Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Contemporary Comedy Service

Over at First Things, Patrick Rostrum has an on-going series of what he calls "Sermon Reviews." In these reviews he looks at different aspects of the church and the service that he attends. He rates the following areas on a scale from 1-10:

- Physical Aesthetics of the Church
- Precision, Reverence, and Aesthetics of the Service
- Precision, Reverence, and Rhetoric of the Sermon
- Music

These reviews have generated some controversy, especially over whether it's really appropriate to rate such things as sermons on a numeric scale. The latest sermon review of St. Ignatius Loyala in NYC lead to this comment from Commander Craig:

It's well worth arguing the relative merits of church architecture and rubrical adherence, and it's certainly worth calling attention to the homiletic purveyors of heretical Christology. However, a liturgical Michelin Guide, which would attempt to shoehorn the irreducible experience of the Mass into a ratings system, is a questionable project.

What's next, hiring the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 to do silhouetted running commentary?

While I'm sure all us of have sat through our share of sermons where an appearance by the MST3K crew would be a most welcome addition, it probably would prove to be too much of a distraction from the solemnity of the sacred proceedings to have them riffing during Mass. You'll have to content yourself with bad movies guys. We'll have to endure the pain of bad homilies laugh free.

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