Author Topic: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!  (Read 30935 times)

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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« on: July 25, 2011, 07:39:30 PM »
Has anyone ever seen something at liturgy that was really out of the ordinary, even an accident?  Like, the altar boys starting a fire, or, God forbid, the priest dropping the chalice?

I've heard of all this, but wonder if it's ever really happened?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 07:57:22 PM by trevor72694 »

Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stpries here!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 07:50:39 PM »
A VERY large and hairy spider slowly crawled up the priest's phelonion as he stood in front of the Holy Table during Vespers. The spider got within a couple of inches from the neck edge before crawling back down again. Not once, but three times. Father had no idea what was happening, and the few of us who were in the nave at the time were helpless, as none of us had a blessing to enter the altar, and there were no altarboys serving that night. We all had a good laugh about it afterwards.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 10:20:10 PM »
We've had smoke alarms go off during the liturgy.

Then there was the deacon who took his prayer book and swatted a fly on the altar.

I've heard an urban legend about naughty altar boys mixing popcorn kernels with the incense.  I don't know if that has ever really happened, though.

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 10:29:37 PM »
We've had smoke alarms go off during the liturgy.

Then there was the deacon who took his prayer book and swatted a fly on the altar.

I've heard an urban legend about naughty altar boys mixing popcorn kernels with the incense.  I don't know if that has ever really happened, though.

My bishop has told me about that, and It made Father genuinely afraid that I would try it  :laugh:

Offline FrChris

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 10:34:58 PM »
Let's see.....

I almost burned down the Birmingham cathedral. Twice.

I once was backing up while censing the dean of the Birmingham parish during the Feast of the Holy Cross, and tripped over a step leading to the solea. My arms swung wildly and I wrapped a censer around the neck of an altar boy, bringing him down with me.

In fact, the Birmingham community considered selling "Fr Chris Liturgical Bloopers" in DVD format as a fundraiser at one time.

I once was torchbearer and forgot to lower my lit candle as I walked out through the Deacon's Door. The candle broke but remained lit as it flopped around throughout the entire Gospel reading.

Once while spraying holy water my sprinkler fell apart in my hands, emptying itslef over one person while sprinkler parts were strewn around those attending.

Once for an Epistle reading, the person who was going to read the epistle in English stopped suddenly and I did not notice it. I flattened him when I collided with him. I once did a similar thing at Holy Cross, but not as dramatic.

In fact, my liturgical ineptitude is so extreme that a semi-honorary society was created at Holy Cross seminary, where I was basically founder and leader-for-life:

ISLIP: Institute for the Study of Liturgical Ineptitude in Practice.
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 10:41:27 PM »
ISLIP: Institute for the Study of Liturgical Ineptitude in Practice.

I thought that sounded familiar... yep...  :)
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 10:56:17 PM »
We had a parishioner who had a heart attack during the Liturgy.  Our priest kept on going.

I also once passed out while at the chanters' stand during Vespers (it was so hot in the church; A/C wasn't working) for a few minutes.  I fell backwards and nearly hit my head on the bishop's throne.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 11:44:56 PM »
I had a friend fall into a grave once!

Someone else's friend  :laugh:

« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:04:24 AM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 11:48:40 PM »
The bottom section of the censer must have been slowly unscrewing itself for months -- and one day it came apart as I was censing and went crashing into the wall!  Thank the Lord it did not connect with anybody!!

Offline augustin717

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 11:52:03 PM »
What our sacristan said once quite loud, in the altar, during vespers is both funny and unprintable in its peasant vulgarity. Those that were in church that evening had a good laugh about it.

Offline Paisius

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 11:58:01 PM »
One of the funniest things I've ever seen. Our priest sent two of the elementary school boys out to ring the bell prior to vespers. Bear in mind the bells are just a few feet from the church right next to a side door. He told them to ring it twelve times. They both put on the ear muffs and as one of them started ringing the other one counted the number of rings screaming at the top of his lungs ONE.....TWO........THREE.......

