Because of the size of our extended spiritual families, clergymen attend a greater number of graduation exercises than most ordinary citizens. A colleague and I have made a hobby out of commencement postmortems, if only to make our frequent exposure to “the prayer of the just” (O Lord, we just want to thank you for just being with us on this wonderful day, and we just want to ask you to just bless us, etc.) more bearable.
Some occasions, however, move far beyond the petty annoyance of poorly constructed prayers being recited by people who obviously had months to prepare themselves to offer something better. When my friend attended the commencement of a famous Roman Catholic college for women, he was appalled by the abse . . .