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Author Topic: Share your liturgical mishap stories here!  (Read 19480 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: November 30, 2011, 09:14:46 AM »

In my language the deacon intones, "marilah kita berdoa kepada Tuhan" at the beginning of every litany, the English equivalent being "let us pray to the Lord". However that day, the deacon slipped and said dosa instead of doa. The whole thing then became "let us sin against The Lord". The priest promptly responded with what he claims to be 500 Lord have mercies. The deacon made the mistake not once, but he did it for every litany during that liturgy, and each time the priest, and later the people, responded with 500 Lord have mercies.
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« Reply #91 on: November 30, 2011, 02:08:19 PM »

Today, in church, the subdeacon dropped the candle lighter, which is one of those barbecue-type lighters that looks sort of like a plastic gun. The lighter fell in the entranceway of the Royal Doors. I'm sure the poor fellow was pretty sheepish when the priest handed the thing back to him.  Wink
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« Reply #92 on: December 02, 2011, 01:30:39 AM »

With no permanent deacon, we have a revolving door of occasional visiting deacons, usually not of our diocese (or even jurisdiction). The most common is a deacon whose family lives nearby. Multiple heirarchical commemoration mishaps have occurred, including chanting the wrong city for the bishop ("Atlanta", instead of "Dallas") and forgetting the name of our hierarch altogether and having to have the priest whisper it to him (both during the Great Entrance).

Gospel Reading mishaps occur because of this as well, since us poor servers never know where the deacon is going to read from (as it could be from the solea or from the bema). Once, I recall all of the servers setting up for a reading at the solea, just to have the deacon exit the beautiful gate and walk right past them to the center of the nave. All of the servers then had to shuffle over to the new location.

Our priest accidentally set his service book on fire one morning during the psalter reading at Daily Matins. He got it put out and still uses that book, but there is one page that is almost entirely missing, which we see him flip by every Saturday night during Vigil, which always causes me to chuckle.

Here's one that I did myself: While serving at Vigil, I realized after God is the Lord that a new charcoal had not been lit (it is our practice to light a second one during the Six Psalms) and so I rushed to get it lit, which didn't quite work. I had to hand off the dying censer to the priest after the troparia were sung, but another server helped me to place the new charcoal on top of the remnant of the first (which also had incense on it) along with a little more incense so the priest could cense the nave (when he needs it, our priest will cense the altar, then stop by where we keep the incense and hold out the censer for us to "refill"). However, what we didn't think of was the fact that we had created, in essence, an "incense sandwich" with the two charcoals being the bread...and then topped it with incense. This caused not only the new incense to burn, but the old incense to burn VERY RAPIDLY. This caused WAAAY too much smoke, and even ran one family that is particularly sensitive out of the nave for the rest of the service. Suffice it to say, as soon as the priest finished with that censing, we fixed our error.
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« Reply #93 on: December 02, 2011, 02:04:59 AM »

With no permanent deacon, we have a revolving door of occasional visiting deacons, usually not of our diocese (or even jurisdiction). The most common is a deacon whose family lives nearby. Multiple heirarchical commemoration mishaps have occurred, including chanting the wrong city for the bishop ("Atlanta", instead of "Dallas") and forgetting the name of our hierarch altogether and having to have the priest whisper it to him (both during the Great Entrance).

Gospel Reading mishaps occur because of this as well, since us poor servers never know where the deacon is going to read from (as it could be from the solea or from the bema). Once, I recall all of the servers setting up for a reading at the solea, just to have the deacon exit the beautiful gate and walk right past them to the center of the nave. All of the servers then had to shuffle over to the new location.

Our priest accidentally set his service book on fire one morning during the psalter reading at Daily Matins. He got it put out and still uses that book, but there is one page that is almost entirely missing, which we see him flip by every Saturday night during Vigil, which always causes me to chuckle.

