A few weeks ago during Sunday Mass, the intercessory prayers we say right after the Creed were proceeding as usual. But then the Lector said, “And for all those who are sick of this parish, we pray to the Lord.”
I started the rote response, but then realized what he had said. My response came out like this: “Lord, hear our…what?!” I had to work hard to suppress giggles. I’m sure he meant to say something like, “…all those who are sick IN this parish.” Or, “…all those in our parish who are sick.”
Although, when you think about it, I’m sure there are people who are sick OF the parish, and in that case, they definitely need our prayers. However, I’m pretty sure that’s not what he meant to say.
Quite often verbal blunders are made during Mass. I can remember one time hearing the Lector read from one of St. Paul’s letters, and instead of saying, “…you were made for immortality,” the Lector said, “…you were made for immorality.” Oops.
A reading from the Old Testament refers to a “burning brazier.” But a Lector once called it “a burning brassiere.” Those Old Testament folks must’ve been the first feminists.
In case you’re not sure, Moses in fact did not go up “Mount Cyanide” to receive the “Ten Amendments.” And one of the commandments is not, “Thou shall humor thy father and mother.”
I’m a Lector in my parish, and I’ve blundered plenty of times. Once I was reading from the 23rd Psalm, and those darn “o-u-g-h” letters got me again. I proclaimed, “And thru I walk tho’ the valley of the shadow of death…” Ugh, I soon as I said it, I realized my mistake. I’m not sure which is worse, the valley of the shadow of death or the valley of the shadow of embarrassed public speaking.
Some of the most classic church blunders occur in the bulletins. These were actually printed and handed out to the congregation:
Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. Please use large double doors at the side entrance.
Tuesday at 4 p.m. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.
The choir invites any member of the parish who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. Please use the back door.
Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help.
Due to the pastor’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24th in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, “Break Forth Into Joy.”
Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
Maybe one of the most shocking church blunders occurred many centuries ago, when a publishing house in England printed a new edition of the Bible. One of the commandments was printed as, “Thou shalt commit adultery.”
Not only was the printer embarrassed, but he was fined 3,000 British pounds by the government for his mistake, which is probably more than a million dollars in today’s money.
As Christians, we understand that only God is perfect. Whenever there’s a blunder at church, we should relax and just laugh. And we should remember to pray for all those who are sick of the parish.