Thursday, December 29, 2005

All associates

All associates are currently assisting other customers. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold and your call will be answered in the order it was received. This has gone on for, oh, about 45 minutes now as I have waited to speak to someone at my bank. Apparently home equity lines of credit are HUGE just after Christmas. I suppose that's not surprising. The holidays were just fabulous here. Christmas Eve found me serving chalice at our church, where roughly 75 percent of the regular parishioners fled the city for Yuletide. This left our very sweet, very dottering supply priest and me (also dottering, though less sweet) to do midnight service as a two-person show. Little secret: I don't know how to acolyte - which is a big requirement if you're the only other person up there with the priest. But Fr. Dotter is a quick thinker, so he quickly pulled someone from the congregation who has experience with liturgy. Unfortunately, that person was a gentleman with what seems to be some developmental challenges, which include voice immodulation disorder. I AM WHISPERING. He also has some personal frangrance challenges - so much so that half way through the service I started wondering whether the frangrance was actually coming from me, since it seemed to be filling the air around me. Then I realized it had filled the entire sanctuary, rising like incense and prayers through the rafters up to God in heaven. The comedy was truly worthy of a special holiday service. Fr. Dotter and the Conscripted Acolyte - neither of them blessed with good hearing - stage whispered in loud (and since the priest was miked, amplified) voices throughout the liturgy. "GIVE ME THE WATER." "THE WAFERS?" "NO, THE WATER. HANDLE SIDE FIRST." "HANDLE WHAT?" "HANDLE SIDE FIRST" "WHAT PURSE?" My husband told me afterward that the congregation could hear every word. Fr. Dotter also cut short what had been planned as three communion hymns played by a guest musician on acoustic guitar. Halfway through the first song, Fr. Dotter abruptly launched into the post-communion prayer. If he is found strangled with a guitar string, we all know where to look. Now I must be off. My phone took matters into its own hands and disconnected itself from the neverending holding pattern. Tomorrow - Christmas pictures!

2 Comments:

Blogger What Now? said...

I once went to an Ash Wednesday service in which an elderly member of the congregation, who was very hard of hearing, kept expressing his displeasure at new-fangled liturgy in what he assumed was a whisper but which was audible to everyone. And the priest who was celebrating kept forgetting to turn off his mike; so as he was whispering to his acolytes, everyone could hear. At one point, when he and the acolytes were kneeling in front of the altar with their backs to the congregation, he whispered to the acolytes, "Stand up." They stood up and then turned around, only to find that the entire congregation was no longer kneeling but had stood up because we all heard the command. The look on his face was priceless.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

I attended a wedding where the pastor turned on the wireless mike and then made a quick pitstop before the service. During the prelude, we heard a lovely flush.

6:29 PM  

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