Sunday, 23 March 2014

Things that weren't Introduced at Vatican II

So the Ecumenical service with the the Roman Catholics was a bit of a failure.

In many ways I blame myself. But I mostly blame Xandra. It was she who told me that, if you really want Catholics to be able to join in with your worship, send in the clowns. You've got to have clowns. No, apparently not. They don't think Liturgical Processions of Clowns is at all devotional.

Nor the unicycles. Personally, I thought that Fr Donald showed great good-humour and a certain bravery in going on the unicycle at all. He is, after all, 86. But they don't feature in Catholic Liturgy - not even in ecumenical services - at all. They were not, no matter what Xandra said, introduced at Vatican II.

The Bouncy Cathedral - now, that was more popular among the children. But, still, not really something anybody from the left-footed contingent considered to be conducive to a worshipful and meditative atmosphere.

And our "Name that Ikon" game - apparently (a) it's disrespectful and (b) it's the Orthodox that are into ikons. They're the ones with the beards, I am now told. Learn something new, and all that.

So anyway, having shown that we had absolutely no idea of what Vatican II had actually introduced, we thought we'd invite the Catholics to take over - show us how it was done. I thought we could expect something time-honoured, traditional - something that took us back down the ages of the Church with that sense that things have always been this way, that the rock on which we are all built does indeed give solidity, an unchanging, reassuring, soul-healing sense of deep time and the Church Universal.

When we snuck out after 20 minutes, they were on the fifth reprise of "Praise my God with the Tambourine".  The flautist was doing a pretty bad impression of the bloke from Jethro Tull. And the banjo player had broken one of his strings, but hadn't even noticed. Vatican III can't come quickly enough, as far as I'm concerned.

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