From the November, 2006 issue of Touchstone
Rites & Wrongs of Passage by An Episcopal Priest

Rites & Wrongs of Passage

An Episcopal Priest on Casual Ministers & Reverent Marines

The funeral was in the chapel of a navy base, conducted by a retired Episcopal priest of, I believe, Southern middle-of-the-road churchmanship. While the service was not without reverence and the priest was genuinely considerate of the sadness of the loss, he seemed to be trying to keep the service casual.

For the homily, he came out from behind the altar and leaned on the end of it rather than going to the pulpit. When he prepared the vessels on the altar for Communion, there was no formality to his actions: He might just as well have been getting dishes out of the kitchen cupboard for lunch.

There were awkward p . . .


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