Friday, 22 March 2019

Of Church Mice And Church Men

I visited an old church in the countryside the other evening.

There was this historian giving a talk entitled “The influence of the Church in England from Chaucer to Henry the Eighth and Beyond”.

Given a choice between listening to that lecture and watching an important football match on TV I would choose the lecture every time. You know me, always willing to oblige and to please … Why is it that old fashioned marriage vows included the words “to love and obey”? Was there not a clause about football games in those vows? There should have been!

Anyway, the old historian did not disappoint. He lived up to my every expectation and went on and on giving us every minute detail about this most fascinating subject. He reminded me of one of the priests who visited our church recently; Father Ontoo Long!

He too went on ad infinitum reading his sermon from notes he must have typed on an old type-writer and stopping at every punctuation mark to add boredom to everlasting tedium. I remember, that Sunday in church there was a young couple sitting in front of us. By the time Father Ontoo Long finished his sermon they were playing with their grand children.

I wondered as I sat there on those hard wooden pews which very soon numb the lower parts of your body … You can't lean back either because one's backside slides off the well polished pews ... I wondered, if this historian stood side by side with Father Ontoo Long and they talked in unison would they put us to sleep in stereo?

My boredom was soon to be relieved by an unexpected distraction.

I noticed a few feet away just by the radiator standing against the wall a mouse crawling slowly towards me. He’d probably been disturbed by the historian’s monotonous voice, I thought.

The mouse stopped suddenly then ran back towards the wall. No one noticed him except me.

He then walked ever so slowly close to the wall towards the left of the radiator. Then he stopped again. Moments later he was joined by another mouse following a few feet behind. He too stopped and then the first mouse turned round facing the second mouse. They faced each other for a few seconds then the second mouse ran back towards the radiator followed by the first!

I bet those mice are married, I thought. Probably having an argument I shouldn’t wonder. Something like this:

Mr Mouse: Oh … why do we have to go to church every Sunday? That priest is so boring!

Mrs Mouse: We don’t go to church to see the priest. We go to meet God and to pray.

Mr Mouse: But God is everywhere. Why can’t we meet Him at home? I bet He’d love to watch the football match on TV!

At that point a sharp elbow dug deeply into my side and a harsh voice whispered “Stop snoring!”

Oh well … back to Chaucer and Henry the Eighth I suppose. Did they have church mice then?

16 comments:

  1. We once had a priest at our church that spoke in monotone during his "sermons". No fire and brimstone in him...not an ounce of it.
    I would love to have watched a couple of mice chasing each other just to keep me awake :)

    Have a lovely day Victor.

    God's Blessings 💮

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    1. I think your priest has now moved to our church. For some reason, I fall asleep within a minute of him starting his sermons. I should record him and use the recordings as a cure to insomnia.

      God bless you, Jan.

      Delete
  2. ". . .add boredom to everlasting tedium." Love this phrase, Victor! And yes, unfortunately, I've endured some monotonous speakers in my time. One that still stands out is my college professor who taught Romantic Writers. Nothing worse than hearing poetry droned at you!
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. You have reminded me, Martha, of the worst such boring speaker. She was a lecturer about Chemicals and the various hazards and dangers in handling them. She went on for so long that in the depth of my despair I whispered to the guy next to me that she should be labelled an "Irritable Substance". Sadly, my comment stuck and she was known as such amongst the rest of the students.

      God bless you, Martha.

      Delete
  3. I never understand why so many preachers speak to the congregation as they think God would speak. And they always say "God" in that special way..."GOODDD!" It is hard to stay awake.

    I think the African American churches have it right, no one ever falls asleep during those services.

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    Replies
    1. I think you make a good point JoeH. Some priests/preachers no doubt believe that they are in the same league as the prophets, or Moses or Abraham. They speak with an air of authority which only serves to make them more distant and irrelevant to their congregations.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  4. I have stopped putting an elbow in Joe's ribs. His sleeping through sermons is his loss! LOL I agree that some homilies/sermons are sleep-inducing for sure.

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    1. Not only are the sermons too long, but they don't stop for adverts in the middle either. Can you imagine the adverts? "This sermon is sponsored by Catholic Candles".

      God bless you, Terri.

      Delete
  5. Mind drifting causes one to take a power nap these days, myself included. :)

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    1. I really needed a power nap during that long lecture, Bill. The guy went on and on about Chaucer, and Shakespeare and ...

      God bless you, Bill.

      Delete
  6. Ontoo Long ... priceless! I can just envision your predicament!

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    1. Yes Mevely. Some priests do go on and on with their sermons.

      God bless you always.

      Delete
  7. It would be hard to sleep through one of our Pastor's sermons. He is certainly not boring.

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  8. I just got On too Long! 🤣😆
    It's true what joeh said about African-American churches that you wont get bored. But like all churches, make sure the doctrine is correct.

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    Replies
    1. It's the sermons, Regina. Sometimes they go on and on ... and on.

      God bless.

      Delete

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