You make some great points, but just viewing the video made feel really sick and disgusted with what they were doing. I would think that most Christians would feel angry at what these people are doing. It almost seems they are doing this in a very mocking manner. Just look at their mannerisms and the lack of professionalism by the clergy. I don't see any reverence in the whole thing, and what is the point? If this is what they want to turn a church service into, aren't there much better things they could be doing? Clowning around at Church is about the last thing I would think you would want to do at church. I don't think you can just say, "well, this is the way they want to worship and God will honor that." They obviously don't care about worship from viewing that video, they must think it's cutting edge to dress in clown attire and act like a bunch of weirdoes. I for one would be very angry if I saw this going on, and probably would have some very harsh words for these people. I'm sure I would have to control my anger enough to not physically hurt any of these clowns also.
When I first heard of "Clown Masses", (which, by the way, was here on OCnet), I asked a Roman Catholic nun friend of mine about them, and she introduced me to a Catholic Priest who has served "Clown Masses". He talked about the clown's make-up which is a completely whitened face on which colour is painted to accentuate the features. He likened this to the journey through Death and Resurrection. In Death, our face becomes the ashen-white of a corpse, like the white face of the clown, and in Resurrection, we are given a new body full of the Fullness of Life, and this is represented by the colour on the clown's face. We die with Christ in order to Rise with Him in Baptism. We throw off the old man and become New. This is what the Priest explained was represented by the Clown.
Now, I may not agree with his mode of expression
of this theological notion, but we in the Orthodox Church also
signify Death and Resurrection in Baptism: we take a new name, we are immersed in water and rise up again, we wear new clothes etc. So while it may appear to us as "mockery", Clown Masses are in fact not intended
to be mockery, but rather, a new way of expressing an old idea.
The idea of the "Jester" may not be as foreign to Orthodox as one might initially suppose. Let's not forget the vital role played in the Orthodox Church by the "Fool for Christ" or "Holy Fool", who often were the only ones who were able to express the Truths of the Faith to the worldy powers. St. Basil Of Moscow was a Holy Fool who once approached Ivan the Terrible with a lump of beef dripping with blood during Lent and said to him: "Why abstainest thou from meat when thou dost murder men during the Fast?"
The Holy Fool was so respected that even Ivan the Terrible would not punish him for his forthrightness.
In Shakespeare's plays, the Fool or Jester is often one of the central characters, and the one who shows great insight, and is at liberty to tell the king when he is going wrong. Fools and Jesters were once respected members of the Court given liberty to say what other's feared to say.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that Clown Masses can be equated with Holy Fools, but what I am suggesting is that the Clown may not be as foreign an idea to Christianity as might first appear, and there is some reason to think that non-Orthodox Christians might be trying to do something other than mock the Faith with Clown Liturgies. Whether they succeed
is another question. But it is the intention which is important to understand, and we can only do this with dialogue. We can't dialogue with someone we "pop in the head".
BTW, I misunderstood you. In Australian English, to "pop someone in the head" means to shoot them in the head. Someone who commits suicide with a firearm is said to have "popped themselves in the head"
. See? Even speaking the same language we can have misunderstandings, which is why dialogue between people is so important, rather than simply "popping them in the head".
I'm glad we had this chat.