I attended a christening today. And a lovely affair it was. The religious element of it wasn’t too bad, even. One of the things that normally irks me about religious ceremonies is how much God-loving there is. Is this God character insecure or what? Seems to constantly need reassuring. Ditto Jesus. If Jesus was talking about someone having done something wrong a couple of thousand years ago he would probably tell people to move on and stop persecuting someone for their mistake. But we STILL seem to be going on about him dying for all our sins. OK MATE..I didn’t ask you to. Thanks and everything but, just get on with it.
The minister at this Methodist ceremony didn’t bang on about God/J too much in all fairness. He did go on a bit about water and its importance – to say why it was an important part of the ceremony. If I was being hypercritical I would say he went on about water a little bit too much. I don’t see why he needed to talk it’s power (flooding and drought – absence of rather than presence for the latter).
“And water is a fundamental part of life for us all. Without it we get thirsty. It is in the rain that grows the crops and in the rivers on which we travel; it is the little pots of water we clean our paint brushes with – and we use the same water to create a paint when adding it to a paint base, adding more or less water depending on how thick we want the paint to be; water is the plastic bottle we spray plants with and water is in the socks of people who’ve been out in the rain with inappropriate footwear etc.”
He (the Minister, not God) also told an anecdote about experience. It was about this student teacher who was slacking off and thinking they knew a thing or two. And this Professor goes to give them some advice and the student asks who the experienced professor is to give advice. And the professor says that he has 35 years of experience to pass on. The student replied that he didn’t have 35 years of experience but that he had one year of experience 35 times.
I kind of get the point, that each year is different and not just a carbon copy of the previous year. But it kind of made the student seem like they were making a really sage point when really the seemed like they were just chatting shit to make up for not being that good.
The only two bad things were one of the readings and the organist. The reading was meant to show the family tree of Jesus or something, which in turn linked in to why we have Christmas trees (or Jessie trees or something). But whatever the reasoning behind the choice of reading, it was ultimately just someone from Stalybridge reading out a long list of names with the word begat inbetween each name.
And the organist was just really, really poor. When I raised this, to be fair I didn’t really raise it – it wasn’t like no-one else had picked up on the lack of tune and melody, the father of the christened said that he had always been bad. It seems that he doesn’t have years of experience practising the organ, but millions of times being the first time he has ever played one.
On the whole though it was mainly about supporting someone through life rather than banging on about how great Jesus was for healing someone’s stammer or something. As far as religious ceremonies go it was decent. I would have trimmed off 35 of the 40 minutes and 4 of the 5 hymns, but I don’t want to be one of those back-pew service planners so I will leave it to the experts.