This morning’s service

This week was my stint at St. Anne’s Bermondsey. When we’re not taking the service, we’re just there to be with the congregation and soak up the ambiance, as it were.

It was, yet again, a Family Service, and the person who took the service, a lay reader, started out her sermon with ten minutes for the kiddies, in which she condescended to them in a very unfortunate way. (She didn’t bother to tell the adults that after condescending to the children, we’d get a dose ourselves). Then there was 8 minutes for us on prayer. I don’t usually comment on manner of speaking, but she has an unfortunate speech impediment which is common here: her “r”s come out as “w”s. Prayer becomes “pwayer”. I had a difficult time trying to separate her speech from her message, which was that pwayer, er, prayer is something we ought to be doing all the time and that God listens to our prayers. This is totally diometrically opposed to my own strategy when I preach on prayer: Prayer doesn’t work on God, prayer works on us.

The hymns were unfortunate: the first hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” is very familiar to most Anglicans, Protestants, and Roman Catholics. Unfortunately, the canned CD had six verses stored in it, but there were 8 in our hymnals. So we kind of stopped short in the middle of the hymn, as it were. The last hymn, Shine, Jesus, Shine, is a pimple on the buttocks of Protestantism and really ought to be treated with a giant tube of Clearasil and made to disappear forever. If it’s on the sheet at St. Matthew’s, I’d just not bother. At St. Anne’s I have to be a bit more circumspect, so I sing it, albeit very softly. But now I’ve got an earworm of the chorus. It must be something I did to God.

So this afternoon I’m off to the gym, but before then I have to decompress.

3 Responses to “This morning’s service”

  1. thoburn says:

    I rem singing “shine Jesus Shine” when I was in pri sch..during chapel svc. was one of my favs then.

  2. chrishansenhome says:

    Well, to each his own, as the lady said when she kissed her cow. It’s very popular here, but the theology is not very well developed.

  3. trawnapanda says:

    The last hym was Shine, Jesus, Shine

    oh you poor dear. that’ll dampen your appetite.

    It’ll be a small, but significant, jewel in your crown come the parousia.

    For a few years, I was attending one of the two MCCs in Toronto. It was there that I learned how hymn preference (and indeed denominational choice) is a lot more sociological than a purely theological decision.

    Christos MCC had their own hymnal – the San Francisco congregation had done a lot of copyright clearance, and each congregation could do their own mix and match, number and duplicate. We had a 300 or so hymn cerlox-bound book. I found that the first thing I was doing was looking down to the copyright line at the bottom of the page. If it was Ausburg or another Lutheran publisher, I knew it was fairly safe. If it was the Church Pension Fund (ie Episcopalian), even better. If it was Hope Publishing or other companies I’ve now forgotten, it was going to be something that felt very much Bapticostal Dreck to my anglican tastebuds. And I realised just how much was taste, pure and simple – and I preferred the stuff I grew up with. I could usually count on one hymn a night of the lutheran / anglican kind; but not often more; and some woebegotten nights not even that. That’s where I first found shine jesus shine too.