Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Unitarian scriptures

This is what I decided at church on Sunday:

I can't listen to poems. If someone is reading a poem in church, I can't tell you anything about the poem two minutes later. I just can't pay attention to poems in the slightest. I drift off as soon as someone starts reading. I get nothing out of a poem in church.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm not a poem person. But I think this brings up a couple of issues. First the issue of readings used in worship. What is scriptural for Unitarians? When I heard that Unitarians didn't just use the Bible in worship I was excited at the prospect of hearing from the Qur'an or the Bhagavad Gita or Julian of Norwich every week. I was most disappointed, and have continued to be disappointed by the predminance of poems about flowers and such, rather than world religions and mystical texts.

Secondly in general I can't listen to a lot of stuff in church. My mind wanders most of the time. This is why when I am leading worship I have readings written down in an order of service to allow people to read along, and refer back to. This is what I was brought up with in the C of E, and this is what I believe works. But I've never seen any other Unitarian do it. I don't know why.


Blogger Rich said...

This sounds very familiar (I wrote a similar comment in my blog a while back). I recently discovered that my symptoms were very close to those of auditory processing disorder which is very common and seems to be especially prevalent amongst bloggers (for obvious reasons).

I agree it would be great if our services were written as well as said, but I suspect it is a much bigger effort for the minister to put together the service sheet, especially if the source is a book rather than an internet text.

8:00 am  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

I have the same reaction to poems. A poem that's meaningful is almost always at least a little bit difficult or complex. It won't just wash over the listener--at least not this listener.

3:45 pm  

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