Music: B+ I guess according to their website it’s a big deal. And they did have a very talented choir. Some of the songs were very cool. But at the same time i sorta felt like “meh”. it was just a little too predictable feeling to me. I really thought i’d have more to say about it, but it was just “Oh yeah, they’re quite good at what they’re doing.” The organist was also the director tho, so there was lots of accapella stuff, but he sometimes busted into the organ. And it was a very cool looking organ, with pipes coming out of a bunch of different, seemingly random spots. But i don’t think he was a very interesting organist, i could easily be wrong, but i got the distinct feeling he wasn’t good at it.
people who will die in the next 20 years: around 40% at least
pastor charisma: C Bleh, there were two and they were boring
décor, iconography: The other thing this place is proud of is its decor. They’ve got stained-glass windows that come from William Morris’ company in england. The type of architecture is described as “english gothic”. for me, i liked how it looked in there. Huge contrast in that the wood was all painted or stained dark brown and the walls were light beige. Other than the stained glass, it was basically all just those two colours being all clashy. There was this huge piece of stained glass at the back with JC or someone holy being all “it’s chill” to some soldier. And it says on the glass that it was erected by “a group of ladies” or something. It was one of two big-deal type memorials in the church going out to some higher-up army dude who died in battle IN SOUTH AFRICA. IN 1900. Well, i never. real freedom-fighter that guy, no doubt. thanks for the freedom there. pretty fucking gross, appalling. Worth pointing out that they also were sort of a garrison church in a way, at least back in the day, so there’s all these army flags in the chapel as well, like “Hong Kong Veterans” and others. I guess there’s some with the logo of the maple leaf in the blue circle, where the winnipeg jets’ logo is taken from, which makes the flags in there look sort of like jets logo flags and that’s pretty funny. Anyway, blablabla, there was lots of pretty stained glass, as advertised, yeahyeah. Oh but one other funny one was the one furthest up at the front which had a crucifixion scene and seriously in there is a dude holding an english flag!!! wtf!!!!! So weird! It was a very english feeling building tho, to be honest, and it was actually interesting the way that part felt so real… We didn’t really walk around at all and so i only have a limited inventory of ridiculous things in there.
food/drink: not that i saw, but we showed up late and left pretty quick after.
scare quotient: zero
number of people: about 80 or so.
The real story:
Real bummer to wake up late today. Was really looking forward to getting back into this after a necessary week off and i sorta thought i’d missed my chance. Last night there was a party, sold a bunch of the zines as a fundraiser for prisoners in stony mountain (woo!), got pretty drunk, woke up feeling fucked, and thankfully my partner encouraged me to run to church (haha) cuz i wasn’t that late yet. Fuck it. B-May came along too, feeling fucked too, i believe.
As soon as we stepped in, i had more time to understand how brutal i felt, just farting away, stomach gurgles and head rushes, luckily no headache. But i also forgot my fucking notebook and pen, fuck. So this is all from memory, which, given how my brain was doing, will probably be doubly tragic. Sorry.
Yeah, we got in there, grabbed a seat, looked around. There wasn’t much at this place in terms of juicy priestly monologue. Their microphones were not that great, it was all coming out of a single speaker at the very front and we were at the very back. I feel like it was kinda nbd cuz they were being boring anyhow.
There were a few things worth mentioning: there’s this thing i’m familiar with from catholic church where someone reads a list of prayers and goes “lord have mercy” and everyone responds with “christ have mercy”, and this repeats many times. So they go, please help people with hiv/aids, and people who’ve died because of it (world aids day today). but also they pray for politicians to not be greedy and incompetent, for people whose birthdays are this week, and lots of other just quirky or weird or poorly-thought-out things. just a ridiculous grab-bag that takes all the seriousness and weight out of what could have been a real gesture towards people affected by hiv/aids. oh well, that’s how it goes in my brain anyway.
Someone read a passage from the bible, it was the one about turning swords into plowshares, you know, the one christian pacifists base their entire lives on lol. Sorta funny that’s being read under a bunch of army flags. Irony made very real.
One of the pastors was from pakistan and told us a story from there, about people climbing up high, onto trees or mountains, shit like that, to try and ascend to heaven, something about the rapture, w/e. He then told us about how the goal of being a christian (or was it the goal of life?) is like, being kind, something like that. very defanged religion i’d say. not very impressive, and also, very comfortable for people who are bothered by emotions, like WASPs. i guess not having taken notes is obviously a hindrance when trying to relate to you a 10 minute sermon of banalities, but take my work for it if you like: it was nothing to write home about.
There was that thing where people go around saying “peace be with you” and we were virtually mobbed, shook over 30 hands for sure. I don’t get it. It’s both creepy and touching, but the creepy takes over after about 15 handshakes i think. B-May had to hold herself back from laughing at this bizarre display of prescribed welcome. She also whispered to me that some people were sanitizing their hands after that. Turned out they were the communion givers, so it sorta makes sense, but it always cracks me up when ultra-modern shit like that makes it into a old ass ritual. it wasn’t soap, it was hand sanitizer, if it was soap, it’d be ok. but it wasn’t, so it’s not ok.
I read “story of the eye” by georges bataille this week and it puts a fresh new perspective on divine settings lol.
There were a number of semi-formal processions during the service, mostly to do with their oh-so-fancy choir. they’d all go around together, with a person holding a cross and altar boys holding big candles, then the choir. That’s how the service ended, with the pastors behind them all.
When we tried to leave, we couldn’t get out cuz the doors had these weird lock-type things in them and this guy from the choir who had this weird goatee-type thing had to let us out. he had a funny line too, you could tell he was just itching to use it: “once you come in you can never leave”. now that there is what i call thinking-on-your-feet humour. if you’re reading this, weird goatee-type thing man, i’m sorry, it’s not personal.
just sayin’ tho, it’s not safe to be an under 40 church-goer in this fuckin town no more. I’M ON A FUCKIN TEAR.