How the other half worshipped last Sunday

I have decided that I will no longer attend any church on Memorial Day unless I know for sure ahead of time that the church: 1. Will not pledge to the flag. 2. Will not sing patriotic songs. 3. Will not ask God to bless America. 4. Will not have veterans wear their military uniforms. 5. Will not have all veterans stand and be applauded. 6. Will not say that U.S. soldiers defend our freedoms. 7. Will not say that as Christ died for our sins, so U.S. soldiers died for our freedoms. 8. Will not recognise police and fireman as public servants worthy of our praise.

I suspect that I will be staying home next year or taking the kids on a picnic. It is a disgrace that some or all of these things take place in American churches on Memorial Day Sunday.

Well, Mr. Vance, what church do you attend?  At my church, the task of the day is to worship God and to take in His Body and Blood. What do they usually do in your church? I don’t want to nitpick doctrine, but when you perform the traditional liturgy of the Christian church, there are very few places where you can shoehorn-in the worship of Leviathan.


8 Responses to How the other half worshipped last Sunday

  1. rwp says:

    “I have decided that I will no longer attend any church on Memorial Day

    Given that Memorial Day is not a Christian holy day, but a political holiday, somebody is whining and beclowning himself simultaneously. What else would one expect from a church that had Memorial Day services? Or why would one expect anything else?

  2. jeffreyquick says:

    It’s a badly written post. If you look at the end of it, and also Vance’s other post here, it’s pretty clear that the problem is not Monday, but Sunday. I don’t think the Church has any business celebrating political holidays anyway, but if they fall on a Monday, then OK, go or not, and you know what you’re going for. But when the Sunday after Ascension Day is pre-empted by Dead Soldier Day, it’s a problem. And it happens because Baptists (and such) make it up as they go along in terms of liturgy and the church year. In a liturgical church, about the worst you can do is the sermon or a mention in prayer (besides praying for our troops, which strikes me as apolitical; they are, by and large, fellow Christians getting shot at.)

    Sure, there’s nationalism in the liturgical churches. Examples would be St. James’ honoring of “St. Charles, king and martyr”, or, arguably, the Russian Orthodox honoring the Romanov family martyrs. But that sort of thing never takes over a Sunday morning.

  3. kishnevi says:

    You might have a requiem mass in memory of the military departed–but that would need to be an additional service, I assume, and could be on the Monday.

    You could insert a couple of things, if the priest actually wanted it: patriotic hymns for the processional and recessional, calling up members of the armed forces for a special blessing or inserting a prayer at some point. But that would all have to be additional to the main business of the day. In synagogue, inserting the prayers and special honors would be relatively easy: there’s a particular point in the services where prayers for the sick and the congregation are recited, and the usual practice is to also say modern prayers in English for the State of Israel and the US (in that order) after the traditional prayers for the sick.

  4. jeffreyquick says:

    A Requiem would be even harder to fit patriotic rah-rah into, given that the whole point is that our guys are dead, and it’s even less flexible liturgically.

    “Special blessings” are SOOO not Anglo-Catholic. Yes, hymns could be chosen. But I have a hard time thinking they’d ever do that at St. James. You’re either worshipping God, or you’re worshipping something else. Heads of state are Satan’s Regents on Earth. If Satan did not own “the kingdoms of the world”, Jesus would have laughed at him when they were offered. A Christian can be a bad regent, a sort of 5th columnist. But to the extent that he wields power-over, he’s playing for the Other Team.

  5. kishnevi says:

    I checked just now in my copy of the BCP (TEC 1979 version); it lists as “National Days” Independence Day (July 4) and Thanksgiving Days; and naught else.
    I presume that St. James uses a version prior to 1979, but probably it would read pretty similar on that point, wouldn’t it?

    As to Satan’s Regents on Earth–didn’t Paul talk about obeying the authorities of this world? For obvious reasons, my memory is a little fuzzy about that, and I’m not in the mood to go track down the quote.

    And you know who did say, Render unto Ceasar…

  6. jeffreyquick says:

    ” I presume that St. James uses a version prior to 1979″

    Oh yes, oh very yes…that was much of the point. I haven’t yet gotten a 1928 BCP ($17.50…just haven’t placed the order…you can tell how very Anglican I really am)

    I think that Romans 12 needs to be balanced against Ps. 146:3 and I Samuel 8. Also, it was written for Christians in the very belly of the Beast: ancient Rome combined the worst traits of DC, NYC and San Francisco. I’m still chewing on that chapter.

    As for the Jesus koan, one can interpret it as a command to not participate in the market economy at all. If we trade “that which is God’s” (our lives) for “that which is Caesar’s” (money), must we then of necessity render unto Caesar that which is God’s?

  7. kishnevi says:

    I’m disappointed in you. Why spend money when you can download it?

    This is the website where I got my copy of the 1979 BCP.

    And I found this on an f-locked post on Livejournal now.
    For context, this is a gay Episcopalian whose parish is definitely on the liberal end.
    I don’t know whose hare-brained idea it was to host a movie night on Memorial Day weekend when great weather was forecasted (I was not there for the meeting) but the result was predictable: We had three adults and one youth. Four adults if you count the rather unpleasant and eccentric man who has been hanging around the church lately. After he gave someone a hard time that morning we told him the church was closed and he couldn’t be there. I’m bothered by the conflicting message it sends that we tell people our doors are open to everyone all day, every day, when we then send this guy packing. However, he has been belligerent to a number of people and engages in some pretty gross behavior, so I was less than devastated when I found out that the police were called on Monday after he challenged a woman who asked him to leave when she arrived to close up and found him in the kitchen with all four stove burners lit. He told her he was the security and SHE should leave. She disagreed and called the cops instead.

    And that’s apparently the extent of his attending church this past weekend–although he’s not only a frequent attender, but one of the musicians and his “husband” is a member of the vestry.

  8. jeffreyquick says:

    Why? Because in most of the contexts where I would actually USE a BCP, I’m not in front of a computer terminal. Yes, I could do a printout, but the published version is easier and handier.

    As for your LiveJournal poster, a real Episcopalian would never write “forecasted.”

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