It was so funny father actually lost his composure for a few moments. I'll never forget it.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:14:33 AM by Paisius »

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 11:59:25 PM »
The troparion below and its mention of headaches caused the reader to go into uncontrollable laughter
and he couldn't read past that phrase...
and of course that set off everybody else in the church

10 November

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
* St. Aedh MacBricc of Meath
* St. Elaeth of Anglesey
* St. Just of Canterbury
* St. John the Irish of Mecklemburg
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


St. Aedh MacBricc, Bishop of Meath
(Aod, Aedsind, Aidus)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Died 589. The Lives of Aedh are full of miraculous events of healing,
bilocation, and other marvels. The son of Breece
of the Hy Neill, Aedh worked on his father's farm. His conversion
occurred when he was dissuaded by Bishop Saint Illathan of Rathlihen
(f.d. June 10) from kidnapping a girl from his brother's household in
retaliation for the refusal to give him his inheritance on his father's
death. Instead he became the bishop's disciple. He founded a monastery
at Cill-air and Rathugh in Westmeath and eventually became a bishop. He
cured Saint Brigid (f.d. February 1) of a headache, so is often invoked
to cure headaches (Benedictines, Delaney).

Troparion of St Aedh MacBricc tone 1
Founder of churches, Wonderworker Hierarch and curer of headaches,/ thou
art rightly praised for thy missionary labours,/ O Father Aedh
Macbricc./ We celebrate thy memory, O Saint,/ praying that we may be
given grace to emulate thee,/ for the re-establishment of Orthodoxy in
these islands/ and for the salvation of our souls.


Offline Maria

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stpries here!
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 12:45:31 AM »
A VERY large and hairy spider slowly crawled up the priest's phelonion as he stood in front of the Holy Table during Vespers. The spider got within a couple of inches from the neck edge before crawling back down again. Not once, but three times. Father had no idea what was happening, and the few of us who were in the nave at the time were helpless, as none of us had a blessing to enter the altar, and there were no altarboys serving that night. We all had a good laugh about it afterwards.

Three times?

That was a very Orthodox spider.
Surely the purpose was to get your attention and praise the Lord that nothing happened.
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Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 12:46:29 AM »
We had the power go out near the beginning of Liturgy one day. It was kinda funny actually, some tried to get it back on (to no success), it wasn't entirely off, but they had to shut off the A/C so the unit wouldn't be ruined.

It actually happened RIGHT at the Great Entrance the exact moment we opened the iconostasis door to begin the procession.

We were wondering how the heck we could get the water heated so it could be poured in with the body & blood, and Father's son did some quick thinking, took the water in the kitchen, and was able to heat it up somehow (I guess their stove isn't electric? not sure how he did it). Other than that, it didn't change the service one bit. The power completely came on after communion.

___________________________

A couple weeks ago, I was serving with a Priest at the mission that I attend during summers and the Priest actually forgot to open the doors at the beginning of Liturgy, so i kind of had to remind him. We ended up playing it cool and waiting until just before the Little Entrance (since liturgically they would have been closed anyway after the Great Litany) to open them up. Apparently he had forgotten, because they do the opening/closing different at one of the other churches in the area. (I think he said it was the Serbian one)

___________________________

It was during Holy Week (I think) and Father's other son apparently hadn't had anything to eat/drink for about a day. So we were standing there, Father was standing in the middle of the church (as was required for the service) and his son was standing there by him (to give him the censer at appropriate times). As the choir, we were standing right behind them. All the sudden his son starts to slump, and Father immediately grabbed him and easily set him on the floor (to gasps from everyone). His mother (a doctor) came over and checked him out, he had passed out but was okay, they ended up taking him to the narthex and gave him something to snack on and drink.
It was just something that shocked all of us and almost stopped our hearts, because we weren't obviously expecting it, and it could have been bad had Father not been paying attention to him. (Father apparently saw his eyes roll back and knew he was out before he fell) He ended up being okay, and the service continued. Just a scary moment.

___________________________

One time one of the cantors uncircumcised Christ instead of making him uncircumscribed...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:47:09 AM by 88Devin12 »

Offline John of the North

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2011, 12:48:12 AM »
I was attending a Divine Liturgy once served by two priests. During the Great Entrance, somehow the Bread slipped off the diskos while they stood in the Royal Doors. They handled it quite well I thought.

Once, during a Bishop's visistation, one of the choir members fainted in the choir loft.
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2011, 12:55:08 AM »
The bottom section of the censer must have been slowly unscrewing itself for months -- and one day it came apart as I was censing and went crashing into the wall!  Thank the Lord it did not connect with anybody!!

