Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Break With Tradition

Uproar at last night's Worship, Outreach and Bingo subcommittee. Complaints that our new Predecessor, Little Lil, didn't bow as she walked under the Great Trilithon during Evening Rounds.

Little Lil has, of course, taken over as Predecessor from Big Michael, who has served in this role for years. The Predecessor's job is to go in front - hence the name - of the Big Procession before Filling-up of Beakers. Followed by the acolytes, tea light bearers, pebble-carriers, carriers of pictures of Milton Jones, singers, musicians, girls with tambourines and the Little Sisters of the Holy Herring - our enclosed order of penguin nuns - Lil leads the way once round the Orchard, through the Great Trilithon of Duckhenge, down the far side of the pond, and back to the Moot House. The March of the Druids meets him there, ensuring that, even in the worst weather, tradition is maintained but I don't get cold or wet.

Little Lil doesn't lower her head as she goes through the Great Trilithon. Big Michael always did. This, say the complainers, is a breach with tradition. It is bad. God will be angry.

The modernisers, of course, say it's great that Lil has reinterpreted the ceremony. It's "bad", they say - in the ironic, present-day down-with-the-kids way. God will not care, as our aim is to make worship "relevant", not directed at the Divine.

At the risk of sounding like an appeaser, can we get a bit of perspective here? Big Michael used to bow his head on going under the Great Trilithon because he's 7'6". The clue's in his name. He's only retired because he forgot to bow once too often, and ended up with an enormous head ache. Little Lil, meanwhile.... well, you can probably work it out.

In the circumstances, the best solution I can see is to agree that Lil bows her head on alternate days. I really don't want to go to all the trouble and expense of lowering the Trilithon that much.

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