing that can put me off modern-language services sometimes is hearing "set phrases" that I know in their traditional form. Like hearing prayers and parts of the liturgy and parts of the Bible in a new translation rather than the one that has been part of the liturgy in the past.

This might sound like something that would only affect seasoned churchgoers and not the unchurched, but I speak as someone who was not brought up religiously and has only identified as an Anglican for a couple of years. I remember one of my first experiences of "church" a few years ago in Ripon Cathedral, when my mum took me to Evensong so that I could experience it in a purely aesthetic and secular way. One of the lessons included Matthew 4:19. It contains one of those Bible/BCP phrases that have seeped through into secular culture and that even the unchurched know: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Yet the translation of the Bible used in the Cathedral had: "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." It sounds innocuous but it jarred me and I spent the next minute or so wondering why the phrasing that even I, as a non-Christian, was familiar with had been thrown out in favour of a new version. I've heard other non-Christians speak with horror of the new translations of the Lord's Prayer that their children often recite at primary school now.

I realise that this can work the other way, and someone's concentration might be interrupted by the use of an overly archaic term in the Bible or liturgy if an old translation is used, but I think it's important to remember that just because the language of the AV and the BCP might be "traditional", it is not necessarily arcane or lost on the unchurched. The AV and the BCP are the two most common sources of citations in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations - for the unchurched, a secular, cultural entry into religion can be a good starting point, and better than no starting point at all.

Posts: 17 | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thank you for a thoughtful and interesting post. I think - apart from anything else - many churches make the assumption that all young people like popular music and street language. Some do, some don't.

FWIW I don't find it's just clergy who use "faux-hip words to try to appeal to younger people" - politicians do it too, and it's just as nauseating.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Ratratrat

That's an interesting perspective.

With regard to the Bible, most British churches don't use the AV for services, so that's probably a lost cause even in the grandest kinds of 'formal' worship.

I do get the impression that a lot of non-churchgoers are particularly fond of the AV. They think its words are beautiful, ancient and poetic, which is true - but they don't have to listen to it at church every week, do they?? They might pop into a traditional worship service as a change to their routine, but regular churchgoers might be more interested in the content rather than the form of Bible readings.

Having said that, my churchgoing relatives largely attend churches where the AV is standard. (The Pentecostal ones are part of a denomination that most people on the Ship probably would NOT set foot in, though.)

As for ministers trying to be trendy, I don't come across that much (probably because I don't attend 'trendy' churches). IME they mostly want to meet the expectations of the people in front of them.

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In any case, isn't it "honesty" and "authenticity" which shine through - whatever the language?
Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Ratratrat
Apprentice
# 18669

 - Posted      Profile for Ratratrat     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thank you for your responses, guys. Interesting reading.

Yep, it's that buzzword "authenticity". I suppose that it's part of the shift among many in my generation (myself included) from "church" as a purely religious experience to "church" as a religious experience but also as a cultural, social and moral anchor - something that connects us to one another, to wider society, to the past - that many of us find important in an age where people are more isolated from one another than ever, especially in fast-paced city life.

So we do listen to pop music and speak to one another more informally and casually than generations past, but we also need reminders of something that gives us that anchor. My Spotify is mainly 90s and 2000s hip-hop, but I still tune in to Choral Evensong on Radio 3 every Wednesday.

Posts: 17 | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, I think that's certainly the case, Baptist Trainfan ...

As for Shippies not being prepared to 'set foot' in Pentecostal settings, I'm not sure you're right, SvitlanaV2.

I'm sure plenty of Shipmates would be prepared to 'set foot' - or at least a big toe - in a Pentecostal service, if only to have a quick look before making a hasty exit.

Also, there are plenty of former charismatics around on these boards - I'm one of them - and perhaps even one or two former Pentecostals.

I think we keep getting side-tracked on this thread as to what we 'setting foot' actually means. I interpret it from the OP to refer to a visit - rather than regular attendance.

I've said several times in the course of this thread that I'd be more than happy to 'set foot' in each and any Trinitarian church. That doesn't mean I'd go in for repeat visits necessarily.

For instance, I've never attended a Lutheran service. I'd be interested in doing so.

'Setting foot' is one thing, setting up camp is quite another.

As far as the Pentecostals go, I get on well with our local Pentecostals and would be more than happy to 'set foot' in their hut-like building for a service. I've been in there for other reasons but not to a service. That doesn't mean it would become my regular haunt, nor would it mean that not being the case means that I have anything 'against' them or wish them any ill-will.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15526 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Angloid
Shipmate
# 159

 - Posted      Profile for Angloid     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:


I do get the impression that a lot of non-churchgoers are particularly fond of the AV. They think its words are beautiful, ancient and poetic, which is true - but they don't have to listen to it at church every week, do they??

Plus the fact that if they do go to church, it would most likely be for carol services, midnight mass, occasional weddings or funerals, for which well-known 'purple passages' from the bible would be used. Aside from something like Leviticus, much of which is impenetrable in any language, most of the letters of St Paul, for example, are very difficult to understand in 17th century English.
Posts: 12899 | From: The Pool of Life | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I absolutely take Ratratrat's point about the words of the AV Bible infusing so much of our culture (and, by the way, welcome to our happy vessel). Indeed, I made this point many years ago to a Headteacher who did not possess Christian faith when (successfully) trying to persuade her to have some Christian input to school assemblies.

However the problem comes when people think of it as a "nice, traditional text" much akin to Shakespeare, one of the "glories of the English language". But that very reverence may well distance them from actually making any effort to interact with the words; while the archaisms may prevent them for so interacting even if they wish to do so.

For instance, just think how many people choose 1 Corinthians 13 for weddings (or funerals) - which is really about how church members ought to work together in a spirit of mutual respect and humility. What most folk make of the "tongues of men and angels", I have not the faintest idea!

By the way, I am not arguing for casual or informal language - I take delight in using good words and take care in my preparation to choose them carefully. Indeed, church may well be the place for a certain dignity and formality; after all, we are addressing the Most High God. But our words must also convey meaning.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Fr Weber
Shipmate
# 13472

 - Posted      Profile for Fr Weber   Email Fr Weber   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'd much rather be working to figure out the archaisms of the AV and the BCP than cringing at the "fellow-kids" attempts of some trendy pastor. Or, for that matter, Eugene Peterson's The Message.

--------------------
"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

Posts: 2512 | From: Oakland, CA | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
As I said in my last post, I do not like the "trendy pastor" approach (at least when evidenced among people of my age; it may be appropriate for a Youth Leader in their 20s).

However I think we ought to remember that Our Lord himself, in marked contrast to the religious teachers of the day, spoke to people in their ordinary language. Agreed, that was not in the context of formal worship - but shouldn't his example at least make us consider whether the words of yesteryear are the right ones to use?

After all, even the BCP was "modern" once!

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  14  15  16 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools