Saturday, February 12, 2011

Now Here's Creativity for You!

Clown Mass (Episcopalian, I'm Told)

Rock Mass

"Liturgical Dance" in Poland

Magic Mass


David Garner said...

Any of those would be enough to induce me to celebrate the not-yet-popular vomit mass.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I just think stuff like this is what drives people away, which is ironic, since it is an attempt to attract them. At least it drives serious people away, because they are looking not to be entertained (they can find better entertainment elsewhere) but for something deeply meaningful.

margaret said...

I so badly want to believe these are some kind of April Fool's day spoof from ordinands but... I know better.

DebD said...

you've been haunting BadVestments blog...haven't you. ;)

Yes, they make me want to cry. I know someone who did clown mass (although it wasn't "mass" but communion since she was Methodist). She thought it was a meaningful experience. It was before I was Orthodox, but I was still embarrassed for her.

David Garner said...

I agree Anastasia. The more "entertaining" a particular parish tries to make their worship experience, the less entertained OR edified I am.

I play in a gigging band. I get all the entertaining and entertainment I want doing that. I can't read hearts and minds, but I sometimes wonder whether a lot of this entertainment-focused Christianity (I'm thinking about the rock mass here) is less a serious effort to bring people into unity with Christ and more an effort to provide weekly gigs for wannabe rockstars who, for whatever reason, don't actually gig.

Dixie said...

I think the problem is that there is an emptiness in their current form of worship. It is incomplete. Something is missing and their heart knows something is missing. But in our culture our heart is so disconnected from our mind we can't figure out the real problem is. So we experiment. We try things. Something is missing from worship so maybe clown mass or a more entertaining form. Maybe something to get the kids involved. In the end it doesn't work because it doesn't fill the void of that which is missing.

I actually feel for the people who are seeking so desperately to find that missing thing that they try stuff like this. I also know in many cases the idea is to bring in people who are uncomfortable with Church and make it less threatening. I admire their desire to reach the lost but I can't help but think if something wasn't missing in their current worship they would never think to go to these extremes for new folks. In fact, I would think they would be eager to share their form of worship with new people...if it were complete.

As Orthodox Christians, we don't need this kind of worship because our worship is not just full, it is overflowing. Nothing missing at all, in fact one can just go deeper and deeper in it. Glory to God!

margaret said...

What happens to people in these churches when they suffer spiritual assault? We have spiritual fathers/confessors to go to but with the enemy breathing down your neck would you go to the clown mass organiser? It really destroys the concept of the Church as a hospital for souls.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

David, I used to think even worse of these people. I assumed they were enemies of Christ, bent upon destroying Christendom.

But it isn’t so. While I was in England last summer, I met some of them and shared long discussions with them, and it was very enlightening. I found out they are very good people, humble, sincere, zealously seeking to follow Christ and battling desperately to save their denominations from extinction. Their commitment and their zeal surely put some of ours to shame. See “Rev. in Training,” the blog of my good friend Stuart Haynes, a Church of England deacon.

See especially , to get a good feel for the desperate situation, and , showing the desperate search, so far not very successful.

(“Costa” in his post refers to a popular coffee shop chain in England, like Starbucks, and “Tesco” is perhaps the most popular grocery chain there.)

These people deserve our deep respect, empathy, and prayers.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Deb, no I haven't, but after you mentioned it, I spent an enjoyable hour perusing that blog. And in it, I found a different picture of the same clown mass (same people in same costumes).

David Garner said...

I knew when I typed that it was too harsh by half. One day I'll learn to just not type it (and, hopefully, stop thinking it).

I have said before I acknowledge the good intentions of those who do this sort of thing. And I agree they need our empathy and prayers. I remain a bit jaded after growing up in a Church body that went this way, then converting to one that didn't, then watching that one start tacking that way, etc. I have my guard up a bit.

The ironic thing is, as much as I am wont to criticize them for doing something that manifestly doesn't work, too often in my dealings with those who prefer this worship form, I am guilty of the same thing. Lord have mercy.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

David, it happens to me, too, frequently.

DebD said...

David. you are not too far from the truth. I sang on various worship teams in my day and there were definitely several members who were "rockstar wannabes". But, on the positive side.... they weren't putting their families in poverty trying to land a record deal. They were getting it out of their system on Sunday morning and then supporting their families with a job during the week (at least most of them were :/).

David Garner said...

Just so I'm clear, I have nothing against rockstar wannabes. I am one. The distinction I'd make is I take my secular music to the bars and venues. The issue I have with it is not people wanting to play live secular music, but people willing to use the Lord's House as a venue for that.

But as Anastasia said, it is probably not best to ascribe motives broadly when it is relatively clear for the most part the motives are pure. I think they mean well -- I just disagree it is a salutary practice.