For The Someday Book

Naughty Noontime … in worship

Posted on: March 6, 2010

This year the Catholic church is hosting our town’s ecumenical Lenten services. This particular group of 5-7 churches collaborates on many projects, and we know each other well. It’s a collection of brand-name Protestants of similar stripes, and one Catholic parish that blends right in. For these services, various clergy take turns offering the sermon, and the host congregation prepares and leads the liturgy. Since the Catholic priest is overburdened with two parishes, the deacon has been in charge.

Last week, the deacon was unexpectedly unable to attend. At our clergy meeting the day before, he asked a colleague to fill in, but he couldn’t do it. Without a thought, I opened my mouth to volunteer, and the deacon said yes, again without a thought. How hard could it be, right? All I had to do was lead the service he had prepared.

It wasn’t until I stepped into the front of that beautiful Catholic church, in charge, that I realized what I had done. I, in my female body, was running a service in a Catholic church—introducing the male preacher, announcing, praying, pardoning, benedicting. I was acting as substitute host, as though I owned the place. Knowing both priest and deacon, they are quite open-minded and neither would be troubled by this, nor were the members of the various churches gathered. But on the wall was a picture of Pope Benedict, and I swear he was scowling at me the whole time.

I must confess it was exhilarating. I felt like I was really getting away with something naughty. I looked right back at Benedict and stuck out my tongue.

Ok, I didn’t really do that. But just standing up there in leadership felt like the same thing.

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7 Responses to "Naughty Noontime … in worship"

I am snickering with impish joy at the thought of that scene, even if the tongue-sticking-out was only done mentally!

I love it! I did something similar once and (as a former Roman Catholic) enjoyed it far more than I should have! Welcome to RGBP!

Thanks!

There’s an update:

Last week, it was my turn to preach. As the deacon and I were getting into our vestments, I told him (in a less snarky way) about my thoughts about the pope looking down disapprovingly. He responded by asking me to fill in again this week. Nice.

And then, even funnier, we looked up to where the pope’s picture had been and it was missing! He didn’t know where it went, asked the sexton and no one knows. He must have disapproved so much he vacated the place. A mystery.

Hee hee! I LOVE this and especially that the Pope took off.

Welcome to RevGals!!!

This is why I ended an ecumenical venture when I became an RC pastor: immature women pastors who get off twisting the lion’s tail. Last thing the Catholic faithful need is some flake in the pulpit, male or female.

FrMichael,

It’s rude to flame a post and then not sign with a real address. I believe in free and honest conversation, so I approve posts from people even if they disagree with me.

If you would like to move beyond name-calling, I would welcome a dialogue on the role of women in ministry, ecumenical conversations and the Catholic church’s positions on women’s issues. I assure you I am no flake.

As to being a flake, your own words condemn you:

“I was acting as substitute host, as though I owned the place…I felt like I was really getting away with something naughty. I looked right back at Benedict and stuck out my tongue.

Ok, I didn’t really do that. But just standing up there in leadership felt like the same thing.”

Thoughts like this were far from my mind the one time I had the opportunity to preach in a Protestant church. I was a guest without an agenda or the need to feel naughty. I was there to help lead the congregation in prayer to the Almighty.

There is no need of “discussion” on women in Catholic priesthood: no church of apostolic origin has it. It is an innovation of heretics who defy Biblical injunctions against it as well as the witness of history, where priestesses were signs of paganism infecting semi-Christian heretical bodies.

FrMichael

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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