In search of information on St. John the Baptist, I came across what I thought was a serious religious site, Ship of Fools.
Minister: Therefore let us stub out our cigarettes with gladness, and cast off the works of darkness by joining together in the words of the Smoker’s Prayer.
All: Can you give us a light?
Minister: God hates fags.
All: In the English sense of that word.
Minister: May the marketing of St Peter Stuyvesant, St Benson and St Hedges not be with us all, evermore.
The site, a kind of newspaper, has some interesting regular features. I was particularly taken by the Mystery Worshipper, a column of reports on secretly visited church services. Here from a report on St. Columba’s, Anfield, Liverpool:
Did anything distract you?
This must be the best-heated church in Christendom and by the end we felt we had been in a sauna. More distracting than the heat, though, was the noise of the fans which were pushing it out. Other distractions were the cocktail-bar altar and wondering which saints were being veiled from sight by the Passiontide drapes (presumably Our Lady and St Columba).
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Modern Anglo-Catholic liturgy (Common Worship Order 1) with incense. The ceremonial was neither fussy nor sloppy; priest and servers in particular the young girls who served as thurifer and boat-bearer seemed relaxed and at ease as if worshipping God was the most natural thing possible. The priest, however, during some of the prayers, sounded if he were addressing a class of slightly slow children rather than Almighty God.
I suppose this fits well with the Vatican’s Ten Commandments for Motorists.