Monday, March 4, 2013

This video makes me uncomfortable

This first video made me so uncomfortable I had to pause it a few times. Dancing in church, singing a reworded and auto-tuned pop hit, and using liturgical items as props are all verboten. Shudder.

Now, let's look at this next video. We can find a much more meaningful and appropriate video that celebrates the role of altar servers. Or, if you'd like, within the Western tradition, you can watch this video as well.

All the above goes to my belated point: Making the Liturgy more "relatable" is the opposite direction one should take in presenting the Church to your child. Holiness speaks to a separation from the things of this world that distract us from God. Using cultural distractions to encourage participation in the services of the Church muddles this reality. If what we should be seeking after is packaged in a secular pop-culture medium a false equality and connection is made in the minds of our children that life in the Church is just another way to pass the time. Making the Way into a video game, a music video, or any other trivial entertainment serves to undermine and not reinforce your child's faith. The hard lesson that evangelical efforts to grow the Church through making it more "relevant" have been learned over and over at the expense of tradition and with little to show for it beyond empty coffers, infrequent attendance, and a "spiritual but not religious" ethos.

The Liturgy is best presented as a constant walking towards the transcendant where His people gather in reverence and anticipation of His imminent return. A child that sees himself as someone in service to a thing not only much greater than he, but also something that can transform him into the man God would have him be through service to His Church, is a child that will grow in faith and love of the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

- Psalm 27

Where do you find consonance with the images presented in the above Psalm with the "relevant," "approachable," "relatable" strategy for bringing our young men to Christ and service to His Church? I am hard pressed to find even a tenuous connection. How about you?


  1. The first video crossed a line early on, but did not shock me until I saw them hold the Gospel during their dance bit.

    The second video is from a charismatic Uniate church in Canada with excellent video productions. I wish they were Orthodox, they seem so cool!

  2. And compare with this video on training altar servers, which was produced by a friend of mine from my Catholic parish here in Sugar Land, TX: