Tuesday 28 October 2008

Ice-blue moon

Can the Saluting the Moon party please note it's blooming taters out there. It's going to be a while till the New Moon appears, so please wrap up warm. There's a load of old firewood out behind the cowshed, so please feel free to fire up the old chimenia. It might give you warm memories of long summer evenings outside, when the weather was more clement. Except that it rained all summer. If it snows again, please keep the ceremonial snow dances until morning. We don't want to be woken up by some bunch of half-frozen half-asleep half-wits.

Sunday 26 October 2008

Creative Worship

I suppose that if I had to use a word to describe today's Festival of Creative Worship, "mixed" would be the word I would employ.
Hnaef's use of the music of lesser-known Ukrainian nose-flute worship music put us off to a melodic, if frankly baffling, start. Likewise Burton's "twenty minutes of yodelling". Burton's explanation that it freed our spirits from the oppression of the Mind seemed highly likely. However whether that is actually a good thing is a matter for some debate. Elwick's creative use of pebbles of course had to be brought to a quick conclusion, as stoning is no longer a legal method of ecclesiastical discipline in this country.
From then on, it's fair to say it was all downhill. Full marks to Birgit on the ecumenical front for using a theme that was entirely in keeping with today's Christian lectionary. And I'm sure there is a creative way to represent Ezra's reading of the Law. I just don't think that liturgical dance is necessarily that creative way. Meanwhile Hrastmir's representational tableau "Death is nothing at all", had to be cut short so we could pull him out of the pond and administer the kiss of life.
But in retrospect, I hold myself partly to blame for the final disaster. We were running out of time, and it was my idea to hold the last two items concurrently. Given my Health and Safety background, I should have thought harder. But who could have predicted that Roswell's raffia "Machu Pichu" and Chelsee's "Night of a thousand tealights" would react together so disastrously? The good news however is that although the Moot Hall has now been burnt to the ground, at least the Father Christmas has gone west with it. And hopefully the insurance company is not a victim of the credit crunch. Yet.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Bling in the new

So I know the nights are drawing in. And yes, there's a nip in the air.
And goodness knows, we Beaker Folk are in touch with the seasons. We love to anticipate, experience and celebrate the rhythms of the year. As we pass from Yule to Easter, from Beltane to midsummer, from solstice to solstice and equinox to equinox - our liturgical hi-viz vests change colour from red to green, yellow to pink: marking, celebration, and - let's face it - mourning passing time. We see the new life of spring, and the death of winter - yet a death that still has promise, as the crocus deep below the ground already anticipates the spring in the depths of winter.
We appreciate the seasons.
But I still don't appreciate the giant flashing Father Christmas that has appeared on the roof of the Great House. It's still October. Please remove it.

Monday 20 October 2008

A case of mistaken Identity

OK, I can see that it was an easy mistake to make. If you're slightly denser than the living gods that the Guinea Pig Worshippers of Stewartby worship.

Álvaro Arbeloa is the right-back for Liverpool Football Club.

Arbor Low is a stone circle in the Peak District. It does not sign autographs, nor is it a friend of "Stevie G". It doesn't overlap Dirk Kuyt. It just kind of lays there, looking like a knocked-over henge monument.

Hope that clears up any confusion.

Monday 13 October 2008

Shine on Harvest Moon

Since we had that frost last week, I am officially declaring tomorrow's full moon to be the Harvest Moon. Please note the following carefully for this year's arrangements.

The Milton Keynes Single Mothers' club has had to be suspended since the 275 pumpkins that were contributed to them last year just lay there and rotted. This follows on from the previous year, when all those lettuces had wilted by the time we got them to the Rabbit Refuge. And some members of the Mothers' Union got all over-excited by Hnaef's collection of novelty parsnips. So just tins of beans this year, please.

Contrary to the rumour that went around last year, we do not have to sacrifice anyone to the God of the Corn. We are a peaceful religion, and do not sacrifice anyone to anything. Poor Drayton got very nervous last year, what with Young Keith following him around with a tape measure and a frying pan.

Burton has promised to dress up as Jack in the Green. We've explained his costume and duties very carefully to him, as it was rather embarrassing last year when Hnaef, under a misapprehension, got dressed up as Jack in the Box instead. I never want to have to remove a Beaker Person from a spring that size again, as long as I live.

The enactment of Bacchanalian revels last year got a bit out of hand. Perhaps we could go for a tableau of people reaping this year, instead?

And finally the perennial reminder - no matter how tempting or how autumnal, we do not want the mass-release of a horde of woodland creatures into the Moot House at any point in the ceremonies. Somehow every year someone gets over-excited and we end up over-run by panic struck rabbits, foxes and squirrels. Last year was definitely the worst, and I do not, under any circumstances, want to face another badger in a mood like that.

Thursday 9 October 2008

Liturgy for the Nativity of Kirsty MacColl

Introit - There's a Guy Works down the Chipshop Swears he's Elvis


President: We come together today to contemplate one of the great mysteries of life. How come Kirsty MacColl's no longer with us, but Shane MacGowan's still going strong?
All: Yeah, you'd have got long odds against that 10 years ago.

President: We pause to acknowledge that we are in the presence of the company of heaven.
All: There's an angel floating round this house. Floating round my house.


President: D
o we always have to be sorry?
Congregation: Why can't we just be happy baby?


President: "You scumbag, you maggot"
Congregation: "You cheap lousy faggot*"
President: "Ooh, I forgot that line. That's not very good is it? We didn't really ought to have included that."
Congregation: "Well come to that, you've not exactly been that kind to maggots**, have you?"
President: "Not in the same league though?"
Congregation: Maggots are people, too!

The service ends in a brawl. As usual.

* The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley would like to apologise to any punks, bums, people on junk, or anyone else that may have been offended by this liturgy.
** No maggots were hurt during the making of this blog post.

Late result - England 2 - Colombia 0