Thursday, October 16, 2008


Nunc dimittis servum tuum...before the flags arrive
Reeling from the realization that there really are parishes with active Clown Ministries, I didn't think I could be any more amazed. And then someone at work (a reader here, in fact - with a charitable donation for my grist mill of perpetual annoyance) left a catalog in my mailbox. The plethora of banners was mildly amusing. Then I came to the page for "Flag Ministry."

A horrifying melding of liturgical dance, rhythmic gymnastics and marching color guard performance. A quick Google showed me that this random catalog was not a fluke. I am almost speechless. Almost. "How to Start a Flag Ministry in Your Church" cries out for fisking.

Those flags are beautiful, but can I really do that in my church?
(No. Fireworks are beautiful, too. But church isn't the place for them)

Here are some simple steps to beginning a flag ministry in your church.
Pray, pray, pray!
(Please, Lord, no flags. No, no, no)

Speak with your pastor. If there has been no teaching on flags, then ask about what the pastor's vision is for flags. The pastor of the church must have a vision for flags.
(I do not presume to speak for my pastor, but I have an idea what his vision for flags would be. It wouldn't include ministry.)

And so on.

No, dear friends, I am not speaking strictly as an uptight woman d'un certain age who has had more than one close call near a novice altar server in difficulty with the processional cross. This screams crazy. Crazy, irreverent, obnoxious, dangerous. And antithetical to what we Catholics regard as worship. As a Catholic this really shouldn't concern me, right? Well, I would hope so. But like the almost* ubiquitous Unity Candle that has insinuated itself into our marriage rites, 'cross contamination' happens. (Praise God, I haven't yet heard any brides asking for a Unity Sand Ceremony...)


*I had a Unity candle. Cheesy as it seemed, I went along with it, thinking it was a required part of the wedding. It was the seventies. I was young.
Twenty-seven years later, our Emily had the presence of mind to not do it.

5 comments:

Bob the Ape said...

Not by coincidence does vexillation
Begin with "vex" -
We fear our liturgy and our oblation
Will be deformed by wanton vexillation -
May its proponents meet defenestration
And break their necks -
That no least foolish mote of vexillation
Can ever vex.

Ellyn said...

Now that was a comment of epic proportions!

Bob the Ape said...

Thank you.

smockmomma said...

anything that screams "hey looka me" in the mass is wrong. w-r-o-n-g-period.

David L Alexander said...

There is a long tradition of processional banners, so the use of them, in and of itself, is not inappropriate. The problem with the current trend is with their iconoclastic nature. Rather than represent images of our Lord, or the angels and the saints, they don't represent anything. The Roman liturgy is of a rather dry and sober nature. Such ornamentation should reflect that. As to what is illustrated here, I'm not so sure.


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