Tuesday, 18 July 2006

New poll: the worst liturgical invention

I’ve just added a new poll, which asks you to vote for the worst liturgical invention in recent history. This will be a tough competition—and there are so many other worthy candidates that could have been included.

Each church tradition has its own array of bad or silly or questionable liturgical inventions. But for this poll I simply included some of my own favourite candidates, ranging from the embarrassing (e.g. tacky banners which guard against the possibility of deep feeling) to the bizarre (e.g. liturgical dance, especially when performed by people who cannot dance) to the downright pernicious (e.g. the altar call as the third Protestant sacrament).

If I could have chosen just one more for the poll, I might have mentioned the custom of baptising with as little water as possible (just a tiny damp smear on the forehead), or perhaps the use of ludicrous clip-art in church bulletins, or the serving of undrinkable coffee after worship, or those harsh wooden pews that can turn even a sermon about heaven into a foretaste of hell.

Anyway, come and cast your vote—or, if you prefer, you might like to suggest your own “worst liturgical invention.”

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