I have a real thing about talking in church. Growing up a preacher's kid, I was called out from the pulpit by my father on more than one occasion for chatting during the sermon, so I still get a little nervous if the person next to me starts chatting. Keep in mind that my husband has, by his own admission, ADHD -- though he tangles the letters pretty often, making it all sorts of acronyms like ADT. No dear, not even close. He can sit through an entire sermon with not a word, but by the time we get to communion, all bets are off. And I never know what's going to fly out of his mouth, meaning there can be wildly inappropriate laughter involved.
Fortunately, our minister has ADHD too, so his filter occasionally goes off as well. Like the time I got to the front of the line to be served the communion bread. There was a backup at the wine serving, so I just stood there waiting patiently. No sense in getting the bread if I can't move, right? I smiled at our pastor, who mouthed something to me that I couldn't make out. I furrowed my brow and tilted my head, trying to figure out what he'd said. He said it again. And again. I mouthed "I can't understand you," and he finally shrugged it off. By then it was time to serve, so I moved though the line and sat down. After church, he came up and said "I was was saying traffic jam." Gotcha! "Yes listeners, we have a backup in the center aisle. There are a couple of laggers at the wine service, but the traffic should only be held up for four minutes or so, and then it's clear sailing........"
I love our church.
And so it was that we attended evening service yesterday. Evening service is usually pretty casual and small, but this was a special service to greet our new associate pastor, so the place was packed. There were a handful of other pastors there for the installation. There they sat in a line, all in white robes with red stoles. One of them, from a city south of Indianapolis, preached the sermon, warning us that yes, there was a clock facing him at the back of the church, but that he didn't pay much attention to it, once he got going. And he got going. And going. And going.....not overly long, mind you, but longer than we're used to. Of course, by the end, Jim was getting fidgety. He made some joke about asking "the cardinals" where their hats were. Oye vay. Fortunately, he was able to blow off some steam by the passing of the peace, making sure to greet his girlfriend -- a 101 year old lady he always makes a point to say hi too. But by the time we sat down again, he was restless again. Maybe it was the smell of the food in the kitchen (they were having a Cinco de Mayo dinner after the service) but he was in particularly rare form. I gave him the look. I shushed him. He wasn't having any of it. They were getting ready to serve communion, and since we were in the front, we were going to have to wait a long time for our turn while he fidgeted. And then the pastor emerged from the sacristy.
This is a new pastor. He does things his own way. He's young, and sweet, and has a beautiful singing voice. And he, for the first time during our attendance, wore a chasable. Now, I can't find a picture of the exact chasable, but it was beautiful. A deep ruby red, it was embroidered with a gold cross. Worn over his white robe, it looked beautiful. I was taking it in, because I'd never seen this before, when Jim leans over and says "what is this, Fistful of Dollars?"
I darned near lost it. By the time he said something about the Cinco de Mayo dinner afterward, the solemnity of the moment was gone, especially given the Mexican accent it was rendered in. Of course, I responded by singing the alternate Spanish lyrics of the last hymn, which befuddled him, but really wasn't disrespectful. Oh well, at least it got him to quit talking.