Wow... I'm gonna have to start checking that! Never thought of that happening... (the censer gets REALLY hot too, so I'd be afraid of fire, or severe burns)

We have a couple Priests who hold the censer still under their robes sometimes... I always keep an eye on it to make sure they don't light themselves on fire... The thing just gets so red hot that I get worried about them when they do that. lol

_____________________

I'm hoping and praying that the littler kids that sometimes serve at the altar don't end up burning themselves. I like to let them do things to help out, but I'm always worried they'll burn themselves with the censer, or when pouring the hot water, or when handling candles... Man, I need to be less paranoid.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 01:06:35 AM by 88Devin12 »

Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2011, 02:41:29 AM »
Three times?

That was a very Orthodox spider.

That very thought went through my mind as well at the time.  :laugh:
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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2011, 02:55:10 AM »
There was that one Pascha Liturgy many years ago when I walked out into the middle of the nave to read the Epistle lesson and forgot my service book with the Prokeimenon and Alleluia verses in it. I had to signal to the choir director that I didn't have the Prokeimenon with me and that he needed to chant it. That was rather embarrassing. :-[

There was also the Ascension Liturgy a few years ago when I misread the pericopes for the Epistle reading (Acts 1:1-11 or so) and ended up reading on to about the end of the chapter, to include the story of how Judas hanged himself and fell to the ground and his guts busted out. :P

Another Pascha, one of our basses dropped out of the choir and almost fainted because he was running dangerously low on protein from having fasted all day. His wife and the physician who sings in our choir ran him to the parish hall and had him eat a couple of deviled eggs to get his protein level back up.

We've had not one, but two of our Epistle readers on separate occasions announce the Alleluia of the Epistle "in the Ninth Tone" (in reference to a special Moscow Chant Alleluia that we sing on feast days, a musical setting that stands outside of the usual 8 tones).

I also heard the story about how an old priest caught his beard on fire when he got a candle too close.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 03:20:19 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2011, 03:06:35 AM »
ISLIP: Institute for the Study of Liturgical Ineptitude in Practice.
Isn't there another similar acronym, FALL? ISLIP and FALL. :laugh:
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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2011, 03:11:48 AM »
One time one of the cantors uncircumcised Christ instead of making him uncircumscribed...
That's kinda like some of the malapropisms I've heard in church.

The dild wonkeys (instead of wild donkeys)

Calling Christ immoral instead of immortal

The bombles in the tombs (instead of "upon those in the tombs")
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Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2011, 03:23:17 AM »

I'm told that one priest, during his Theophany sermon, said "Christ was baptised in the john by Jordan". Hard to beat, if it's true.  :laugh: :laugh:
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Online PeterTheAleut

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2011, 03:24:18 AM »

I'm told that one priest, during his Theophany sermon, said "Christ was baptised in the john by Jordan". Hard to beat, if it's true.  :laugh: :laugh:
I've heard that one, too. :laugh: Somehow, I remember that blooper being attributed to Fr. Thomas Hopko.


Man, this thread is too funny! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 03:25:40 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2011, 03:30:32 AM »
Quote
announce the Alleluia of the Epistle "in the Ninth Tone" (in reference to a special Moscow Chant Alleluia that we sing on feast days, a musical setting that stands outside of the usual 8 tones).


Must have been composed by Fr Vasily of Sts Boris, Gleb, Vladimir and Olga in Sydney, Australia.  :laugh:
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Offline mike

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2011, 05:42:04 AM »
- I've collapsed during the Great Entrance when I went out with the candle.
- The cloth caught fire on the Sacrifice Table after the Chalice was placed there after Communion
- I've heard stories of altar servers  adding marijuana / petards to the censer
- The blessing of the newly built Skete was cancelled because the Igumen forgot his antimension. The Metropolitan got really mad then.
- My grandmother like to discuss with Priests when they give announcements.
- When I was 3 or 4 I overturned the candlestand 3 times as big and heavy as I was.
- My cat started to poop when we were having our house blessed.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 05:42:39 AM by Michał Kalina »

Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2011, 07:27:12 AM »
Quote
- The blessing of the newly built Skete was cancelled because the Igumen forgot his antimension. The Metropolitan got really mad then.

Ooooh, Lordy!! That's taking his pick from the shovels ....  :o :o :laugh:

Quote
- My cat started to poop when we were having our house blessed.

A venerable old priest lived in quarters adjacent to the church he served in. The two buildings were connected by a corridor. Everyone in the congregation knew the priest's cat, as she frequently entered the church during services, and would quietly mill around the people, and sometimes curl up for a snooze. One Sunday, as Father was giving the sermon, the cat came into the church, wandered around the nave for a bit (nothing unusual). Just as Father was getting to the crucial moment of the sermon, Puss walked up the steps of the ambon, and calmly went straight into the altar through the open Royal Doors, tail in the air.

