This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 28 July 2013

New secular sacraments

Now that the sacrament of marriage is to be given a totally new meaning in the secular world - no longer simply a bond entered into by a man and a woman - Prime Minister David Cameron today announced secular versions of all the religious sacraments.


The seven traditional sacraments - but Dave may invent some new ones!

No longer will Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Penance, Anointing, Ordination - or, of course Matrimony - be limited to those who are religious, or even those who wish to participate in a ceremony with the same basic meaning.

Baptism. Well the basic idea here is that the baby gets wet and has some words said over it. But from now on Parent 1 and Parent 2 will be able to baptise the little dear. To do this, they simply give it a bath, say some appropriate words ("Goo goo, who's a little darling, then?" will do), pay a fee, and little Nick can have a baptism certificate!


Recommended for a secular baptism.

Confirmation. Hey, who wants to be "confirmed" as a member of a church? Sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and strengthened in Christian life? No, from now on secular confirmation will be something like getting a driving licence (and you can be excommunicated if you drive through a red light - hey, we're being moral here!) As an added advantage, you can apply for confirmation online, just turning up for the sacramental part (the wielding of the rubber stamp) at your local council offices.

bishops dancing

Bishops attending a keep fit class - but no bishops will be required.

Communion. Bread and wine? Body and Blood? Just turn up at your local for a ploughperson's lunch and a chardonnay. Don't forget to call the barperson "Father" (or "Mother!") Oh - and try not to leave any of your kids behind when you stagger home...

Penance. There's not much call for this among secularists, for - let's face it - we don't usually talk about "sin". Still, we do talk about crime, and, following an idea in the board game "Monopoly", the government will now start selling "Get out of jail free" cards. Prices to be negotiated, but get your Royal Pardon before you commit your crimes!

get out of jail free

Too late for Mr Huhne, alas!

Anointing. All citizens have the right to be smothered in oil, if they are feeling a little off colour. It tones up the skin, and makes you feel GOOD! We are taking scientific advice as to whether it should be the finest olive oil or simply a dose of Castrol GTX: this may depend on whether you are anointed privately, or on the NHS.

olive oil

The Catholic Church has no monopoly on the trademark "Virgin".

Ordination. This may be controversial, but we are creating a new order of "secular" priests and deacons, who will be able to perform all the religious rituals associated with Christian churches, but on a "no frills" basis, and with no religious belief required. (Many churches have such priests already, of course!) Of course they will be able to wear cassocks, chasubles, fanons, mantillas, etc. just like real priests do.

odd priest

Secular priests may look something like this.

Marriage. Ah, we had the brilliant idea of making it possible for two people of the same sex to marry... oh, you've heard of that one.

And finally... Thanks to the miracles of technology, you don't need to worry about going to Heaven or Hell when you die! We can keep your brain alive for ever by pumping electricity into it (and the occasional replacement of spare parts). So religion is finally redundant!

brain that wouldn't die

Life after death! Or instead of it!


  1. darling eccles, I was told that there will be some subbtle changes:

    So, instead of 'Baptism' it will be called 'Bathism', which either involves a baby and a bath or President Assad, according to taste.

    That is followed by 'Conformism' in which you has to agree wiv the Grauniad and Giles Fraser, or else ...

    There will be a weekly 'Communication' which will be like a three-line whip but more loving and will tell you which of the Pop's speeches you can dissent from first.

    Then there is 'Orderation', in which you has to do what the Observer and St Rich of Dawkins orders ... or else.

    Pennance - wot will be where you has to hand over all your spare pennies to the Government so they can give them to poor bankers.

    This is followed by 'marr-age' in which you has to conform to the practices of de great saint, Andrew of Marr.

    As for the 4 last things, de Guvmint will give you a far greater choice, as will be revealed in its next manifesto.

    Jess xx :)

    1. Very good Jess. I am sure dat my readers will find your comments reely spiritaully nuorishin.

    2. Excellent post - Jessica, and very spiritaully nuorishing. You will notice in the picture of Phil, that he is wearing black brogues in honour of the Bishop of Rome. Very conforming.

  2. As to the Anointing, I have never understood Extra Virgin olive oil. What is an extra virgin? The 11th one - missing from the Ten Wise Virgins?

    I know what Guinness Extra Stout is…but after a few of them, who cares anyway? But they are spiritauly nuorishing…

    When you’re done with the Bibble, Eccles, maybe we can have a cattycheesis on extra virgins…?

  3. All olive oils have to meet standard criteria set by,yes the International Olive Council. The current president is, yes a Knight. Jean-Louis Barjol Chevalier du Mérite Agricole Français, and he looks like one as well.

    Extra virgin meets the strictest criteria for low acidity, etc. Has nothing to do with the five late virgins who missed out on the wedding party because they did not bring enough oil.

    And, has nothing to do with the 77 virgins in Islamic Heaven...not our heaven, btw.

    As to Governmental sacraments, how about new temple dedicated to Kali, who has thugs for her followers and represents Fate-maybe the fate of the Tory party thugs who passed the ssm bill. Nice picture of Kali here-no relationship to the present Queen, however.

  4. Not a particularly funny blogpost, Eccles, so I will use this combox as an opportunity to draw attention to the admission, made in a long drawn out series of comments on the Damian Thompson blog today, that I am singly responsible for the Missy Pigator character aimed at the awful Deacon Flavin. It was nothing to do with Eccles and everything to do with trying to wake up this awful man to his disgraceful behaviour on the internet.

    Mea culpa.


    1. Thank you for dat confessoin, bruvver rabit. But de awful deacon probabbly finks you is me, anyway.

      Nope, not funny today. Just aciddic satire.

    2. The worst secular sin is political incorrectness only pardonable by a public declaration of love for all including cockroaches, amoeba and you-know-who, umpteen times ad nauseam.