Here's one that I did myself: While serving at Vigil, I realized after God is the Lord that a new charcoal had not been lit (it is our practice to light a second one during the Six Psalms) and so I rushed to get it lit, which didn't quite work. I had to hand off the dying censer to the priest after the troparia were sung, but another server helped me to place the new charcoal on top of the remnant of the first (which also had incense on it) along with a little more incense so the priest could cense the nave (when he needs it, our priest will cense the altar, then stop by where we keep the incense and hold out the censer for us to "refill"). However, what we didn't think of was the fact that we had created, in essence, an "incense sandwich" with the two charcoals being the bread...and then topped it with incense. This caused not only the new incense to burn, but the old incense to burn VERY RAPIDLY. This caused WAAAY too much smoke, and even ran one family that is particularly sensitive out of the nave for the rest of the service. Suffice it to say, as soon as the priest finished with that censing, we fixed our error.
HOLY SMOKE, that was funny! laugh
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« Reply #94 on: December 02, 2011, 02:32:50 AM »

I was serving a funeral, and was reminded to switch to shoes before I left the house by the missus... well, I forgot and I get to the funeral home and I realise I have my sandals on.  Ok, no biggie right?  Ok fast-forward to the gravesite... I'm holding incenser and singing the graveside responses and I get stung by a bee on the foot.  Somehow I didn't flinch and no one even knew. 
One thing that gets me is the 21 gun salute the vetrans of foreigh wars (VFW) do graveside.  The like to shoot the blanks pointed in the crowds' direction.  Um, I plug my ears, I don't care, it's loud. 
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« Reply #95 on: December 07, 2011, 11:16:33 PM »

At my Parish there are three Priests and one time they were all walking down the altar to sit down for the sermon and then afterward, when they were going back up to get the Eucharist ready and everything, one of the Priests tripped on the stairs and nearly fell, but caught his balance last minute. Thought we'd have to get an ambulance if he fell, he is an older guy.
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« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2011, 12:08:53 AM »

I chant at my parish's baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  I've been doing this since 1976.  At a Baptism not too long ago, after the priest administered the Holy Chrism, I boldly chanted the hymn of Pentecost, "Blessed are you, Christ our God..."  The chanting was practically an involuntary action--I gave no thought to it and didn't realize what I had done 'till some time after I finished.   My priest smiled at me and said it must have been an inspiration.
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« Reply #97 on: December 08, 2011, 02:34:56 AM »

I was serving a funeral, and was reminded to switch to shoes before I left the house by the missus... well, I forgot and I get to the funeral home and I realise I have my sandals on.  Ok, no biggie right?  Ok fast-forward to the gravesite... I'm holding incenser and singing the graveside responses and I get stung by a bee on the foot.  Somehow I didn't flinch and no one even knew. 

LOL oh this so funny!
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« Reply #98 on: December 08, 2011, 03:41:39 AM »

I was serving a funeral, and was reminded to switch to shoes before I left the house by the missus... well, I forgot and I get to the funeral home and I realise I have my sandals on.  Ok, no biggie right?  Ok fast-forward to the gravesite... I'm holding incenser and singing the graveside responses and I get stung by a bee on the foot.  Somehow I didn't flinch and no one even knew.  

LOL oh this so funny!

One time at the graveside I sang podi hospodi instead of tobi hospodi.  Earlier this year me and a reader were reading in a church and it was Pascha tide, I forgot the words to Christ is Risen in English and had to have the reader beside me sing it with me...I said before I chanted the hours, um, sing the Christ is Risen with me, I can't remember it in English.  Yes, I am English as a first language, my mind was just thinking Ukrainian at that particular moment. 

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« Reply #99 on: December 08, 2011, 05:22:24 AM »

During one panichida a a cemetery the priest prayed for my grandfather as he is already listed  on the grave. My grandfather later told him that he actually is not dead yet.
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« Reply #100 on: December 08, 2011, 07:14:17 AM »

During one panichida a a cemetery the priest prayed for my grandfather as he is already listed  on the grave. My grandfather later told him that he actually is not dead yet.

 laugh  oops!
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« Reply #101 on: December 15, 2011, 03:13:59 PM »

I was serving a funeral, and was reminded to switch to shoes before I left the house by the missus... well, I forgot and I get to the funeral home and I realise I have my sandals on.  Ok, no biggie right?  Ok fast-forward to the gravesite... I'm holding incenser and singing the graveside responses and I get stung by a bee on the foot.  Somehow I didn't flinch and no one even knew.  