Father henceforth made sure the door to the corridor was closed during service time to eliminate the possibility of the cat stealing the show again. He would open the door only after the service had ended, so that Puss could do her rounds.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2011, 08:03:38 AM »
My priest once reminded the congregation that Communion is served only to those who are baptized and cremated Orthodox.

I don't remember the passage being read, but the reader referred to the "Jews and the geeks". I wasn't sure what I heard until I noticed an altar boy trying almost unsuccessfully to stifle his laughter.

Offline Keble

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2011, 08:54:43 AM »
We had an interim some years back who came to us from being chaplain at the local hospital (he also helped serve at our wedding). The very first Sunday, he pulled on the bell rope, and the chain attaching it to the bell wheel broke, with chain and rope falling from the ceiling in a tremendous crash. A couple of years earlier, during the Easter vigil someone had been ringing it and managed to stand it upside down, so that pulling on the bell rope did nothing. Someone had to get a ladder and a long pole and poke the bell to turn it right side up again.

I happened before my time, but there was one Sunday where the reader got stuck with the one of the OT readings with a long list of names, and about half way through gave and said "and all those other people."

Ebor can tell you a great story about a thurible.

Offline Keble

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2011, 09:00:09 AM »
As far as heat: back before the church expansion the building had no heat and the sacristy had no water in the winter. There is one legendary series of Sundays one summer where the notes in the service registry read:

"Hot!"
"More so!"
"Hotter than Hell!"

Offline augustin717

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2011, 10:30:14 AM »
Our old chanters-of whom some are dead now, may God  rest them, would routinely show up drunk in different stages of intoxication especially on eves of great feasts like Christmas etc. Then they would mess up the readings, jump lines, start arguing with each other etc. A couple of older priests-both of them dead by now, had similar habits. On time he was censing at vespers but he was so intoxicated that he literally crashed into one of the royal icons to the amusement of those present.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2011, 10:41:20 AM »
We had a parishioner who had a heart attack during the Liturgy.  Our priest kept on going.



I think he's supposed to.
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Offline zekarja

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2011, 10:44:58 AM »
We had a parishioner who had a heart attack during the Liturgy.  Our priest kept on going.



I think he's supposed to.

I read somewhere that a Divine liturgy must always be finished. If a priest dies while celebrating, another priest must finish where he left off.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2011, 10:45:42 AM »
The troparion below and its mention of headaches caused the reader to go into uncontrollable laughter
and he couldn't read past that phrase...
and of course that set off everybody else in the church

10 November

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
* St. Aedh MacBricc of Meath
* St. Elaeth of Anglesey
* St. Just of Canterbury
* St. John the Irish of Mecklemburg
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


St. Aedh MacBricc, Bishop of Meath
(Aod, Aedsind, Aidus)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Died 589. The Lives of Aedh are full of miraculous events of healing,
bilocation, and other marvels. The son of Breece
of the Hy Neill, Aedh worked on his father's farm. His conversion
occurred when he was dissuaded by Bishop Saint Illathan of Rathlihen
(f.d. June 10) from kidnapping a girl from his brother's household in
retaliation for the refusal to give him his inheritance on his father's
death. Instead he became the bishop's disciple. He founded a monastery
at Cill-air and Rathugh in Westmeath and eventually became a bishop. He
cured Saint Brigid (f.d. February 1) of a headache, so is often invoked
to cure headaches (Benedictines, Delaney).

Troparion of St Aedh MacBricc tone 1
Founder of churches, Wonderworker Hierarch and curer of headaches,/ thou
art rightly praised for thy missionary labours,/ O Father Aedh
Macbricc./ We celebrate thy memory, O Saint,/ praying that we may be
given grace to emulate thee,/ for the re-establishment of Orthodoxy in
these islands/ and for the salvation of our souls.



Some liturgical texts crack me and others up. I laughed the first time I heard "butter mountain" in the Holy Transfiguration Psalter. Also, the canon for the departed on Meatfare Saturday lists several interesting ways in which people die--and in succession something like, "Give rest, O Lord, to those who have been mauled by bears, crushed by rocks, and hung by their neighbors." It's hard to maintain the tone and seriousness sometimes.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2011, 10:51:17 AM »
Quote
I laughed the first time I heard "butter mountain" in the Holy Transfiguration Psalter.


