>You might be Episcopalian (the sequel)

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I was thinking just the other day, I had for some reason been getting a lot of hits on this old blog post, so maybe it was time to add to the list of obscure things that would say “You might be Episcopalian…”

You Might Be Episcopalian…

…if you know what Whitsunday is, and that the church paraments should be RED.

…if your Shrove Tuesday fundraiser in the undercroft features beer.

…if you visit someone else’s church in March, see a vase of flowers behind the altar and think, “You don’t do flowers in Lent!”

…if you have a very distinctly fixed set of songs in your head that qualify as “processional hymns,” and you complain that anything outside that list causes you to remark, “That’s not a processional hymn.”

…if you’ve watched a podcast of a bishop being ordained, and raved about how cool it was.

…if you know what the sursum corda, the Sanctus, the Anaphora, and the Agnus Dei are.

…if you have a preference of Eucharistic Prayers A through D.

…if you know what The Book of Occasional Services is, as well as what EOW stands for.

…if you can point to the narthex, the nave, the sacristy, the chancel, and the undercroft.

…if you give directions of where to put things in church as “The Gospel side” and “the epistle side.”

…if, when someone tells you they read the Bible every day, you respond with, “Oh, I do the Daily Office, too.”

…if you’ve ever wondered why you kneel in Eucharistic Prayer B, when the line says, “worthy to stand before you.”

…if you are absolutely certain that some parts of the Nicene Creed are “just not right,” but say it anyway.

…if you have a strong personal theological opinion why the announcements are at the beginning, the middle, or the end of church–or not have announcements in church at all.

…if you’ve ever refered to a regular household activity as the “sacrament of,” or the “liturgy of,” such as “The Saturday Sacrament of the Laundry,” or “The Liturgy of the Nap.”

…if you know the names of at least ten bishops, and in which diocese they reside.

…if, in true “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” fashion, you brag that you are three degrees from the Presiding Bishop…but when you get to thinking about it, all your Episcopalian friends are three degrees or fewer from her, too.

>An Order of Worship for the Post-Liturgical Nap

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>Lately, I have noticed my Episcopalian Facebook friends, especially those of the collared set, to be posting on their status updates that they are participating in the “Post-Liturgical Nap.” So just for them, I’ve created an order of worship for it!

An Order of Worship for Post-Liturgical Napping

By Kirkepiscatoid

(with apologies to The Book of Occasional Services of the Episcopal Church, particularly pages 166-173)

The service begins as appointed following returning home from a celebration of Holy Eucharist, particularly after one with an obtuse, disjointed sermon, a painfully tense Coffee Hour, or a long drawn-out vestry or committee meeting following worship.

Celebrant: Grace and peace be with you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Let us pray.

The Celebrant says this or some other appropriate Collect:

O God of peaceful slumber, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in sleeping and napping shall be our strength: By your Holy Spirit, allow us to snooze in your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever,

Celebrant and People: Amen.

One or two Lessons are read before the Gospel. A Psalm, hymn, or anthem may be sung or said between the lessons.

For the first Lesson, one of the texts below or another suitable text may be used.

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. Leviticus 26:3-6

Or this

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Or this

“Do not human beings have a hard service on earth, and are not their days like the days of a laborer? Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like laborers who look for their wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I rise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn. Job 7:1-4

Suitable Psalms include:

Psalm 3 (“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the LORD sustains me”)

Psalm 4 (“I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you, alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety”)

Psalm 23 “(He makes me lie down in green pastures”).

For the second Lesson, one of the texts below or another suitable text may be used:

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything. II Corinthians 6:1-10

Or this

Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. One thing more—prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be restored to you. Philemon 1:20-22

Or this

For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day—“today” —saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:4-10

For the Gospel, one of the following texts or another suitable text may be used:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29

Or this

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:30-31

Or this

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. Luke 9:28-36

A meditation or period of silence, or both, may follow the Gospel.

The service continues with the Creed, or the Prayers of the People.

For the Prayers of the People, a Litany of Napping, as follows, may be used.

Litany of Napping

The Celebrant introduces the Litany with this bidding

Let us name before God those for whom we offer our prayers before napping.

The People audibly name those for whom they are interceding.