LOL oh this so funny!

One time at the graveside I sang podi hospodi instead of tobi hospodi.  Earlier this year me and a reader were reading in a church and it was Pascha tide, I forgot the words to Christ is Risen in English and had to have the reader beside me sing it with me...I said before I chanted the hours, um, sing the Christ is Risen with me, I can't remember it in English.  Yes, I am English as a first language, my mind was just thinking Ukrainian at that particular moment. 



LOL  a long time ago in my old parish during the Litany of Peace, the Deacon got out with out the book and started to recite it in Amharic, which is his first language, but in the middle of the litany he forgot the words in Amharic, so he stopped attempted to remember it by starting over, used some of the key words to remember, but soon gave up and  he switched to ge'ez and the prostrated people switched their " Lord have mercy" responses from Amharic to ge'ez along with him I tried not to laugh really hard, as I wanted to commune that day and the man who taught me as a child had told me no communing if I laughed for whatever reason during the DL. I succeeded that one time, but there were many others that I did not. angel
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« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2011, 03:15:06 PM »

During one panichida a a cemetery the priest prayed for my grandfather as he is already listed  on the grave. My grandfather later told him that he actually is not dead yet.

LOL hilarious Michal!
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« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2011, 04:11:55 PM »

During one panichida a a cemetery the priest prayed for my grandfather as he is already listed  on the grave. My grandfather later told him that he actually is not dead yet.

LOL hilarious Michal!

Actually it's a very common mistake. My friends' parents (in their 50s) have already built a grave for them. I plan to go there next Radonica and light a candle for them.
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« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2011, 05:14:56 PM »

-There are times in the liturgy where our minds start to wander off. No use denying it, we all do it some time in our lives. Sometimes, we unconsciously act out what we're thinking.

One time in the liturgy, a deacon serving inside the altar with the priest had this problem. It started with the "thousand yard stare", then all of a sudden everyone sees him try to make a 3-pointer!

-In the Liturgy of St. Basil, there is a deacon response "You who are seated, stand." Since it's so short, we usually give it to the younger deacons to say. One Sunday, my brother gave this response to a young kid (~7 years old or so). But when it came time to say it, he slipped up and said "You who are Jesus stand." Our priest could barely keep his composure.
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« Reply #105 on: January 12, 2012, 01:33:19 AM »

The day I was tonsured a reader was also the day the altar in our temple was consecrated by the bishop. It was a big deal, lots of visitors, many clergy, and a local news crew.  So I had just finished being tonsured as a reader when the service turned to the consecration of the altar.  Well the camera guy (in shorts, tee shirt and ball cap) wanted to get a better camera angle (the altar was being wrapped), and a lady near the front motioned for him to step a little closer…but he misunderstood and stepped upon the solea and stuck the nose of his camera into the door. I saw what was about to happen, said, "No, no, no" in a something a bit above above a whisper, and lurched forward to intercept him.  Unfortunately between me and him was the corner of the Bema…and I was vested, off balance and with tangled feet, I went flying, sprawled out on the floor in front of the holy doors. Everyone's attention was suddenly on me, and many were laughing or trying not to…well almost everyone. The instant the cameraman took it upon himself to step through the holy doors, the deacon took him in hand, relieved him of his hat, with the bishop's permission let him get a quick shot, and then with stern face turned him over to another in the altar to escort him out the back through the sacistry. I was uninjured except for a small spiral fracture in my anterior dignity.
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« Reply #106 on: January 12, 2012, 03:32:48 AM »

Wow these stories are hilarious! I must say tho, that the one where the deaf ladies dog farted, and where the Anglican vicar relieved himself with his mic still on where just SO funny haha.
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« Reply #107 on: January 25, 2012, 10:10:37 PM »

Not in the church proper, but in the hall next door: at our first Bible Study class last year, the priest went into the maintenance cabinet to switch on the overhead lights. Well, he tried one set, and then another, and nothing happened. Finally he must have picked one and given up.

