Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Liturgical Subversion

My friend, the "Apostle in Exile" in San Joaquin, conspired with my mentor (through whom I landed at St. Aidan's) to send me the most creatively, lovingly, wonderfully horrible package I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. Inside were all things necessary to create the Twelve Stations of Easter Kitsch, complete with written instructions. I knew it was coming; we'd talked about the "conspiracy" for weeks, and I knew how much she was relishing putting it together for me. (I was compelled to open it publicly, hence the enlisting of an on-campus friend.) I even suspected that Molly would spring it on me yesterday at lunchtime--which is why I had my camera in my pocket. (We'd just come from chapel, where we'd prayed in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer for the Royal Religious Peculiars. Not even knowing what they were, we couldn't look at each other.)

God help me if I ever tried this at school, but you may try it at home.

The apostle in question is in Florida for the week, and anyway she has a day job, so couldn't be here for the unveiling. You may adapt the instructions; I'm leaving most of those to your imagination. For her benefit and yours, here are pictures of this dubious resurrection. Molly took them, with my camera. Enjoy!

Station 1: The Easter Basket. "Behold, Kitsch is risen from the grave! Like the basket of a hot air balloon, he is lifted up."

We visited Target and a couple of dollar stores in the same evening, over Spring Break. I begged her not to get me this. But I knew she would. She had to. I had no idea what it would become, though.

The Note to the Celebrant is absolutely priceless: "...In ecumenical settings, it is advisable to have Easter baskets... show at least three faces of the Lord: the Masked Master of Hidden Strengths (aka Spiderman), the Intrepid Traveler (aka Dora the Explorer) and the Maker of All (aka Bob the Builder)."

Station 2: Pink Peeps, inspired by an overdose of hideosity that evening in Target. "Here begins the story of our salivation toward the Lord. We remember the sound made by the women on discovering the empty tomb: ...Eep!! Eep!! Eep!!"

Station 3: Bunny Ears. "Open your ears, O hard-headed people. ...The spiritual truth comes only through the eyes on TOP of our heads."

Station 4: Lop-eared Ceramic Bunny Woman. "For this is also a cautionary tale... If you do not preserve even the uttermost tip of your bunny ears, you too will be condemned to stand as a bunny woman statue forever!"

So that's how Lot's wife gets into this...

Station 5: Chocolate Cross. "Taste and see that the Lord tastes good!"

I'm utterly fascinated with the whole idea of eating a chocolate torture instrument. I mean, I wear a silver Celtic one. But eating them, in celebration? In the words of the online education guru, a mutual friend of the apostle's and mine, "It's like eating a chocolate electric chair." This one has the wood grain and everything. Eep!

Station 6: Chocolate Easter Bunnies. "Behold the demons that leer and glitter at the glory of our Lord! ...Devour your enemies. Quickly, lest someone else should gain their heads!"

I have no compunction against eating chocolate bunnies. But I can't, until at least Sunday. My rector needs to see this liturgy. He'll enjoy it almost as much as I have.

Station 7: Stretchable Bunnies. "How can we contort ourselves into such an unlikely faith?"

I actually would (and will) play with these. You shall see the evidence. But not yet...

Station 8: Bunny Jacks. "Fearfully, the people scattered. Patiently, she gathered them. Reenact this holy ritual with these most sacred bunny jacks and ball."

Someone had to make this stuff up! And people buy them for their kids, like regular toys. Really!

Station 9: The Chickie Basket, the bright pink scary thing at the far right of this picture. "Bow your head in reverence as the scattered jack people come to rest in its bosom."

Bow my head in helplessly unstifled giggles, she means...

Station 10: Easter Jump Rope. "Come, all you peoples. Come and jump for joy!"

If I did this at school, it's just enough rope to hang myself with. Even I don't dare do that!

Station 11: Carmen Miranda Celebriduck. "On this most holy day, we also welcome others into our fellowship--through the rite of baptism."

My favorite of all of these, the drag-queen duck. My friends and I jokingly call her "Magdalen."

Station 12: The Light of Kitsch. "It is time for us to be sent forth into the world..."

Giggle in peace to love and serve the Lord!

(And please, if you're ever on my COM, this is only for fun. We're poking at popular culture. Easter itself is sacred to all of us--which is why these things leave us shaking our heads.)


will smama said...

Shoot... it might be my browser, but I cannot see the pictures.

It sounds GREAT though.

LutheranChik said...


You've got to admit, Peeps ARE a great symbol for eternal life...I think they're impervious to even nuclear attack.

JJ said...

I like Station 5. Christ's resurrection gives us power over the cross. What better symbolic way to exercise that [power than eating the cross?

Sort of like the warriors who eat parts of their fiercest foes in order.

Right? Right?

That said, I've never seen a chocolate cross.