Sunday, 25 September 2011

Crew or professional Christian?

When I was a girl  I hated the sound of what I used to call "The professionalChristian"
It was the voice of one,  who, knowing all the liturgy by heart used to almost sing it....For me it make a mockery of the whole thing!  If the ordination of women has done nothing else at least it has changed much of the attitude that produced that voice!
I recently came across a wonderful poem by D J Enfield.  Its called Sunday. I am tempted to post the whole thing....skip it if you don't want to read it but the verse about the "crew" in church is worth a visit.

My mothers strongest religious feeling
Was the Catholics were a sinister lot
She would hardly trust even a lapsed one
My father was a lapsed Catholic
Yet we were sent to Sunday school
Perhaps in the spirit that others
were sent to public schools. It
Might come in useful later on
In Sunday school a sickly adult
Taught the teachings of a sickly lamb
To a gathering of sickly children
It was a far cry from that brisk person
Who created the heaven and the earth in
Six days and then took Sunday off. 
The churches were run by a picked crew
Of bad actors radiating insincerity
Not that one thought of them in that way
One merely disliked the sound of their voices
I cannot recall one elevated moment in church
Though as a choir boy I pulled in a useful 
Sixpence a month.
Strange, that a sense of religion should
Somehow survive all this grim buffoonery
Perhaps that brisk old person does exist
And we are living through His Sunday
D J Enfield

1 comment:

  1. I can recognise some of this, particularly from my days in the RC Church. The very Pious member of the congregation who didn't need the missal to follow the service. But than, I had to learn the responses in latin off by heart as being an Altar Boy/Server/Acolyte, whatever it's called these days, we weren't allowed a missal and were kept quite busy running around doing 'things'.

    I still think that in the CofE this trait is not that marked, unless I've led a sheltered existence and not attended enough churches?

    One particular Retired Priest has a wonderful voice for liturgy, and a tremendous singing voice for the Sung Eucharist or Matins or Evensong. It just helps to heighten the experience of worship when he leads a service.

    But, I go to every service, expecting to be uplifted and am seldom disappointed. Which seems to me to say that we get it right most of the time.