(Rant) I hate Easter church. There, I’ve said it. It may be sacrilegious, or blasphemous, or whatever, but I do not like church on Easter. Give me a Good Friday or a Maundy Thursday service any day.
Easter church makes me benout for a few reasons. First, it’s a bunch of new people, mostly strangers, and it makes me very self-conscious. I have just been getting comfortable at my new church, recognizing faces, and suddenly this past Sunday I was surrounded by people I’ve never seen before, and it made me very nervous.
Second, the pastors have to over-explain everything. Instead of just pronouncing the benediction, the pastor explains how he is going to pronounce the benediction. Instead of just greeting one another and passing the peace, we have to go through how to do it.
The teaching of church ritual itself wouldn’t bother me, if it weren’t for the next part. At least this past Easter church, the people who were there didn’t want to participate in the liturgy. After the pastor explained that we would greet each other saying “He is risen” and replying with “He is risen indeed,” some very nervous people around me muttered a quick good morning and tried to sit down as quickly as possible. Okay, I get it, I hate the greeting too, but play along at least.
The same thing happens with the Lord’s prayer…People start out strong with “Our Father, who are in heaven…” and then it’s just mutter, mutter, mutter….
So okay, if you only come to church a few times a year you’re not used to the conventions, you don’t know the creeds and confessions and prayers, fine. All of that I can understand. But, at the very end of the service last Sunday the choir sang the Hallelujah Chorus. And many of the people around me were talking out loud. Talking? During the Hallelujah Chorus? It took all my willpower not to hush them.
I know, if I were a good evangelical I’d be happy to see so many new people at church. But honestly, I think the best church services are the lesser attended…any small service, a night service, Super Bowl Sunday service, whatever.
In case there’s someone I haven’t offended yet with my idea that Easter church is only for churchgoers, let me offer another Easter gem–a David Sedaris story about Easter. Basically, David Sedaris is awesome. And thanks to a friend of a friend for the link.