Sunday, 16 August 2009

Mass, Mosque and Curry Sunday.

Up the hill to my local SEC establishment for the Holy Mysteries this morning. Hymns: conservative (dull), celebrant decently catholic (and female), sermon content ok (delivery a tad academic, but hey, the Team Priest has a PhD), intercessions ARRGH!

They got off to a bad start: with 4 possible passages of Scripture to choose a lectionary theme from, we got - animal rights??? How we got there from the 7 Pillars of Wisdom and the Bread of Life I know not. Responsory? That changed with each petition - which only works when they are ALL printed for the whole congregation to use. They weren't, so the congregational response varied from sporadic to inaudible. And content? Sigh! I gave up when we were bade to pray that we struggled with being vegetarian and not being vegetarian. I don't. Sorry, I struggle with depression, sexuality, faith, why God doesn't do things to Robert Mugabe involving a bleeding great thunderbolt and whatever happened to Rowan Williams spine. I don't agonise over my love of bacon rolls and inability to eat tofu with any sense of sharing in God's bounty. Not so much the prayers of the people, as a hobby horse ride over Bruntsfield Links. Haven't heard such well-meaning liturgical ineptitude since I was a Coates Hall student and I told a fellow student I hadn't left chapel at the peace because she was a woman reading prayers but because I refused to pray heresy. I've mellowed - stayed put and went to coffee afterwards and didn't get "angry", I just acknowledged this was not my problem and let God worry about it.

From there back to base to cook bacon for the brunching masses, before leaving (brunchless and drooling) for the Mosque. I did change my shirt before leaving, thinking it might not be terribly tactful to toddle in ponging of cooked pig. My reward: a 1st class curry in the Mosque kitchen before the guided tour and and a look at their excellent exhibition on Islam. And it was a real delight to be there. A big poster stated bluntly that racism and sexism are condemned in the Qu'ran. It was good and cheering to see that there is such a thing as a sensible tolerant face to Islam in Scotland in spite of much of the tosh spouted in the Press. Hugely enjoyable. This is why I think life in the City is where my future is: small town Scotland isn't for me really. The diversity and the buzz of city life are what I need.


  1. Ah, well. The infamous Christ Church "and let us all pray for the fluffy bunny rabbits" day was a bit before your time.

    Surely vegetarianism is theologically irrelevant rather than heresy? Unless you are a transubstantiationist? Actually, that's a point. Can teetotal transubstantiationists have their sip of sherry (swine flu panic excepted) on a Sunday without violating their pledge?

  2. Indeed. I have never tolerated the liturgical use of fluffy bunny rabbits. They are tolerable when fried in butter with onions at Scout camp and in a pie, but not litugically.

    I didn't think the veggie thing was heretical, merely a personal hobby horse running amok in the prayers of da faithful. Some of my best friends are tofu munching tree huggers. But transubstantiation and vegitarianism? Wheat isn't animal product, nor grape, but what about the yeast? I ask in ignorance.

    The TT issue is easy enough. The fullness of the sacrament is contained in either kind, so you can totally avoid the holy hooch by simply taking the wafer. The sip is a matter of personal conscience if you are on the wagon for moral reasons. If you have a drink problem, then it's a case of what works for you. Some find that sip would set them off. As it happens I don't.

  3. Oh and thanks Mrs SE for the card (it made me laugh) and the letter (she picked up where it was going with moi and it was very helpful and much appreciated).

  4. Somehow I feel this should feed into the discussion we were having on Eammon's blog - but I'll stick with the fact that our Lay Preachers have the delivery bit sussed, even if the theology is on the thin side!

  5. Feel free to fed it in. The intercessor was a cleric btw!