Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Traditional Repost: If Denominations Were Christmas Carols
I'll return to more substantive commentary in due time, but for now, please enjoy the humorous machinations of a slightly deranged pastor. (Hey, we all get like this when it's T-minus 10 days to the big day!)
In the spirit of the season, I'm having a little fun with our favorite carols. Please do not be offended if your denomination was not included, as there are limits to my creativity, even when it comes to poking fun at the institution I lovingly serve. And in case it needs to be said...this entry definitely falls into the "tongue-in-cheek" category.
Baptist: "The Friendly Beasts." I don't think I've ever been to a Baptist church of any stripe (American, Southern, any of them) without getting mobbed by extraordinarily well-meaning churchgoers who want to know EVERYTHING about me. Over a casserole.
Churches of Christ: "Little Drummer Boy." Part of their split with the Disciples concerned instrumental music in worship--they weren't so keen on it. Hence, the drum! I suppose bell-type carols could have worked too, but drums are probably a bigger flash point with congregations these days, because drums represent all that is unholy and irreverent about my generation and its noise.
Episcopalian/Anglican: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Lets be honest, this song is more about one's love for figgy pudding than it is about Christmas. And the only thing more English than Anglicanism is figgy pudding (losing to Germany in soccer is pretty close, though).
Lutheran: "Adeste Fideles/O Come All Ye Faithful." Why Martin Luther would like this carol: it's based on the theme of Heaven's triumph. Why he wouldn't like this carol: It's originally in Latin. Worth it?
Methodist: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." It's probably the best-known carol written by Charles Wesley, younger brother of the Methodist forefather John Wesley, and it's got four verses, like the four sides to a certain quadrilateral...
Pentecostal: "The Twelve Days of Christmas." That song goes on forever. Just like every Pentecostal worship service I've ever attended. I also remain firmly convinced that you have to be gifted in speaking in tongues to rattle off all twelve days worth of gifts in one go at the very end of the song.
Presbyterian: "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Remember John Calvin and his notion of predestination? Well..."He's making a list, and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice." Except if Calvin were Santa Claus, we'd all end up on the "naughty" list. And the "naughty" list would be labeled the "completely depraved" list.
Quaker: "Silent Night." If you've ever been to an unprogrammed Quaker service, silence is the ticket unless someone feels moved to speak. Which may not may not happen. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any carols about oatmeal.
Roman Catholic: "Sleigh Ride." This one is for the smells-and-bells crowd. You hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too? And the chestnuts going pop, pop, pop? Done and done.
United Church of Christ: "I Wonder as I Wander." Since the running gag is that "UCC" really stands for, "Unitarians Considering Christ," what better carol than one that begins with the question, "I wonder as I wander out under the sky how Jesus the Savior did come here to die?"
Disciples of Christ: "What Child Is This?" Because we don't do creeds, we just ask questions. Annoyingly. Incessantly. And sometimes, as the writer of this one does, we do so while already knowing the answer.
Any suggestions to add? Any changes you'd make to my selections?