Sorry.
Well, no I’m not sorry.
Actually, I’m cross.
I’m having one of those ranting weeks about jargon in church.
We all know the risks.
“new” people come in.
They’ve never been to church before.
They’re hoping for something open and authentic.
They’re shy and awkward.
They hear that they’re welcome to share “fellowship” after the service.
What is fellowship, they ask themselves –
is it a white, English, middle-class kind of pastry?
But do we translate as we go along? No.
Do we print translations on the Order of Service? No.
Do we care? I don’t really think we do.
Because it’s our church and they need to fit in.
Pah!
That’s all I can say.
So, rather than just moan at you more, I wrote a poem:

* * * * * * * * *

We would love to have you join us.
Hear this lingo that we speak?
We will need your full attention
every Sunday, every week.

Come inside! You’re oh-so-welcome;
learn to hear the joyful Word!
But before commencing glory,
learn some words you’ve never heard:

Parable and Chasuble
Eucharist and Lection-ary
Pentecost and Pentateuch,
all here in our diction-ary.

Well, of course, you’re feeling puzzled –
and, of course, you’ll get things wrong.
Learn our rich vocabulary
then you’ll feel that you belong.

Intercessions, benedictions,
tidings, vestments, patriarch –
vestry, chiros, hassock, cassock;
these may leave you in the dark,

as might Might or Messianic,
Testament or Paraclete.
Verily, no need to panic;
we will set you on your feet.

Trespass is no sort of bus-pass.
Pulpit, Armpit – not the same.
Chalice, Lectern, Duty-roster.
No-one thinks that you’re to blame.

There’s no need for grief or anguish;
you’ll soon cease from feeling odd
once you’ve learned our lovely language.
Then we’ll teach you about God.

©Lucy Berry 27.04.2017