Sunday, October 2, 2011

That's not incense

Christmas Eve will be the anniversary of my somewhat unintentional transition to the liturgical church tradition. I was thinking I could pull off the whole "I'm new so I don't know" act at least til then. Apparently not.

Last Wednesday a brand new person came in and, although there were at least 100 open spaces, sat down right next to me. Considering myself now a part of that church, I thought it might be rude to not welcome her along with the huge banner in the foyer. This church welcomes you+I'm in this church=I have to welcome you. So I did.

Smile. "Hey." (I live in South Georgia. Hey is a perfectly acceptable greeting in church or elsewhere).

She took this as an invitation and said, "ThisismyfirsttimehereI'veneverbeentoachurchlikethisandI'mnotsurewhattodomindifIsithere?" No breath. No kidding.

"No, of course not. Please, sit." I handed her my bulletin and bookmarked the readings for her.

When the service was over I expected her to have lots of questions or be completely overwhelmed. All she said was, "I love these kinds of churches! Where do they hide the incense? I didn't even see it but it smells so good! It's heavenly!"

I hated to have to tell her, but I did.

That's not incense.

That's furniture polish.


Meredith Gould said...

Brilliant and you can plunk me blindfolded into any church I've ever served or worked at and I could tell you where I am by the smell...of furniture polish.

John Reasons said...

The furniture manufacturer of our new pews told us we could NEVER polish them. It is supposed to ruin the finish if we do. Only clean them with warm water and a good rag. You two might have to come give us the sniff test and some good olfactory wisdom.

Rob said...

Yay you, for being so welcoming, and in an Episcopal church, too!! In the old days you could have attended for years, and be sure that SOMEone would turn to you and say, "You're new here, aren't you?"

Regarding furniture polish, I worked for a while in an old and very historical church. I loved practicing the organ when the periodic "woodsoap" washing of the nave ocurred.

RE: incense, you can tell when they are using incense at my parents' church, cause the smoke alarm is sounding!

By the way, for some reason, everytime I read your blog, I get this overwhelming urge to drink coffee!