So I love the blog Peacebang, who is everyone’s favorite Unitarian. She’s creative and hysterically funny. She must also know that I have a penchant for recalling the times in church when things just go horribly wrong–especially on major holidays.
Like at our 10AM Christmas Day Mass this year when someone projectile vomited in the back of the church. Merry Christmas, everybody.
Or at my parent’s parish when the pastor put too much lighter fluid on the kindling for the Easter fire and singed an older woman’s beehive hairdo. “Oh my hair!” was her cry. She was fine.
But Peacebang, AKA, the Rev Victoria Weinstein, a Unitarian Minister, takes the cake with this one that she reported from her friend’s church:
I guess what happened at my friend’s church is that she had worked for years to introduce the concept of The Coming of the Light into their candlelight service where, for decades, they sang “Silent Night” and left in the dark without a benediction or anything. This drove her crazy. “We don’t celebrate the coming in of the light!” she says. So at long last she got the Worship Committee to agree to having a child come forth at a dramatic moment in the service as she says, “And then arrived the Bearer of the Light.”
So last night, she announced this:
“AND THEN ARRIVED THE BEARER OF THE LIGHT”
And no kid.
For long minutes, no kid.
She ad-libbed. “AND THEN CAME JUSTIN, THE BEARER OF THE LIGHT.”
But “Justin” didn’t show up. I mean for 3-4 minutes, just dead air.
What happened behind the scenes is that Justin and his mother couldn’t get the little butane lighter going. They were frantically trying to get the clicker to work, while meanwhile my friend is up in front of the congregation going,
“SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO PATIENTLY AWAIT THE LIGHT”
And she’s having a total nervous breakdown and she’s so upset because right before the service she checked that butane lighter and everything was working FINE.
But you know, Justin’s mother also wanted to check the lighter and light it so many dozens of times making sure it was operational that she burned the thing right out. Those things are eight bucks or something – they don’t have that many lights in them.
So five minutes goes by – the most painful, sweaty five minutes you can imagine for the minister, and she’s still vamping,
“SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WAIT A VERY LONG TIME FOR THE COMING OF THE LIGHT”
And finally, finally, the kid comes down the aisle with the unlit processional candle and some nice guy on the church staff goes up to my friend and hands her a Bic.
It’s just like, a total bomb of a moment.
But of course my friend says, “It was the WORST. But everyone loved the service. They said it’s the best one we’ve ever had.”
That’s why we love the Church, people.
Indeed. What’s your worst church moment? The time you just bombed as a minister or a congregant. Facebook me with some of yours and maybe we’ll make this a regular feature. I’ve got at least a dozen.