Saturday, September 26, 2009
Give (the) PEACE a Chance
British cartoonist Dave Walker always makes me laugh. Well, nearly always. He has a real eye for the Real Life of Anglican congregations - even the Episcopal varieties Across the Pond.
I have some of these folk in my congregation. I'll bet you do, too.
Indeed, the Passing of the Peace in many churches, including mine, has become less a liturgical device and more of a "Half Time Event".
In fact, during Lent, I move the Passing of the Peace to what I understand was its historic place in the Liturgy - right after the Eucharistic prayers and just before the Lord's Prayer.
Except, I understand that the Lord's Prayer always ended the Prayers of the People.
I'm reminded of that old saying: 'all liturgy is innovation'.
And, of course, "the only thing worse than negotiating with a terrorist is negotiating with a liturgist." Except, at least with a terrorist, you have a chance of having a reasonably sane conversation with a positive outcome.
I have found that it does help a bit to put the focus more on the liturgy and less on a "mini Coffee Hour" experience. This is especially appropriate during Lent.
The H1N1 virus or "Swine Flu" pandemic is changing all of that. To wit - this latest cartoon from the inner recesses of the brilliant mind of Our Dave.
I'm sort of partial to the "Text Message of Peace" myself. I wonder how long it will take to develop the "Twitter of Peace". Wait! That's already happening from certain NYC churches where parts of the service - especially the sermon - are being 'tweeted'.
Or, perhaps, the "FaceBook of Peace" - with a special "I'm a Fan of Passing the Peace" group page.
I've been wondering - if the pandemic manifests itself in as a local epidemic, will we have to resort to Eucharists on iChat with our laptop cameras?
It's just a natural extension of technology - well, as natural as technology has already become in our lives.
If we did that, however, we'd miss out on this processional innovation.
Like I said, Dave Walker always makes me laugh. Not exactly the worst preventative medicine.
As the drum beat of anxiety about the Influenza Epidemic steadily increases amidst the cacophony of concerns like rising unemployment, economic instability, health care reform and the higher volume of whispers of impending schism, The 'Church of God's Frozen Chosen' could certainly use a few prophylactic doses.