A Person appointed then leads the Litany

Leader: God the Father, your will for all people is sufficient rest for our health and salvation;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: God the Son, you came that we might have life, and nap more abundantly;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: God the Holy Spirit, you make us on our best behavior when we are asleep;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: Holy Trinity, in you we sleep and snore and have our dreaming;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are insomniacs, weary but cannot unwind, keyed-up, and wound up, that they may nap and be made whole;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Grant to all who seek the healing powers of sleep, and to all who are constantly interrupted by the phone, spouses/significant others, small children and pets at nap time, a knowledge for them to leave us alone in our few hours of slumber;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Mend the annoying details of the things that keep us awake, and restore those in metabolic distress from too much coffee, tea or soft drinks;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Bless quiet background music, the mute button on the TV, and those bedroom clocks with ambient sounds of nature that help us fall asleep;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Grant to those who are so tired they feel they are about to die, the ability to “sleep like the dead” for a short time and awake restored and refreshed in new life;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Restore to wholeness the dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty laundry in the basket, and all the things of this life we left undone simply to take a nap;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: You are the Lord who does wonders;

People: You have declared your power among the peoples.

Leader: With you, O Lord is heavenly rest;

People: And in your arms we find divine rest.

Leader: Hear us, O Lord of the Holy Nap;

People: Restore us, and make us whole as we sleep.

(Note: It is permissible to fall asleep during the Litany, if the spirit of sleep overtakes the people, or if spirits overtake the people should they have imbibed a couple of tequila shooters prior to the service.)

Leader: Let us pray.

A period of silence follows (if the People are not already asleep.)

If the Celebrant is not also already asleep, the service concludes the Prayers with one of the following, or some other suitable Collect

Almighty God, giver of life and naps: Send your blessing on all who are awake yet weary, and upon those who snuggle up to them, be they human, canine, or feline, that all insomnia be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

Or this

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son; Accept and fulfill our subconscious as we dream, even though some of the dreams may seem a little weird; you are able to sort out the Jungian manifestations of them and discern what is truly in our hearts; not as we dream in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Leader and People: Amen.

Or this

O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your sleepy people; in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon our weary, tired selves and all who turn to you in a semi-somnolent state; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

The Celebrant then dismisses any still remaining awake with this blessing

May God the Father rest your weary head, May God the Son close your eyes with his love, and may God the Holy Spirit fill your upper airways with heavenly snoring. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your door while asleep, save your ears from extemporaneous noise, and bring you in somnolence to his heavenly country, where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

All are dismissed with the following

Leader: Nap in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.

>A small change for Lent in "The Order of Service for Doing Laundry"

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>One of my most popular posts last year had to do with the discovery that the Episcopalian Facebook world seems to all do their laundry on Saturday. Many of you remember this post.

Last week my friend Robert reminded me that we can’t do the opening hymn during Lent, because it has the liturgical “A” word (A@#$%uia) in it. So the pressure was on to create a new one.

Here it is, sung to the tune of “Rock of Ages”:

Rock of Ages, clean for me,
Cheer and Tide I give to Thee;
Let the water and the suds,
Clean my grass stains, dirt and blood,
Give my laundry double cure;
Save from wrath and make it pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill my laundry’s demands;
Could my shirts no respite know,
Clean my undies white as snow,
Tighty whities, Bali bras;
Lingerie, you save them all.

Dryer sheets my hands now bring,
To prevent the static cling;
Naked, ‘cuz my clothes are spent;
If they weren’t soiled, my clothes I’d rend;
Loads of laundry, by and by;
Wash them, Savior, or I die.

While I spend my Saturday,
Laundering my life away,
Watching ball games on TV,
Facebook friends, they comfort me,
Rock of Ages, clean for me,
Cheer and Tide I give to Thee.

>If Clergy Could Bill for Weddings like Physicians

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>We are in the middle of a snowstorm here in Kirksville, so I’m in a bit of a silly, giddy mood. Here is another bit of humor for my clergy friends!

If Clergy Could Bill for Weddings like Physicians
by Kirkepiscatoid

Recent studies show that the average wedding has increased not only in price, but complexity, in the last four decades; unfortunately, although weddings can now run in the tens of thousands of dollars, couples still seem to think that $25 or $50 slipped in the officiating clergy person’s hand is sufficient payment for services rendered. This document is a more realistic breakdown of the complete gamut of services rendered by clergy in wedding participation. Clergy are encouraged to create a base fee for “unit of service” and in this billing sheet, consider the top item in each category as the “basic unit of service.” As you work down the levels of each category in the Clergy Encounter Form for each category, we have provided a suggested increase in unit of service for each level of clergy encounter. Circle the units of service for each category as applicable. Then, simply add the units of service times your base fee for a single unit of service and present the bill to the happy couple, making checks payable to your discretionary fund.

