Monday, July 02, 2012

The Christening.

Okay folks, it is family time on Natural Yogurt. Readers by now will know that I am an Atheist but yesterday I was press-ganged into a church. Oliver was being Christened at the Church of the Resurrection, just down the road from us along the Grand Avenue in Ely, Cardiff. There were 2 children being Christened yesterday but we did not know the other family at the church. The Church of the Resurrection is a branch of the Church in Wales but this blog post is not about the differences in the liturgy between Anglicans , I will leave that to my dad.

What affected me was the patience of the Priest conducting his service. Here he was doing his day job in front of a group of strangers. These people were not Christians but people who had come along to see Oliver and another child "get done". These people were not members of his church but consumers of a service. These people would not normally dress like this on a Sunday morning but appeared to be dressed for a court appearance to support the defendant. These people would not be there next week unless it was a funeral or a wedding of someone close to them.

In my day job driving coaches, passengers ignore announcements on the microphone and the CD player. The passengers do not control their noisy and badly behaved children. Passengers drone on and on into mobile telephones. At night you can get distracted by camera flashes.

The Priest has the very same problems in his day job. He started his service by pleading with anyone who would listen, to switch off their mobile telephones and not take photographs until the end. His attitude to children was different as he said it was okay for them to be noisy and run around.

We then had the very short Christening service that followed a laminated 2 side of A4 paper sheet. Yes, the children were noisy and the adults chatted amongst themselves. I was not aware of any telephone use or camera flashes but the adults were clearly not paying much attention. It looked more like a large queue at McDonalds and the adults slowly making their way to the counter.

At the end I felt rather sad for the Priest. Here was a crowd of people who had come along simply to get a child "done" - like a vaccination at the doctors. There seemed no respect for his religion from the crowd and he may as well have treated his service as an audition for the X Factor and sang a hymn. I am an Atheist but still feel offended that this crowd of people abused his religion just to get their child "done". This was a show for the parents and the children did not ask to be Christened. This cheapens religion no matter which religion, if any, you practice. I went to the Christening because it was a family thing and I was expected to go. The Priest was there because it was his day job. The Priest is a very patient man and I know how he feels when he speaks and knows he may as well be speaking to a brick wall.
Comments:
It sounds like both your job and the Priest's job have something in common with mine.

The bit about talking to a brick wall and people not paying attention.

John
 
I think you summed up that situation very well.... So true... I once went synagogue cos my fam on dads side are Jews have never been b4 was surprised all the guys had the emblem of the football team they supported seen into their hats and everyone talked n Chatted the whole way through the three hour service whilst the Rabbi sung the sermon and banged a stick in the floor he said he didn't mind the talking and general chit chat as long as everyone was quiet for when the scrolls came out and my cousin said his verses for his bar mitzvah it was so odd to me, surreal, afterwards we went downstairs and had a massive feast... I think
Most people only went that day for that and because they were expected to, my other cousins who follow the religion said they hardly ever go to sabbath... Is interesting subject you blogged about...
 
I feel like I talk to a brick wall every day and no one pays attention in my house
 
Thursday: Quite often the easiest way to get people to listen is to write on your blog. They may not tell you that they have read your posts but they will take notice. Blogs are very good for working the "back channel".
 
Hi Stephen! no one in my real life knows my blog!! it doesn't tend to go down well i think since one person i know found it by accident via another site and went quite mad I had written about him and he didn't like what i said!! :/
 
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