I almost didn’t share this post because I don’t want to represent myself as “an old fogy.” I was raised to accept diversity, and throughout my life I’ve kept pace with and embraced new technologies and many of the world’s changes. I try not to say, “in the good old days,” because I remember how much that annoyed me when I was young. But this morning I can’t help myself. My thoughts are filling with Church and spilling onto paper in the form of a list. So at the risk of being annoying,
I remember the good old days when:
- worshippers dressed up for church on Sunday morning, not because they had to, but to show respect and to honor Sunday as a special day.
- the sanctuary was a holy place. People attending worship entered the church sanctuary quietly and waited in silent reflection until the service began. Visiting was for after church, and if you had to say something before the service, you whispered.
- the minister was always addressed respectfully as “Reverend _________ “and not “Don,” “Fred,” or “Pam.”
- the words of The Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm were universally taught and recited using the King James Version.
- there was less arguing about Church policy, because the Bible and God’s Ten Commandments were clear about right and wrong.
- sermons didn’t need props or videos to keep worshippers interested.
- parishioners knew the words to old familiar hymns that had been passed down from generation to generation.
- there were real, honest-to-goodness “church ladies.” I remember them as white-haired women with heavy, brown hairnets who spent countless hours in the fellowship-hall kitchen preparing goodies for potluck suppers, Mother and Daughter banquets, Easter-egg hunts, and ice-cream socials. If you needed anything at all, you could always count on a church lady.
- there was no need for the pastor to say “Christ’s Birth” and “Resurrection Sunday” to separate these holidays from secular Christmas and Easter.
- there were more than one service on Sunday morning, but not because some people prefer traditional worship and others prefer contemporary.
Like I said, I almost didn’t write this post. I know that it’s controversial. I haven’t written it to criticize the Church or the ways in which you might choose to worship; I’m right there with you, worshipping and loving God. I’m sharing my list with you for only one reason—to say that I remember those good old Church days, and I miss them.