Thursday, May 6, 2010

When the overly chatty rector starts undressing, it's time to go home

This morning I decided, on a whim, to attend the 10 a.m. "Holy Communion" Service at a nearby Episcopalian church.

Disclaimer: I'm not now, nor have I ever been, an Episcopalian. As the title of the blog should have told you by now, I'm a Catholic. Byzantine Catholic, to be exact.*

But being a C.S. Lewis fan(atic), I have a soft spot for Anglicans. And since there wasn't a Divine Liturgy at our church this morning, and I was in the mood for a good liturgy, and had noticed this particular Episcopalian church's schedule while driving by on the way to and from 24-Hour Fitness, I decided - today was the day!

CLUE #1 that this was the wrong decision: I pulled into the parking lot just behind a sweet, elderly, white-haired lady, who walked in through a locked gate - and pulled it tightly shut behind her, just before I made it through. And kept walking, without so much as a "Sorry, we have to keep it locked if we don't know you." Which I would have understood. But silence? Hmmm.

CLUE #2: I walked around the block and found another entrance into the church, and sat in a pew towards the rear. It was ten minutes before 10:00 a.m.

And no one else was there. EXCEPT a man standing at the altar, noisily thumping books, fiddling with the tabernacle door, and chatting on a cell phone, all at the same time. Admirable! However, I was there to pray, so I did my best.

But alas, it was not to be, because:

CLUE #3: Said chatty gentleman suddenly started walking down the aisle towards me, talking to me while frocking himself in semi-priestly garb. "Sorry, we're only having Morning Prayer today, because Father's still out at the ranch," he shared with me. Embarrassed, I muttered something to the effect that, since I'd never been there before, I wouldn't really know the difference.

"What?" he shouted, over the buzzing sound of a voice inside his cell phone.

"Um, I said, 'That's OK!'" I shouted back.

He nodded and walked out, still struggling with his clothing and yakking to the unseen voice (distinctly female, so probably not God, although on the other hand, this WAS an Episcopalian church so who knows?).

Anyway, at that point I suddenly realized that this service, if it ever got underway, was going to consist solely of myself and Chatty Cathy, and decided this was probably NOT the best place for me to commune silently with the Lord.

So I left, waving halfheartedly to C.C., who was standing outside the door, sucking on a cigarette and still only partially clad.

Then I drove as fast as my little Toyota would carry me to 24-Hour Fitness, where I communed with the Almighty via the rowing machine.

If any Episcopalians are reading this ... um ... was this Rite One or Rite Two?

*Technically speaking, Roman Catholic married to Byzantine Catholic. But it's all good.

1 comment:

Wanda Violet said...

Tell me you made this up.