Clergy Wedding Encounter Form

Part A. Pre-Nuptial Counseling

Units of Service and Description of Encounter

1 Unremarkable counseling experience for couple and clergy

2 Couple seems ignorant or unaware counseling required; thought they wanted to get married there “because it’s a cute little church” or “they wanted to get married at the Cathedral,” etc.

2 Unremarkable counseling experience for clergy; minor issues discovered by couple that were easily resolved in session(s)

2 Minor blow-up between couple with minimal clergy consternation

3 Unremarkable/minor issues for couple; clergy begins to get sick feeling tip of iceberg has been touched on major issue but couple seems to blow this issue off

3 Moderate issues between couple uncovered in counseling with no additional sessions required

4 Moderate or major issues uncovered in counseling requiring additional sessions or postponement of wedding date

5 One or both of couple bursts into tears, runs crying/screaming from rectory, squeals off in car, possibly leaving one of the couple crying in front of clergy

_____ Other counseling mishap, not otherwise specified (please document)

Note: If either “5” is circled, or a NOS mishap carries a value of “5” or greater, submit billing. Pray they do not suddenly make up and find a Justice of the Peace or take a trip to Las Vegas.

Part B: Pre-wedding Planning

B1: The Bride
Units of Service and Description of Encounter

1 Normal mature female

2 Naive, blushing, possibly virginal

2 Slightly immature in chronological and/or psychological age

2 Normal with somewhat annoying parent(s)

2 Slightly bossy

3 Pregnant

3 Normal with “helicopter” parents

3 Seems to think wedding is “all about me” but parents relatively normal

4 Spoiled with indulgent and/or “helicopter” parents

4 Seems to think wedding is “all about me”; parents indulgent; tend not to challenge bride

4 Unaware she is being grossly abused or manipulated by betrothed

5 Bridezilla

B2: The Groom
Units of Service and Description of Encounter

1 Normal mature male

2 Nerdy/geeky, possibly virginal

2 Slightly immature in chronological and/or psychological age

2 Normal with somewhat annoying parent(s)

2 Relatively normal but appears to be thinking with his “little head” rather than his “big head” about some issues

3 Normal with mother who does not think betrothed is “good enough for her son”

3 Seems somewhat absent, distant, or unwilling to challenge bride-to-be on plans

4 Parents running the show; groom-to-be just shrugs and looks sheepish

4 Combative with betrothed, parents from either side, or clergy

4 Unaware he is being grossly abused or manipulated by betrothed

4 Unaware bride-to-be is pregnant

5 Flaming southbound end of northbound horse

Part C: The rehearsal/rehearsal dinner
Units of Service and Description of Encounter

1 Goes off without a hitch

2 Minor last minute changes and/or issues

2 Issues with small children

3 Seating chart(s) definitely need to be changed, most likely due to “ex-es”

3 Issues with really poorly behaved small children

3 Clergy has to explain to couple that songs with vague or overt references to nookie are generally not appropriate for a wedding

4 Hazard pay for dealing with overly drunken/stoned members of wedding party or clergy required to break up verbal altercation

5 Full blown hissy fit by any member of wedding party or clergy required to break up physical altercation

6 Law enforcement personnel called, or relative offers clergy large sum of money to refuse to perform the service

Part D: The Wedding (NOTE: Unlike parts A-C, and E, circle ANY and ALL service levels that apply rather than “best level of service”)
Units of Service and Description of Encounter

1 Beautiful, touching and/or meaningful

2 Beautiful and touching but someone committed minor flub or children in service got flustered

2 Annoying photographer

2 Bad Soloist

2 Annoying parents/relatives/members of wedding party except bride/groom

3 Annoying bride/groom

3 Annoying photographer who totally ignored clergy instructions about what parts of the service may not be photographed

4 Badly behaved small children

4 REALLY bad soloist

4 Clergy retreats to rectory shortly afterward to smoke or say, “My God, I’m glad that’s over”

5 Bride’s water breaks or delivers baby during service

5 Wedding from Hell

Part E: The Reception

1 Clergy only required to give short opening prayer, meet and greet

2 Clergy performs minor pastoral care/counseling for less than 4 relatives/friends

3 Clergy performs minor pastoral care/counseling for 4 or more relatives/friends

3 Clergy provides minor pastoral care/counseling to ex-flame who attended wedding to pretend he/she is “happy for them.”

4 Attendee suddenly feels need to confess something to clergy

5 Drunken melee/food fight/law enforcement called


Dear Couple:

