from 25 to 31 December 2006
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looking around for a church, and I've been visiting Episcopal churches
near me, to see if Episcopal makes sense for me. There's always
a sign that says "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You", though not
a lot of them actually do anything to make me feel welcome. But
that's OK. I don't mind being invisible while I'm exploring.
I'm writing about is to ask a question. In one church that I visited
a few weeks ago, I got the feeling that they were worshiping not
God but fire. Everyone was totally fixated on the candles. This
was especially noticeable at the end of the service, where the
entire congregation stood frozen in time while the two people in
robes used their hooks to put out the candles. As soon as the candles
were put out, everyone acted like the service was over.
knew that fire worship was alive and well in an Episcopal church?
Are many of them like this, or did I stumble across a pickled parish?
Bristol, Pennsylvania, USA
27 December 2006
(Ed: Pickled parish indeed. Did Peter Parson pick a peck of pickled
prayerbooks? We recommend that you keep looking; there are many vibrant
parishes near you, with ushers instead of docents.)
we have no cantatas
up Anglican in Ontario but haven't joined a church since I moved
to the USA. I read Anglicans Online from time to time and I wanted
to tell you that I like AOL and it helps me deal with having no
Episcopal church very close.
eve I went to the late (not quite Midnight) service at the church
that my parents have been attending since they retired and moved
away. I can't think of any reason to tell you what that church
is, but I wanted to tell you about my experiences and ask if this
is what American Episcopal churches are like.
was Christmas eve. The church was full of families. We were all
loving singing Christmas carols. The program showed that during
communion we would sing three carols ("verses as needed"). But
instead some woman sang and sang and sang something that my parents
said was the Christmas Cantata. I had never heard it. It was so
long that when communion was over the priest sat down in a chair,
looked at his watch, and waited for her to finish singing, which
she eventually did.
seems wrong. If I wanted to hear a 15-minute soprano solo of a
song I've never heard before and that only says "Christmas" to
people who have advanced degrees in musicology, I would attend
concerts at the university. I went to church to participate in "corporate
worship" and I felt that I was used as a captive audience for someone
who wanted to perform.
my parents next year they should go to the Evangelical Lutheran
church in the next town over on Christmas eve. Yes their services
are 3 hours long, but they sure sing a log of Christmas songs during
that time, and I know all of them. No cantatas.
Dixon, New Mexico, USA
31 December 2006
(Ed: Joy to the world, the saviour reigns! PS: we
call ourselves AO, not AOL. The name AOL is taken by America Online.)
our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published
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