Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!
The same their features, and their forms the same,
stomping ground: n. (usu. in pl.) a favourite or familiar haunt or place of action. breeding ground: n. 1 an area of land where an animal, esp. a bird, habitually breeds. 2. a thing that favours the development or occurrence of something, esp. something unpleasant. (OCD)
The first of the Offertory Songs was "Circle of Life" from The Lion King.
I knew this one fairly well, having learned to play it on the piano once upon a time. I love this song, but it seemed less obvious to me what it had to do with God. It does, of course, have to do with the mystery of the world and the enormity of its structure. It has to do with cosmic harmony, with the organization of the universe at large. I suppose that is a fairly religious thing. It taps into what those faded and overly prettified pictures of flowers and forests and waterfalls are trying to say, and does it in a way that doesn't make jaded me groan. If not explicitly religious in content, it contains some of the vibrant awe that is a part of religion.
The second Offertory Song was "Be Our Guest" from The Beauty and the Beast. This was very appropriate: it introduced Communion, where we are guests at God's table. The unrestrained joy of this song is perhaps not what we are used to, though I have attended Communion services which emphasized joy, not solemnity. The culinary references, and the candlestick character, seem especially related to Communion.I should note that the version we sang was somewhat shortened, excluding a lot of the song which referenced the movie's narrative. Oh, and after the curse is broken, what does everyone eat on? The cutlery and crockery have become humans again. And the furniture, too...
Somewhere in there (I'm not sure because it's not in the bulletin) we sang "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan.
This one has interesting lyrics to it; I'm sure it's not supposed to be read religiously, but when placed in the context of a church service that reading leaps out of the words. As is often observed, religious poetry and romantic poetry are often interchangeable.
The Closing Hymn was "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Do I need to explicate this one? Perhaps it's not obvious to a non-Christian what this would have to do with Christianity. There is a trope common in Christianity that the world looks differently--literally, is new--when you convert or have a religious epiphany.
So. What do you think of the service? You must imagine this taking place in a somewhat liturgically conservative Anglican church. I have two interesting observations: 1) Context matters so much in interpretation; 2) There are many ways we can go about making church services more welcoming to newcomers, given just a little creativity on our part.
The Saturday Evening Blog Post is a monthly blog carnival in which participants showcase their most favourite post from the last month. (This month I made a mistake and posted one from October. This was largely due to the fact that I didn't have any decent ones from September.) This carnival is hosted by Elizabeth Esther, so please head over that way to see more.