This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 30 January 2014

How to praise the Lord

A sermon from Fr Arthur of the church of St Daryl the Apostate.

Many of you will have seen the Pope's recent homily on the fruitfulness of praise, telling people not to despise good people who praise the Lord in a spontaneous manner. Deacon, would you mind holding back on your spontaneous cries of "Hallelujah! I been saved!" for a few minutes, so that people can hear me preach? Just go back to sticking pins in that wax dummy of Brother Eccles. Thanks.

Rod Hull and Emu

Fr Arthur releases an "emu of peace".

Now, we in the church of St Daryl interpret the Pope's words as meaning that you can sing whatever you like, and it is acceptable to the Lord. There's no need to look for good hymns with well-constructed melody and harmony, with verses that rhyme and scan appropriately, and which contain at least one new idea in every line. No, the Lord likes it if we sing "Walk in the Light" thirty times in one hymn, without ever bothering to analyse what walking in the Light actually involves, or why exactly it is a good thing to do. The same applies if we sing "Kum ba yah" thirty times. Who needs the intellectual hymns of a Newman or Wesley? It's sheer snobbery to prefer them.

You know, the Lord wouldn't mind if we just sang "The Laughing Policeman". Let's do that now.

laughing policeman

Oh, be joyful in the Lord!

I know a fat old policeman,
He's always on our street.
A fat and jolly red-faced man,
He really is a treat.
He's too kind for a policeman,
He's never known to frown.  
And everybody says
He is the happiest man in town!

A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ooo hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ooo hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ooo hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. 

There! That did us all a power of good, didn't it? I'll bet that God was laughing too! That's the joy of praise for you, even if we're not sure exactly who we're praising here. Even the deacon joined in the chorus.

We take the same attitude to the liturgy. A committee of scholars has produced a new English translation, faithful to the Latin original. Phooey! As the great Fr Butler of Brentwood has said, the Vatican II Council (crosses himself reverently, and genuflects at the sacred name) allows us to use the vernacular, if we want to, and this means "informal, colloquial speech". Cor, strike a light, missus!

So, let's have another hymn. This one comes with a liturgical dance.

Dick Van Dyke

Liturgical dancing.

Chim chiminey,
Chim chiminey,
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky
As lucky can be!

That was good, wasn't it? Of course in this hymn the sweep is a metaphor for all Christian people. Well, let's not be judgemental here - he represents all people of faith, regardless of what it is or whether they have any. God is indeed bringing us luck!

By the way, next Sunday we'll have one of our special "fun" Masses. The deacon and I will be dressing up as a pantomime horse - I'll take the front part of course - and we ask you all to enter into the spirit of the occasion. After all, what is a holy day, but a holiday? Let's parteeeeee....

pantomime horse

The priest and deacon on their way to Mass.


  1. The NO certainly has it over the Latin Mass crowd for variety - clowns, Teddies, cheese-heads, bare-breasted readers, semi-naked go-go girl & half-naked presbyter-yogi dancers; masked ball; psychedelic disco lit freak outs; rock & heavy metal gigs; let's all hold hands; gay/cross dressing and transexual orgies and so on. Bugnini certainly won a great victory over the Roman Catholic Church.
    On the other hand, I'll stick to the Latin Mass thank you, Hannibal.

  2. Dear Sir,

    I have spotted yet another liturgical mistake on your blog.

    I can categorically assert that the Richard I public house in Greenwich serves Young's Special Bitter.

    No self-respecting pantomime horse would walk past a Young's pub in this haphazard and unfocused manner without swerving off and ordering two pints of Special Bitter (one for each end of the horse). Since it is clearly a confused and badly cared-for pantomime horse, in need of pseudo-equine rehab and counselling, I have passed on the photo to the relevant pantomime horse sanctuary.

    They are at this moment searching Blackheath, in which direction the unfortunate creature(s) in the photo seem to be headed.

    Yours etc.,
    Ferdinand Mass-Trousers
    Tunbridge Wells

  3. Hmmm… Is this from the horse’s mouth?

    I note that in your illustration the deacon takes the hindmost.

    Is you implying that he is a horse’s…never mind.

  4. We have such lovely hymns. O salutaris Hostia, Tantum ergo, Pane lingua gloriosi Panis Angelicus. Good to know I can spontaneously break out into song with these hymns when I am moved to do so at Mass while the others are singing Some Enchanted Evening.

  5. Can we spontaneously wash one another's feet too, if so moved to by the Spirit? And what about the odd Tango to break up the boredom of worship? One could even bring a paint set and easel. Then there's the trombone; a much neglected instrument by the Church.

    I've always felt there should be special Masses for ADHD people and these would be steps in the right direction.

  6. Be careful Eccles. Somebody is sure to preach this sermon.

  7. How not to praise the Lord:

    For a start one gets the impression they are singing 'oh praise him' to his eminently the elvis in the building. At the end when he wiped his brow with a cloth I half expected him to toss it into the crowd amidst screams of delight. And the God jokes?!

    Be sure not to miss: "You go proclaim that Gospel uncle Bob!…:" Eucharistic Prayer 2 gets used. After all the time dedicated to presider-Inspired-Narcissism, Our Lord gets the shortest EP - more time for 'people of god' self congratulation then, eh.

  8. Darling eccles, I am told you are not feeling very well - please get better soon - we all miss you xx Jess

    1. Thanks, Jess. Still not fully fit, but well enough to blogg a little. Luv, Eccles (saved).

    2. Glad to see you back - and on such good form - the trolls will be upset :) xx