There's also this gem from, IIRC, the Annunciation: .... and she [the Mother of God] is preserved by the Holy Spirit. And I've lost count of the number of times I've had to restrain mirth on hearing about Christ sitting on the right hand of the Father.  :laugh:
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2011, 10:55:27 AM »
When my priest was in seminary, apparently another priest mischanted, "Let everything that hath breasts praise the Lord."
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Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline LBK

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2011, 10:56:26 AM »
When my priest was in seminary, apparently another priest mischanted, "Let everything that hath breasts praise the Lord."

Oooh, what a booboo!  ;) :laugh: :laugh:
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2011, 11:48:08 AM »
Years ago, I was asked to assist my bishop at a liturgy in a mission meeting at a rented chapel.  We got there and were informed that the air conditioning was broken.  The problem was it was 8am and already about 85°.  By the time, Orthros ended, it was 100° outside and about 105° inside.

The first thing to let go was the trikiri and dikiri set.  The wax candles simply 'relaxed' and flopped over onto the table.  Pretty soon, the array of 24" candles (about 2" thick with brass followers) began to burn at an accellerated rate.  The followers went right down to the candelabra bases, forming a small vapor chamber where once there was an candle.  The chambers shot forth tongues of flame like something from a Disney theme-park ride.

The bishop and the priests were, of course, wearing their 'nice' vestments, including heavy satin sticharia that I call 'sweat bags' because that is exactly what they feel like by the Great Doxology.  The bishop was perspiring so profusely I swear I could hear it, so I found my stash of bottled water (my wife was addicted to it at the time so we had lots of it) and tried to offer him one.  He refused, but not without a look of profound desire.  Once he had communed, he shot a glance and said "WATER, NOW!"  I handed him the bottle, and he drank it so hard the plastic container literally shriveled from the vacuum.  He handed me the crumpled bottle and said "MORE!"  I also watered the priests assisting him.  My wife was annoyed that she would only have one bottle for the 2-hour ride home.  I was relieved because we would not have to pull over as often.

As we packed to leave, the vestments had to be left in the sun to dry.  The funny thing was that by the time we had to go, everything was dry.  Desert heat has its benefits.  On the drive home, the radio weatherman announced it was a record high.  I believed him.
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Offline Monk Vasyl

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2011, 12:27:12 PM »
We've had smoke alarms go off during the liturgy.

Then there was the deacon who took his prayer book and swatted a fly on the altar.

I've heard an urban legend about naughty altar boys mixing popcorn kernels with the incense.  I don't know if that has ever really happened, though.

My bishop has told me about that, and It made Father genuinely afraid that I would try it  :laugh:

It was Fr. Alexander Schmemann's sons who did that.   I was also told the story that when Archbishop Dimitri came to celebrate the Liturgy, during his being vested, the subdeacons forgot to open the button on his stichar.  So when it was put on him, they had a headless bishop for a couple of moments.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:36:50 PM by Monk Vasyl »
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Offline Monk Vasyl

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2011, 12:31:49 PM »
When my priest was in seminary, apparently another priest mischanted, "Let everything that hath breasts praise the Lord."

While with the Franciscan's one of the seminarians was reading from the Old Testament and read, "the breasts of the field will devour you." The priest said, "Well, I guess I know where your mind was."  lol  Also, once during Mass there was a big fly buzzing around the altar.  At the point of the "Kiss of Peace" the 2nd priest swattered and killed the fly on the altar. Destroyed the mood at the Kiss of Peace.  The same priest, who killed the fly, was once serving Mass at a retirement home, ext to our friary.  Well, He was at the beginning of the anaphora and the wind blew the pages of the altar missal, so he went from just before the consecration to the Lord's Prayer.  One of the elderly women, turned to her husband and in a stage whisper said, "He messed up, again!"

At my present parish, we were in between priests being assigned.  A temp was to come from South Bound Brook to fill in on Sundays, but during a funeral, the ground was wet and soft and he feel into the grave and was too sore to be able to travel all the way to Boston.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 12:50:46 PM by Monk Vasyl »
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Online PeterTheAleut

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2011, 12:59:00 PM »
My priest once reminded the congregation that Communion is served only to those who are baptized and cremated Orthodox.

I don't remember the passage being read, but the reader referred to the "Jews and the geeks".
;D
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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2011, 01:06:01 PM »
We've had smoke alarms go off during the liturgy.

Then there was the deacon who took his prayer book and swatted a fly on the altar.

I've heard an urban legend about naughty altar boys mixing popcorn kernels with the incense.  I don't know if that has ever really happened, though.

