Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, March 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 65 Comments
Goofball liturgies are to the Episcopal Organization what apples are to an apple tree. Pretty much de rigueur. Tim Fountain found this baptismal thing(Word file) which seems to have been written in San Francisco. He takes care of the theology problems. I, however, was fascinated by this part:
TRIPUDIUM TO THE FONT
Deacon A(steps onto platform) – We will go to the font in step, singing (name of hymn), found on your colored sheet. Make sure and bring your baptism booklet. The step is very simple; if you’ll look at all of us up here, we will show you how it goes.
Starting on your right foot, go right, left, right, back;
right, left, right, back;
right left, right, back.
Please place your hand on the shoulder of the person in front of you.
___________(Cantor), will tell us when to step off.
Cantor – When we get to the word ”______________,” please step off on your right foot and start the right, left, right, back pattern.
Cantor leads the Tripudium, cues people to move at the right time, calls for additional stanzas if needed to get everyone to the Font.
When I read that, I immediately thought about the day of your baptism. Maybe the whole family’s in town, both sets of grandparents and cousins from all over. Maybe your dad brought the ol’ camcorder along and recorded the whole thing for family posterity. After all, it’s a big event.
Years later, maybe there’s been a big snowstorm, everything’s closed down and you, your parents and your siblings are in for the duration. Somebody suggests getting out the family DVD’s which delights you since you always get a kick out of watching them.
After watching your brothers and sisters grow up, they get to you. You see your birth and the frantic first few days of your life on Earth. You see everything because your dad filmed everything; a regular James Lileks, your dad is.
Then your mom slides in another one. “This,” she says with obvious maternal pride, “is your baptism.”
You’ve never seen it before so you get right down in front of the TV. But after watching it for several minutes, you turn to your parents with alarm. “Mom?! Dad?!” you exclaim. “You never told me that you had St. Vitus Dance!!”
“What a silly thing to say,” your mom tells you. “Why in the world would you think that?”
“Were you all hopped up on goofballs there?”
“Of course not.”
“Then why in the world are you doing the hokey-pokey at my baptism?”
“That’s not the hokey-pokey. That’s called the Tripudium. Tripudium is a word that means joy or rejoicing.”
“I know that[you were a bright kid]. But you still haven’t answered my question. Why were you doing this BazookaGum…”
“…Tripudium at my baptism?”
“It was just a way to express our joy and happiness. Praise doesn’t have to be only in words, you know?”
“I know that. But let me get this straight. In order to express joy at a baptism, telling God how happy you are or just laughing or smiling or sitting there looking goofy doesn’t cut it anymore? In order to express joy at a baptism, you need to do this WhamBamThankYouMaam…”
“…Tripudium? You can only praise God and bring a kid into the church by walking like John Cleese?”
I don’t know know about you but my attachment to the family religious tradition would start to seriously weaken right about here.