We have been fans for a long time of the Twitter account Very British Problems which charts the everyday embarrassment of being a socially awkward Brit. Delightfully, a book is now published with the full collection of situations – read more about it in this article.
Inspired by this, I have begun thinking of some specifically Church of England-related awkwardness. Here are a few starters which I shall tweet over a few days. Please start sending in your own either by Twitter, Facebook or by commenting below.
Not being sure if you can leave after Evensong whilst the organ voluntary is still playing. #awkwardanglican
Being unexpectedly hugged by someone during the peace.
Putting a twenty pound note into the collection plate and wondering how you can hide it so as not to look ostentatious.
Hastily switching from trespasses to sins in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Knocking someone’s teeth with the chalice whilst administering communion.
Asking for coffee but when the old lady makes you a tea thanking them profusely and drinking it, even though you hate tea.
Eating the free Smarties but then forgetting to collect money in the tube for the Children’s Society during lent.
Trying to interpret a child’s picture from Sunday School in front of a full congregation.
Kneeling and then realising you’re standing on your cassock as you try to stand up gracefully.
Keeping a straight face when the elderly, deaf lady next to you is singing loudly.
Turning up in habit/clerical gear when everyone else is in mufti.
Realising during the collect that you’re reading the lesson and the book is still in the Sacristy, and having to go and get it.
Not being sure where to go during the procession – and you’re thurifer.
The thurifer accidentally hitting the priest on the head when censing him/her.
The thurible tangling itself in its chains mid-swing and spilling its contents on the carpet.
Being asked “And what did you think of the Rector’s bombshell during the sermon?”, … and you had drifted off to sleep in the first few minutes.
Turning the page and realising the reading you’ve just been given isn’t the one you’d practiced.
doing the homily based on specific readings and the readers reads the wrong ones. Seriously this happened to me this past summer when I was filling in. The early service read the wrong Hebrew Scripture and the Later service read the wrong Gospel Reading
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Being a smart-aleck tenor and singing the descant on line 3 on Wareham and then discovering after you’d sung it, that the descant was for line 2.