I provided ______ units of pastoral care at the base rate of $__________ per pastoral care unit. This totals up to $_________________ worth of pastoral and clergy services. Please make your check to _______________________and write “Discretionary Fund” in the memo line. Thank you for choosing me and my church for your wedding. I know you promised back in the counseling phase to be regular attendees of my church, but please remit in 30 days because I am pretty sure that’s not going to happen, despite your good intentions. I was born in the dark, but it wasn’t last night!

>If Hospice Chaplains could bill like physicians…

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>I got to visiting with our parish’s Priest Associate via e-mail today, and we sort of got on the subject of “coding and billing,” being as how her “paying job” is the local Hospice chaplain. Evidently Medicare pays a flat rate ($120.00, it appears) for “per diem” Hospice service. We got to talking about how it’s too bad she doesn’t get to bill like physicians. So in the spirit of a post I did a while back on “Eucharistic Coding and Billing,” here’s how I’d break up Hospice chaplain billing for Medicare!

Hospice Chaplain Coding and Billing
(by Kirkepiscatoid)

Here’s how we could build in “Level of Service” if only the government would take the cue that hospice chaplains should get to bill more like physicians!

Hospice Chaplain Level of Service Billing

Instructions: For each patient encounter, choose the level of pastoral service, geographic modifier, and clinical demographic modifier that best represents the normal and customary level of service provided in the patient encounter. Remember: For proper reimbursement, level of service must be documented in hospice chaplain notes.

Pastoral Service codes:

_____P66601: Talked with patient but did not pray with patient
_____P66602: Prayed with patient (e.g., comatose, unresponsive) but did not talk with patient
_____P66603: Talked and prayed with patient
_____P66604: Provided Eucharistic services with liquid substance other than wine with at least 10% alcohol content
_____P66605: Provided Eucharistic services with wine containing at least 10% alcohol content
_____P66606: Patient died before arrival of chaplain; discussions/prayer with family
_____P66607: Funeral planning with input from not-quite-dead-yet patient
_____P66608: Funeral planning with patient already dead
_____PS6600: Level of pastoral service not otherwise specified (provide documentation)

Geographic Modifier Codes:

_____GPS001: Usual and customary ability to find patient’s house
_____GPS002: Difficulty finding patient’s house (e.g., faulty directions, missing road signs/street signs, very remote location)
_____GPS003: Got hopelessly lost finding patient’s house, requiring use of cell phone
_____GPS004: Got hopelessly lost finding patient’s house, requiring use of cell phone, in “dead cell phone” area
_____GPS005: Visit required extraordinary vehicular measures (e.g., studded snow tires, four wheel drive)
_____GPS006: Chaplain got stuck en route to visit
_____GPS000: Other geographic modifier not otherwise specified (provide documentation)

(NOTE: A 10% PENALTY exists on GPS code billing if chaplain is female and visit requires being chauffeured by a male. A 10% BONUS exists if chaplain is male and visit requires being chauffeured by a female, as most male chaplains would not admit this.)

Clinical Demographic Modifiers:

_____CH23001: Pastoral services provided to under 4 total family members in room, in addition to patient
_____CH23002: Pastoral services provided to 4 or more family members in room, in addition to patient
_____CH23003: Patient divulges deep dark family secret under the influence of narcotics during visit
_____CH23004: Chaplain breaks up verbal altercation between relatives
_____CH23005: Chaplain breaks up physical altercation between relatives
_____CH23006: Living arrangements for patient has worse than usual smells or sights associated with typical dying patient or typical home
_____CH23007: Family member “hits on” chaplain, desiring inappropriate psychological, financial, or physical relationship
_____CH23008: Chaplain visit occurs while patient, spouse/significant other and object of covert romantic relationship are all in the same room
_____CH23000: Other clinical history modifier not otherwise specified (provide documentation)