A disco ball light. It stayed on through the entire class.
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« Reply #108 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:23 PM »

Another Royal Door mistake: I walked through the Royal doors when I was five or six, and crossed directly in front of the altar.
 On Pascha 2009, I forgot to say " And to thy spirit, Alleluia in the 1st tone" and I just said " Alleluia in Tone 1" and I missed the first verse.
In 2006? I had an allergic reaction on Holy Saturday and ended up scratching myself until I bled.
There was another time when I got wax all over myself while serving in the altar. My sleeves were ruined, and my mom had to iron my dress shirt' collar
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« Reply #109 on: January 25, 2012, 11:20:32 PM »

The day I was tonsured a reader was also the day the altar in our temple was consecrated by the bishop. It was a big deal, lots of visitors, many clergy, and a local news crew.  So I had just finished being tonsured as a reader when the service turned to the consecration of the altar.  Well the camera guy (in shorts, tee shirt and ball cap) wanted to get a better camera angle (the altar was being wrapped), and a lady near the front motioned for him to step a little closer…but he misunderstood and stepped upon the solea and stuck the nose of his camera into the door. I saw what was about to happen, said, "No, no, no" in a something a bit above above a whisper, and lurched forward to intercept him.  Unfortunately between me and him was the corner of the Bema…and I was vested, off balance and with tangled feet, I went flying, sprawled out on the floor in front of the holy doors. Everyone's attention was suddenly on me, and many were laughing or trying not to…well almost everyone. The instant the cameraman took it upon himself to step through the holy doors, the deacon took him in hand, relieved him of his hat, with the bishop's permission let him get a quick shot, and then with stern face turned him over to another in the altar to escort him out the back through the sacistry. I was uninjured except for a small spiral fracture in my anterior dignity.
As someone who works for a news organization, I can assure you this is absolutely normal photographer behavior.

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« Reply #110 on: January 26, 2012, 08:30:34 AM »

More than once I have had a child start to squirm in my arms, fuss and then suddenly scream, "I NEED TO POOP!" during a quiet moment in the liturgy.

EPIC!
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« Reply #111 on: January 26, 2012, 10:16:12 AM »

Once a deacon was intoning a litany and his voice went falsetto.  The choir froze as there was no way they could sing that high.  Finally everyone broke up laughing.

I have an enormous range, so I tend to pick notes out of the air which aren't exactly easy for other people to reach.

I wasn't there for this one: the organist in high school typically improvised communion music. One time, for whatever reason, communion dragged on and on. To keep things interesting, he would modulate to another key, and so on, and on this Sunday he realized that (a) he had modulated into a totally artificial key with eight flats--more than the keyboard actually has, and that (b) he had absolutely no idea how he was going to get back to the home key of the piece. So he simply lift his hands from the keyboard and put them back down in the original key.
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« Reply #112 on: January 26, 2012, 10:30:49 AM »

One time at vespers, there were some punk skateboarder kids (reminded me of my high school self) riding around right outside the chapel.  They were making a ton of noise.  It was a very small vespers service, so the kids probably didnt think anyone was in there as there were only a couple cars in the lot. (Not like they cared anyways)

The priest had to do something, so he went and stood right in front of the window, motioning them to leave.  He had to do this several times.  I began to laugh hysterically because I used to skateboard in places I wasnt allowed to also.  The priest probably scared the heck out of those kids with his foot-long beard and fancy vestments, glaring at them through the window.  I just couldnt help but think about how me and my friends wouldve reacted back in the day.  We would have thought it was the most incredible thing ever.  Those kids will always tell the story of the bearded crazy man in a robe they saw down at the church while skateboarding.

