Someone recently asked my husband if he'd shorten the Sunday service. He came home and told me. I've waited a respectable length of time before writing about this. Maybe an entire week.
Shorten Sunday Eucharist? How much shorter could it get? Clearly these people know nothing about their Jewish roots.
Being raised Jewish, I entered my Christian Era at a level of comfy discomfort with lengthy worship services.
When I was growing up, a typical synagogue service involved at least 90 minutes of blessings, prayers, Torah readings, and D'var Torah/Drasha (trans: homily). Add another 30-to-60 minutes for the Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew: "Joy of Sabbath." Practical reality: refreshments).
Being raised in the Reform movement, I knew our services were brief moments in secular time compared to ones Conservative and Orthodox Jews conducted. Theirs went on for hours, although it's also true their services also seemed to involve a lot of traffic and schmoozing. No silent sitting in pews.
And so it came as a shock to discover Christian worship took less than an hour to complete from opening hymn to closing benediction.
I'm referring, of course, to a typical Sunday morning when there are no baptisms, renewal of nuptial vows, or sending youth off to build houses in developing countries. Regular services seem to be done in an analytic hour (i.e., 50 minutes).
In all fairness, that recent request to shorten the service came about because there would indeed be a sending forth ceremony. Could he, perhaps, shorten his sermon?
Oh, he could do that and more. He could also eliminate the second reading; cut out some hymn verses. My suggestion:
"Save time? How about sing every other word?"Meanwhile, shimmering in the thought bubble: