Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tips for the uninitiated in a Lutheran church
Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts, e-mails, calls and wishes...Grammy's funeral service was actually very nice.
That said, Mr. RK is my hero. A shy agnostic during the best times, he went through a very long day of meeting grieving people that he did not know, as well as a service that was a bit over the top at times.
I realized afterward that I should have given him a few words of advice about Lutheran churches. So just in case any of you happen to be unfamiliar with them, and end up in one in the near or far future, here you go.
1. Lutheran churches are cold. Always. Invariably. There aren't lots and lots of windows - are they cheap? Poorly insulated? Do they keep it cold on purpose, so you'll stay awake? Inquiring minds want to know.
2. The Lutheran church hasn't added a new hymn in about 300 years.
3. The old hymns don't sound so good. They're all in the same key, and if you can't sing in that key, God help you. Come to think of it, you'll be in the right place for that.
4. Lutherans believe in suffering. Unlike more enlightened denominations, Lutherans tend to believe that God sends you suffering as a trial and test of your faith. Consequently, everything bad that has ever happened to you, including disease and death, are "trials."
Personally, I don't buy into it, but be prepared for it when you hear them preach. (Maybe that's what they're doing with the cold churches?)
5. It's not OK to be gay. It is, however, OK to stay in the closet and reproduce and become a Lutheran pastor.
6. Pews are not made for comfort. Again, probably something to make you stay awake during all of that excitement with hymns.
7. Being trans is not OK, except for the kids in dresses, otherwise known as acolytes.
8. Lutheran church services are not supposed to be cheerful. In fact, I think smiling is forbidden.
I can't think of two more things, so feel free to invent your own :)