11
Sep

Handy Ecclesiastical Dictionary

BaptistryA churchs swimming pool. Designed by a finance committee
with a concern for cutting costs.

Blind FaithObsolete phrase meaning visually challenged faith.

BurnoutWhen clergy start preaching from the telephone book. The
result of extreme overwork or excessive stress. Hiding the telephone
book is not a sufficient treatment.

CampingA specialized ministry traditionally offered in the
summertime. Often directed at young people. Theologically, it has the
potential to teach valuable lessons about the Israelites 40 years in
the wilderness. This is usually thwarted by the tendency of churches
to place their camps in swamps, rather than deserts.

Candlelight ServicesA time when otherwise sensible choirs wander
around in darkened churches singing with fire in their hands. Not
surprisingly, this has been known to affect the quality of music.

Canon LawAn ancient arms limitation treaty.

CassockShort for clergy hassock. A robe that makes the wearer look
like a small, round, over-stuffed footrest.

Choir GownRobes worn by all choir members, designed to look equally
ill-fitting on everyone. Generally colour-coordinated with previous
church carpeting.

EvensongA song with a meter which can be divided by two. The
alternatives is unevensong, which should not be used for
processionals.

GargoyleAn extremely ugly statue on a church building. In medieval
times, they were intended to scare away evil spirits. Now they are
intend to attract tourists. The relationship between tourists and evil
spirits has not yet been determined.

God(n) The Greatest User Of Capital Letters.

GuiltA sixth human sense, faithfully instilled in children by parents
and in congregations by the clergy, for centuries. If functioning
properly, it may not prevent people from sinning, but it will prevent
them from enjoying it.

Joint Services(1) Worship in a ramshackle building. (2) Worship with
illicit substances. Subject to police raids. (3) Worship with
another congregation or denomination. In some peoples eyes, this is
morally worse than #2.

Leap of FaithBungee jumping with a Bible.

Missionary TeaSteep a missionary in boiling water for two minutes.
Remove and add lemon or milk to taste.

OffertoryRitual sacrifice of a member of the Conservative party. Now
restricted to Parliament.

Organ FundMoney being raised for a transplant. Fund is often not
established until long after the organ in question is in a terminal
condition.

Original SinA bad deed that no one else has thought of. There are
few of these anymore since most bad things have been tried over the
history of humanity. If you come up with an original sin, you should
consider patenting it.

Overhead ProjectorA teaching aid which has become a great
labour-saving device. It takes material which is clear and transparent
and then ensures that it goes over everyones head. Theologians used to
take years to learn to do this.

Pall BearerSt. Pauls mother.

PewAncient device of torture, developed to make people wish they had
to stand through worship, as in early centuries.

Pledge CardsLittle pieces of paper used for dusting pews. Some are
called Lemon Pledge Cards.

PsalterA device for sprinkling Psalt on pstews, psteaks, and
psandwiches.

RedeemedWhat happens to coupons and Christians. Christians are
rarely 50% off.

Slam DunkA rough baptism.

Stained Glass WindowsColourful glass set into attractive patterns.
When installed in a church, these prevent a congregation from gazing
out the window during the sermon without having to use shutters. Some
have pictures, which depict people long dead (usually from the Bible)
under which are the names of different people, who died more recently.
For some reason, this never confuses as many people as it should.

TemptationSomething you want to do but know you shouldnt. See Sin.
Actually, dont see Sin since sin sometimes leads to temptation.

VestmentsSmall, white mints kept in the vest pockets of grandfathers
in the church. A traditional bribe to keep children quiet during a
sermon.

White Elephant SaleA fundraiser, now defunct due to the international
ban on the ivory trade.

Womens GroupsThe source of all power in the church.

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