My bishop has told me about that, and It made Father genuinely afraid that I would try it  :laugh:

It was Fr. Alexander Schmemann's sons who did that.   I was also told the story that when Archbishop Dimitri came to celebrate the Liturgy, during his being vested, the subdeacons forgot to open the button on his stichar.  So when it was put on him, they had a headless bishop for a couple of moments.
When a friend of mine was tonsured a reader and had his cassock draped over him, he had a devil of a time trying to find the right hole through which to stick his head. By the time he finally emerged, arms a flailin', he was thoroughly embarrassed. When he saw that the bishop himself was laughing, he figured that all was good and he could have a few chuckles at his own misfortune.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 01:12:32 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2011, 01:20:01 PM »
ISLIP: Institute for the Study of Liturgical Ineptitude in Practice.
Isn't there another similar acronym, FALL? ISLIP and FALL. :laugh:

Aaahhhh, yes. There's this mention of both in one of Fr. George's posts from many years ago.

Isn't there a sister group known as FALL?

Yes, the FOundation for the Application of Liturgy in Life.  I was the founder of that one.

Once upon a time (in our common seminary days) ISLIP and FALL were a formidable tandem.
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Offline Aram

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2011, 01:24:44 PM »
We administer communion with the chalices placed on tables.  Essentially about three feet high, easier for the priest not to have to hold a chalice up for the 15 minutes it takes to administer communion.  I was holding the communion cloth or holding back his vestments, and that particular Sunday we had two tables for two chalices, as it was a busy morning and we had two priests.  

Now, the tables were put up right against the edge of the chancel, on the edge of a step of about 6 inches.  One priest leaned over the table to reach a shorter parishioner, and the table got pushed.  The other priest could see it happening and reached for the chalice so it wouldn't hit the floor.  He missed.  The table fell forward and the chalice went flying.  And if that wasn't enough, in reaching over, the other priest knocked over his chalice with the bulk of his vestments.  I'm watching this happen in slow motion, but my hands were full and there was nothing I could do.  

So now we have a table and two chalices rolling around on the marble floor, people have now stepped in it and ran to get out of the way, and the priests are absolutely freaking out...  It was bad.  Pretty much the entire (very large) church floor had to be specially cleaned that week.  And that was the last time the tables were at the edge of that step.

Offline zekarja

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2011, 01:46:46 PM »
We administer communion with the chalices placed on tables.  Essentially about three feet high, easier for the priest not to have to hold a chalice up for the 15 minutes it takes to administer communion.  I was holding the communion cloth or holding back his vestments, and that particular Sunday we had two tables for two chalices, as it was a busy morning and we had two priests.  

Now, the tables were put up right against the edge of the chancel, on the edge of a step of about 6 inches.  One priest leaned over the table to reach a shorter parishioner, and the table got pushed.  The other priest could see it happening and reached for the chalice so it wouldn't hit the floor.  He missed.  The table fell forward and the chalice went flying.  And if that wasn't enough, in reaching over, the other priest knocked over his chalice with the bulk of his vestments.  I'm watching this happen in slow motion, but my hands were full and there was nothing I could do.  

So now we have a table and two chalices rolling around on the marble floor, people have now stepped in it and ran to get out of the way, and the priests are absolutely freaking out...  It was bad.  Pretty much the entire (very large) church floor had to be specially cleaned that week.  And that was the last time the tables were at the edge of that step.

Lord, have mercy!!!

Offline Poppy

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2011, 01:52:31 PM »
I can't wait for Dyhn to log on so i texted her to ask if i could tell her story and she said yeah.

It was her church, the one her and her hub went to and she was sitting up on a stage area facing the congregation waiting to read the bible next to the senior vicar and it was the end of the music section when everyone was praying and a big fart noise came from the front row where a deaf lady was sitting with her tiny dog on her lap and noone in the front row knew who it was that did it, the lady or her dog. Well a tonne of people were trying not to laugh including the vicar on the stage and the vicar got up and said "please excuse me" because HE was laughing and the whole people thought that he did the noise!!!! So they laughed even more.

The lady saw that everyone was laughing or trying not to laugh was saying in a rli loud voice "whats everyone laughing at??" but noone in the front row had the boolars to tell her that it must have been her dog what did it. The rest of the people not close to the front row still think it was the vicar who did it because of what he said....too funny!!!

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2011, 01:53:20 PM »
- I've collapsed during the Great Entrance when I went out with the candle.

Difine "went out".... :)