It really was funny, but I guess you had to be there.
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« Reply #113 on: February 07, 2012, 01:17:57 PM »

When I was 5 or so I ran through the area between altar and royal gates.
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« Reply #114 on: February 07, 2012, 02:25:28 PM »

Hum, Michal, my parish's former presiding priest's 2 year old granddaughter did the samething, near the conclusion of the Vespers Service for our parish's name day.
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« Reply #115 on: February 07, 2012, 03:57:06 PM »

The little son of one of the subdeacons walks up to the altar area quite often. The child is about 1 or 2. Once he walked up to Father during the sermon. Father smiled and waved, and the boy's mom took him back to his seat. Once in chapel, when the baby started walking up the carpet in the small central aisle, Father turned around and censed him and went right back to censing the icons.  angel
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« Reply #116 on: May 10, 2012, 12:40:12 AM »

on st gregory palamas sunday a little server at the english liturgy had too much wine - poor fellow was drunk afterwards. On the same day at the slavonic liturgy, the deacon exclaimed WISDOM in georgian (sibvrdnis) and the choir answered Lord have mercy (upalo shevgitskalen).
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« Reply #117 on: May 10, 2012, 03:20:02 AM »

One rural parish in the area was visited by the delegation from Kenya. They sung at some parts of the Liturgy in Kikuyu language (the Liturgy was served in Church Slavonic) and that time we had Pentesagion instead of Trisagion.

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one more:

During the marriage ceremony I've recently attended one little girl (age of 5 or something like that) started to scream "When will the prayers end and we can eat?".
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« Reply #118 on: May 17, 2012, 11:59:06 AM »

During one of the OT readings during Holy Week, our reader read, "male and female He cremated them." I don't think I managed to contain the giggling.
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« Reply #119 on: May 18, 2012, 01:24:56 AM »

Reminds me of my consciously created malapropian "Spaghettisburg Address":

"Four scores and seven yarns ago, our fathers brought fourth upon this Continental a new notion, conceived in puberty, and dedicated to the preposition that all men are cremated with Equal."
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« Reply #120 on: May 18, 2012, 01:50:53 AM »

Once our bishop was visiting, and despite writing "Eis Polla" into our service books at the right places, we still failed to sing it every time. Father covered for us, though the hesitant singing of half the people amplified the fail tenfold. (God bless our bishops; they probably see parishes at their worst.)

I recently got asked to read the epistle. After I said "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia," I firmly closed the book and walked off, and the choir was looking at me in horror. I realized what I did and madly searched for the correct verses, which I did eventually find, but those moments of crickets were awful.
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« Reply #121 on: May 18, 2012, 01:58:23 AM »

Once our bishop was visiting, and despite writing "Eis Polla" into our service books at the right places, we still failed to sing it every time. Father covered for us, though the hesitant singing of half the people amplified the fail tenfold. (God bless our bishops; they probably see parishes at their worst.)
A pretty common blunder is at the end of a service when we normally sing "Father bless!" With a bishop it's "Master bless!", but how often choirs forget and sing "Father bless!" anyway. Even worse is when half the choir remember and the other half don't, or the choir remember only after they started incorrectly and try to correct themselves mid-word--it comes out sounding somewhat like "Faster bless!" laugh
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« Reply #122 on: May 18, 2012, 02:05:50 AM »

Oh yes, that does happen too. Cheesy

I also enjoy the long version of Eis Polla sung at the Dismissal. We sing it in Greek for some reason, but no one knows the words, so it's mostly mumbling until we get to the Eis Polla part at the end.
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« Reply #123 on: May 18, 2012, 02:50:40 PM »

Ton Despotin too difficult, eh? At an ordination, I was holding the book and accidentally tripped over the ordinand, but there weren't any serious consequences.
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« Reply #124 on: July 18, 2012, 05:24:18 AM »

I thought I would change the tone of this thread with a recent liturgical success story.

