Wednesday, July 04, 2012

This Church Will Bless Anything

A few years ago, I was talking to someone about something or other when she asked me what church I attend (a common question in these parts). When I said, "The Episcopal church," she promptly quipped, "Oh, that's the church that blesses animals." You see, the local paper had published a picture of our "Blessing the Animals" which is done on the Feast of St. Francis. At the time I jokingly replied, "Yes we'll bless anything."

Now, as we in the Episcopal church are on the eve of sanctioning the blessing of same sex relationships, I find that I was not joking, thus affirming Johnson’s First Law of Episcopal Thermodynamics: every joke you make about the Episcopal Organization eventually comes true.

If we can bless same sex bedroom activities, why not bless everything and anything while we are at it?

Guess what? We may be able to after the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal church which begins this week
On page 328 of the Episcopal Blue Book (the little book of business for Deputies and Bishops attending GC 2012) you can find the proposed "Litany for the Planet" which contains prayers for everything including,

On eukaryotes and prokaryotes, archaea* and viruses; on microbes of endless
variety, the complex and the simple,
Creator, have mercy.

H/T Hod Rod Anglican who raised the question as to whether or not the Church will be asking for God to have mercy on the Aids virus if this prayer is adopted. As I commented at his blog,

"So when someone sneezes and you say, "Bless you" will that mean you are blessing the viral particles or the person?
I guess they will want mercy bestowed upon the remaining vials of smallpox too.

Needless to say, I think this prayer has some bugs in it.

If it is passed by GC2012, then we will have a problem with competing prayers because in the 1979 BCP we already have,

"O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant N., that his weakness may be banished and his strength restored; and that, his health being renewed, he may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord." 
So who should we pray for God to have mercy upon, our team or the microbes'?

And what about those pesky times when the Lord healed lepers? Lord have mercy on Mycobacterium leprae? Well he certainly didn't demonstrate it there.
The kids are going to hate to hear the prayer for the bugs when a pimple breaks out on the tip of their nose the day before the prom. Are we to expect teenagers to pray then for the Lord to have mercy on their corynebacterium acne?

Will the Acne Bible have to be banned?

Lord have mercy.

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