Skip to comments.Send in the Episcopalians
Posted on 05/19/2005 5:24:16 PM PDT by sionnsar
Sometimes these things write themselves. Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City has a special event planned for this Sunday:
On May 22, Trinity Sunday, we will have a Clown Eucharist, "doing church" as if we were a circus come to town. We will celebrate the Eucharist and learn about the basic traditional outline for Eucharistic worship by experiencing it and participating in it from a new perspective.
It will likely be a surprise to see clowns inside Trinity Church,
Not to orthodox Christians familiar with the general drift of the Episcopal Church over the last 40 years or so, it won't.
but think about it this way: how we perceive the world in light of our relationship with Jesus could rightly be called foolish. Jesus looked at things in a new and strange way - a foolish way. But, as St. Paul said, the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of the world. Paul declared himself a fool for Christs sake.
I could be wrong but I don't think that Jesus or Paul wore make-up and made people laugh.
He held that in common with a Trinity clergyman of years ago, who I understand would walk up and down Wall Street at noon carrying a sandwich board printed with the words: Im a fool for Christ." The back of his board read, "Whose fool are you?"
Interesting approach and something that I wish I had the courage to do. We don't you consider emulating this man and taking the Gospel out into the world instead of this ridiculous clown idea?
We are all fools of one sort or another. Gods foolishness is light, joy, and life. Mans foolishness is darkness, despair, and death. In the clown, God has shot from his cannon for us a vivid symbol of divine foolishness.
Clowns represent the underdog, the lowly, the remnant people. Their foolishness is a call to unpretentiousness. They take incredible risks - balancing on tight ropes, eating fire, keeping silent, being poked by others, or getting soaked in water. Clowns are parables in themselves, spending great amounts of energy uncovering small things, then showing forth the hidden treasure of life (like the kingdom of God) and, surprisingly to us, giving their most cherished possessions to others.
In rodeos, clowns protect people. In other scenarios, the clown may be down and out, but he is also continually raised up by a spirit within, lifting our own spirits as he overcomes lifes stumbling blocks. Clowns look at the world, like parables, inside out and upside down: the last shall be first, the smallest seed is the greatest tree, and those who work all day get paid the same as those who worked an hour. To the world, this is foolishness.
Put down the bong now.
Years ago, I saw a film created by the Rev. Floyd Shaffer on clown ministry and worship. I hope you will find the opportunity to read his recent book, If I Were a Clown, prior to our worship together on May 22.
If you're interested in seeing Rev. Shaffer's film, it's called The Episcopal Divinity School Story. Check your local public library.
All are invited to come in clown dress, big hats, floppy shoes or some sort of foolish garb.
If you don't have any foolish garb, Frank Griswold has a whole closet full of the stuff that he'd be delighted to loan you.
Those watching on the Internet might even be foolish enough to put on some white face or a big grease-paint smile as we worship God and learn about the structure of the Eucharist by being the circus which came to town and to church on that day. I look forward to worshiping with you.
Yeah. Right. I'll be doing that. In the comfort of my home, I'll trowel on some white face and watch this over the Web. However did you know? The sad thing is that if some open-air preachers, real fools for Christ, set up outside Trinity this Sunday and begin preaching the Good News to the wealthy liberals in their clown suits and make-up walking inside to participate in this...thing, the folks at Trinity would probably get angry and throw around terms like "theocracy" and "Christian right" over Bloody Marys after the service.
Thanks to Susan.
The Episocpalian church is so far off the wall they cannot see their own irrelelvancy.
The clown outfits, however, are a propos, because they are a bunch of fools.
3-7 pings a day? certainly high volume. the NFL ping list is rarely over 3. sometimes none.
Seems to me this has been done before somewhere; I am sure I saw pictures of it.
Nothing ECUSA does surprises me any more.
Don't worry, they're here.
The clown: symbol of "divine foolishness."
Google is my friend. It has been done before and here's the link. ECUSA isn't very original, this started in the Roman Catholic Church in the 70's.
That explains some of the ads I see in National Review.
At least they had a reason. Joseph Grimaldi, the "King of Clowns" (1779-1837) is buried at what used to be St. James's Pentonville. Several circuses had their winter quarters nearby, and St. James's became the "Clowns' Church" because of the association with Grimaldi. Eventually (some time in the late 40s IIRC) they began to have a special Grimaldi Memorial Service. When that church was deconsecrated (and eventually wrecked out) the clowns moved the service to Holy Trinity Dalston.
They attend in full "motley and slap" (costume & makeup), and there's a memorial window to Grimaldi in a little corner chapel, with a banner that says "Here We Are Fools for Christ".
All in all, it's typical English eccentricity and clubbiness, and I like it.
Only moderately high. The Bride of the Undead Thread ping, now, that's low volume -- once a week or whenever I think of it...
The Catholic Church went through its own "clown mass" phase in the wake of the Vatican II liturgical changes. Fortunately, that movement to dumb down the liturgy to make it seem relevant and "popular" and entertaining seems to be dying down and I sense a trend toward more reverence in the liturgy. May it continue, God willing!
The Lutherans did this too. They got over it though.
Hahaha, great comments interspersed. Thanks for the laugh. Will the Episcopal Church never cease to self-immolate?
Amen! (pn. "AH' men"!)
Silly priests thought they could get huge Broadway-style crowds to come for facepaint, clown Masses.
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