As Father was returning the Precious Gifts to the table of preparation, he began to intone "arise, having received the divine, holy, pure, &c.", and experienced an obvious mental blank at "pure". I whispered the next two words and he continued aloud.

Hopefully this makes up for the time I dropped the antidhoron?
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« Reply #125 on: August 10, 2012, 01:31:17 PM »

Not mine:

Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyrill was distributing the Eucharist when he was approached by an elderly women with a cat that really wanted him to give the Eucharist to the cat. He excused her for a while anterred the altar and asked pretty loudly:
- Who of you has confessed the feline?
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« Reply #126 on: August 10, 2012, 04:13:04 PM »

THAT story is a keeper!   laugh

Not mine:

Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyrill was distributing the Eucharist when he was approached by an elderly women with a cat that really wanted him to give the Eucharist to the cat. He excused her for a while anterred the altar and asked pretty loudly:
- Who of you has confessed the feline?
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« Reply #127 on: August 10, 2012, 10:14:56 PM »

Not mine:

Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Cyrill was distributing the Eucharist when he was approached by an elderly women with a cat that really wanted him to give the Eucharist to the cat. He excused her for a while anterred the altar and asked pretty loudly:
- Who of you has confessed the feline?

Brilliant!!  laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #128 on: August 13, 2012, 01:55:13 PM »

Once I got my head slammed shut in the deacon's door. I was peeking out to get an estimate of how much antidoron we'd need.
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« Reply #129 on: August 13, 2012, 01:56:18 PM »

Ouch.
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« Reply #130 on: August 13, 2012, 05:43:41 PM »

When I was very young I was being naughty in Church..humming, spinning, really just being  a brat.My mother picked me up to carry me out and probably spank me and I started screaming "Help I'm being kidnapped" It did not go over well but Father laughed...
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« Reply #131 on: August 13, 2012, 07:51:14 PM »

Who of you has confessed the feline?

When has a cat ever confessed to anything?
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« Reply #132 on: August 13, 2012, 08:52:25 PM »

Who of you has confessed the feline?

When has a cat ever confessed to anything?

Cats expect you to confess to them.
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« Reply #133 on: August 13, 2012, 10:02:44 PM »

Oh man, a year back we trained a new Altar Server to use the Censer during Liturgy. We also told him to memorize a reading which the Thurifier traditionally chants before the Gospel. This reading goes like this:

Quote
Barekhmor. With calm, awe and modesty, let us give heed and listen to the good tidings of the living words of God, of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is being read to us.

Unfortunately for the poor guy, the Service Book he uses has a rather egregious typo. In retrospect, someone should really have warned him about it, but we assumed since he's heard everyone pronounce it the right way for all his life it shouldn't be a problem. I suppose you all know what happens when you assume. So, when the appointed time came, he, having memorized the faulty version, when the time for the Gospel came, naively exhorts the congregation at the top of his voice like this:

Quote
Barekhmor. With calm, awe and modesty, let us give head and listen to the good tidings of the living words of God, of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is being read to us.

It took all I had not to start laughing right there in the middle of the Altar.
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« Reply #134 on: August 14, 2012, 02:14:03 AM »

Oh man, a year back we trained a new Altar Server to use the Censer during Liturgy. We also told him to memorize a reading which the Thurifier traditionally chants before the Gospel. This reading goes like this:

Quote
Barekhmor. With calm, awe and modesty, let us give heed and listen to the good tidings of the living words of God, of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is being read to us.

Unfortunately for the poor guy, the Service Book he uses has a rather egregious typo. In retrospect, someone should really have warned him about it, but we assumed since he's heard everyone pronounce it the right way for all his life it shouldn't be a problem. I suppose you all know what happens when you assume. So, when the appointed time came, he, having memorized the faulty version, when the time for the Gospel came, naively exhorts the congregation at the top of his voice like this:

Quote
Barekhmor. With calm, awe and modesty, let us give head and listen to the good tidings of the living words of God, of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is being read to us.

It took all I had not to start laughing right there in the middle of the Altar.
Oh, NO!!! Shocked laugh laugh
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