Monday, 28 February 2011

Litany of Lenten lectures: Liturgy of Lament

Litany of Lenten

As you will have noticed, there are many ‘L’ s in today’s blog.  We were reminded on the Radio 4 Sunday programme about materials for Lent with their special Lent services (ugh).  An interesting game which some of us observers of “Radio Worship” play is to turn on the radio 10 minutes after the ‘service’ has started and then guess:

a) the denomination;
b) the location;
c) the augmented choir.

Many producers of these programmes concentrate on the music, not the on the worship.  If you have been to a recording of these programmes, you will have had the schpeel from the producer.  

As usual, on Sunday I tuned into Radio 4 and thought:

a)     not Catholic, not Anglican, not English
b)     Celtic
c)     not tuneful – must be non-Welsh speakers from Wales

And I was right!

Forget all the invocations to Dewi Sant (St David’s tomorrow, 1st March).  This was a URC service to bits of the Scottish Psalter and something from the Iona community.  I could only think of Ronnie Corbett grimacing when he heard ‘by cool siloam’s shady rill’ choon being used for something else.

(Note: Ronnie Corbett asked for this setting sung by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir when he was on Desert Island Discs.)

Nevertheless, this was a gem of a service and I’ve confirmed that I’m going to give up Lent on the radio with all its talk – whenever Lent is!

There are some interesting aspects about Lent.  Anglicans on the Archers (e.g. Shula) get very virtuous about Lent, and I’ve already given up the Archers.  I might dip into it for our multi-cultural vicar of Ambridge for the 40 days and 40 nights (Sundays not included). 

If you really want to annoy Anglicans during Lent, ask them where the red wine is kept during the Lenten lunches.  If a bossy deacon or vicar tells you ‘no wine during Lent’ you can remind them that Sundays are Feast days! 

Another vexed issue is the symbology of the Easter egg. As they appear in the shops shortly after Christmas, they are hardly symbolic of anything other than profit – and Cadbury’s have moved to Poland anyway.  Isn’t the word Easter related to the hormone Oestrogen?  And fertility?  

We have formed a committee to consider items for the Syllabub of Terrors.  An item which has been proposed is a crème egg.  I’m not convinced by this personally, but let’s pretend that I’m the vicar of an Anglican PCC….

If anyone dares to ask you what you’re giving up for Lent, you can always lie.  Lent is after all an obreption and you can quote me on that!   

** start of Serious Bit **

Liturgy of Lament

Many of our viewers will be aware of the problems with the Irish Catholic church.  On Sunday 20th February 2011, a service of liturgy of lament was held in Dublin.  Whether this gives comfort to those concerned (not the hierarchy) is for them to decide.  I’m merely appending some comments from the Irish press which you can read as you see fit.  If you type: Liturgy of lament Dublin’ into a search engine, most of the official stories from the archdiocese will appear.    

Alternatively, you could follow the links below:

The Irish Times, articles by Patsy McGarry

or The Belfast Telegraph

** end of serious bit **

I have been dipping my toes into the blogosphere and some well-respected newspapers.  I doubt if the title ‘obreption’ will make me welcome in some blogs, but you never know.  A check on obreption’s statistics show that someone questioned Google on the nature of Fraser Nelson.  I hope it wasn’t someone on The New Statesman!  Future headlines might include the I-choco klast and Bonfire of the Chocolate Smartie Easter Egg. 

Meanwhile, the Tyranny of Tack continues with Oman, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti joining in.  The BBC pronunciation unit has been truly stretched, and the Platinum Medal goes to Peter Donaldson on BBC Radio 4, who managed a first with the ‘BaHrain MaNAma’ double.  Peter sounds convincing in pronouncing the name of the Yemeni capital.  James Naughtie’s reports from Egypt have been questioned by the British public through the mediation of Feedback (on Radio 4). 

Professor Dr A.V.O’Gadro (Tony) has suggested we auction off the letter ‘V’ in the periodic table.  I have suggested that we allow competing authorities to debate the issue.  As Tony says, so it will be a toss up between the Vatican and Vedanta.  If my chum, the reincarnation of Radha, is allowed to debate she could win hands down – or up!


  1. What about giving up 'giving up for Lent' for Lent?

  2. Your Lent article sent me into rhyming mode (don't ask why). I'll spare you the intermediate stages, but ended up with two trains: lent to tent
    and lent to rent to rant

    I then happened on a rant by Mel P and wondered if in the Syllabub of Terrors she would qualify as a TENT SLUT?

  3. Anonymous 1 March

    These concepts of fasting on a fast involve many realities and many truths which need a good A Level in Calculus.

    St Mungo

    Regarding Tent sluts, I think we might have to withdraw this - if I can work out how to do this! It might be too insulting and offensive for other sluts - Mels or otherwise. I would refer you to Caryy on Abroad and Carry on Camping.

  4. Liturgy of lament for Libya?

  5. "What I try to do is to have a beginning and an end and not a lot of time in between the two, maybe eight or nine minutes."