Sunday, 23 November 2008

A felix hominum Liturgy for Ananias & Sapphira Stewardship Sunday: Show Me Your Money

Father Joe has a gift for liturgy!
Ideally, the service should be held in the graveyard adjacent to the church building, during a cold, misty drizzle.  The Presider processes out of the church; servers follow behind with garden spades.  The congregation shuffles, hands in pockets.  

Presider:  The Lord gave  10 plagues.

All:  The Lord gave 10 commandments.

Presider:  The Lord gave 10 lepers health.

All:  The Lord is a perfect 10.

Presider:  What shall we give the Lord in return for His kindness?

All:  We shall give our 10 percent.

All hold out wallets/chequebooks etc., as Acts 5 is read.  During the reading the servers shall clang the garden spades together after the phrases "and he fell down dead" and "she fell down at his feet and died".

After the reading the Presider says "The Word of the Lord", to which all respond "Thank God it wasn't us", to which the Presider responds "But it might be next time".

A collection is then taken.

(Here ends the shortened form of the service.  A children's story might include having the Sunday School dig small holes in the ground, one for each child.  Divide the group by gender into "Jr. Ananiases" and "Jr. Sapphiras".  Use popsicle sticks for "grave markers".)

The only improvement I could possibly add would be:

Presider: Open your wallets and repeat after me. "Help yourself." 

…inserted just before the collection is taken. He calls it a "failed stewardship idea." One of 17, in fact. I can't imagine why.

…over at his most excellent felix hominum.