01 November 2008

It's Jesus!

Earlier today, I went out to a church in the suburbs for my goddaughter's First Communion. Turns out, this is one of those mega churches -- there was a fucking Guest Services Center right there when I walked in. For a moment, I thought perhaps I'd gotten lost and ended up at a mall or a hotel.

I've never been to a mega church. It was absolutely as bizarre as I imagined it would be. There was stadium seating in the "worship center." There were three huge screens above and on either side of the stage. Yes, there was a stage. With a fucking rock band. Of course, I use the term "rock band" incredibly loosely. But there were drums, a bass, lead electric guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar and a piano.

The big screens showed the lyrics to the songs the wannabe indie pop, Cities 97esque band was playing. Look, just because you have a hot drummer with floppy indie hair doesn't make you anything other than a fucking church band. This is not a concert. It's church. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE.

Actually, the "band" was mostly kids -- the drummer and acoustic guitar player were adults. Kinda looked like a lame as fuck version of School of Rock. You are not Jack Black, dude, and these kids aren't that talented. I should probably feel horrible for ragging on a bunch of kids (not all of them, though). However, someone's harmony was decidedly not harmonious and my ears were offended. Yeah, I'm a bitch. I can live with that knowledge.

They tried to get the ... parishioners? attendees? flock? to clap along, with minimally successful results. The back-up singers were doing some sort of arm wave. I wanted to die. Or die laughing. I was conflicted.

But then it got better! As the band is finishing up, this dude walks out on the stage. DRESSED AS JESUS. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. How I managed to not piss myself and fall over laughing is beyond me. My goddaughter's little brother says, "It's Jesus! ... Is he alive now?"

Jesus proceeds to tell a story about the Last Supper. He tries entirely too hard to make it accessible and he sounds like someone's dad trying to be hip and using slang that's about 15 years old. He breaks into song. Twice. He gives us a dumbed-down version of The Lord's Prayer, but then sings a very traditional version of it. That song was the one thing that I recognized as being a part of a church service. This place didn't even have an alter, for fuck's sake.

There was a pastor who came out after Jebus to do some sort of homily type thing. She said the little Jesus vignette "must be what it felt like to be there that night." Lady, I highly doubt Our Lord broke out into fucking song during what was essentially the first Eucharist. And if he did, I really don't think it was fucking showtunes. Bonus! She also did a modernized version of "Love Is ..." So I got to hear, "Love is never rude ..."

God, it was just so weird. I never want to do that again.


Emily said...

I tend to get the giggles when I go to very normal Catholic mass with my parents when I'm visiting them - I have NO IDEA how you kept it together for this freak show.

scargosun said...

"It's Jesus! ... Is he alive now?"

That is AWESOME!

I don't do religious ceremonies like this one anymore with the exception of weddings...open bar.

Anonymous said...

Lol that was really funny! I want to go to a church like that!

Jess said...

I've been known to have to stifle hysterical giggles during Mass, myself. I haven't the foggiest idea of how I didn't just lose it yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Pure magical theater! I would like to go to this mega church! I'm too Catholic down to my bones to really make a ritual out of it but it would be cool to experience it once.

Mass is theater, too! We're strange creatures with bizarre rituals, us Catholics. Better to not analyze it, I say!

Jess said...

Yeah, I wonder if my disdain for this kind of church is part of that deeply-ingrained Catholic guilt.

Church isn't supposed to be fun! It's somber and ritualistic.

Then again, I wouldn't consider the mega church fun. It was actually more painful than attending Mass because it was so lame. I was too busy noticing just how lame it was to spend my time daydreaming about sex, which is what I usually do during Mass.