Sunday, October 02, 2005

On Liturgical Biorhythms

Did you ever notice that there are some services that, for no reason, take on a life of their own with our mistakes? While others, for some reason, seem to fly and soar on energy and passion? And that we have absolutely no control over which one is which?

This morning I supplied at a church out of town. A nice drive, first in darkness, then in sunrise. Other than the brief scare I received from Weekend Edition reporting last night's bomb near the OU Stadium in Norman (killed one, apparent suicide--but I had heard nothing about it until then, relatively uneventful.)

Then the first reader read the second reading--Philippians instead of Isaiah. So the second reader read the first reading, relieved that there were no long Hebrew words in the Isaiah passage. Then I felt uncomfortable during my first rendition of my sermon (no text, extemporaneous). Then I forgot the birthday blessings at the announcements. Then I gave the wrong sentence at the offertory (I did "all things come of thee" instead of "walk in love" or some such). Then Rite I was going fine until I forgot that there are a few things between 'Alleluia, Christ our Passover" etc. and "The Gifts of God" in Rite I.

None of this was earth-shattering, of course, other than the fact that I do pride myself (a spiritually revealing word there) on being a professional around the altar, supply or no.

But then the second service went fine. And the sermon went very, very well. Some of it is the difference in energy between early morning and late morning. Some of it was I felt more comfortable in the space. Some of it is that I am more familiar with Rite II. There are all sorts of technical explanations for why some services go well and others don't (and I've certainly been at technically 'perfect' services that felt lifeless, and others with bobbles left and right that were full of the Spirit).

But a lovely day was had, topped off by a party at the home of effervescence. It's always fun explaining to other people how you know a fellow blogger--er, we met online?


At 12:54 AM, Blogger Dawgdays said...

I run into the same thing in the sales presentations I do. Sometimes everything is totally in sync, sometimes everything goes haywire and falls completely flat.

What's frustrating is that sometimes I have no idea what has happened - either for the good or the bad. Hmmmph.

Effervescence is a truly cool blogonym!

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Annie said...

I can relate! At least I didn't turn the readings around ... but I stumbled!


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