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Return of the Chantry
I’m still here; I had the ill luck to fall… ill last week (abed Wednesday and Thursday), and spent the long weekend either doing Greek lemmatisation, or socialising. I’ve tried combining the two, it doesn’t work.
I’ve opened up my Greek linguistics blog, in reaction to a post my friend George forwarded me. I don’t think I’ll post there anywhere near as much as I should to relieve my conscience; but it’s something.
A post that’s been waiting to be written a very long time: h/t Steve Benen at Washington Monthly (I’ve remained addicted to American politics after my three years living there; everything was so much larger than life about politics Stateside), I too note the arrival of Information Age Prayer, A New And Exciting Way To Connect With God:
Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.
We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.
Yeah. Of course, having read a history of the Reformation once, I immediately realised that we’ve seen thing kind of thing before. That fine institution in Western Europe that eventually gave rise to the University, but started out as the Chantry college. Where state of the art monastic prayer consultants were used to voice prayers for noblemen as a subvention service, giving them the satisfaction of knowing that their time in purgatory would keep getting shortened even if they woke up dead—but not forgotten.
Assorted wisdom of the interwebs, has any wayfarer before me made the connection between Information Age Prayer and Chantries? Why yes. Someone has:
Ah, it’s like the Reformation never happened – let’s open up the chantries and get some serious industrial praying going!
Also, I want my dog-saint back.
posted by jb at 12:46AM UTC on March 26, 2009
Le Woof. Speaking of the Catholic Church, I went to a christening Sunday (at a time of year which that moiety of Christendom which does not stick to a 2000 year old system to calculate its lunar calendar calls Easter Sunday, and the moiety which does calls Palm Sunday). Not having been to a lot of Catholic services, and not really having gotten the Vatican II memo, I was surprised at how, well, relaxed the whole service was. Hippy guitar songs in the voice of Jesus (1st person), congregants in shorts and T-shirts, lay ministers, no incense or bell, no rood screen. (I told you I didn’t get the Vatican II memo; in fact, not even the Council of Trent memo, since that’s how long ago the Catholics did away with them.) If the priest wasn’t wearing an alb (and the Powerpoint with the Hippy guitar song lyrics hadn’t spelled הַלְלוּיָהּ as Allelulia), I wouldn’t have clicked that the service was Catholic. I didn’t know that there was diversity of liturgic practice in Australian Catholicism; I assumed it was as top-down as the moiety I grew up in…
I wasn’t the target audience of course, and the congregation were very happy with how welcoming and friendly the Mass was. Me, I was missing the sense of awe that comes from having a priest who’s not on speaking terms with the congregation. But that’s neither an unalloyed good, nor an inevitable outcome. (And again, I’m not the target audience, so I don’t get a vote.)