The Church of England as been rocked by news that the Ledzeppelin Commission has published a new experimental wording for Stairway to Heaven. The new rite came under scrutiny from the press last week when it was backed by Archbishop Justin Hawkins. Many clerics have been critical of Stairway as it doesn’t speak to the common man. The Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul McCartney requested the new wording saying that they now want to use the language of Rhianna rather than The Rolling Stones. “Bands like The Rolling Stones are so out of touch and unpopular in 2014, struggling to fill small pubs and clubs and connect with new audiences” says +Paul.
“You need a serious amount of drugs for the lyrics to make any sense in our urban context” said one cleric. “What does it even me ‘to be a rock and not to roll’ in the twenty first century? 90% of the people who are hearing it for the first time will have no idea what the Ledzeppelin Commission is going on about with this outdated nonsense”.
Traditionalists have been highly critical of the new wording as it removes all mention of Beelzebub and his minion hoards. “In the seventies you knew where you stood” insists Mrs Beamish, a staunch member of the ASB Society. “You stood on a Highway to Hell having Sympathy for the Devil. Now we’re being told that we’re Shining bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, bright like a diamond, like diamonds in the sky. Where is the poetic beauty that comes from centuries of tradition? Diamonds don’t even shine, they reflect light so it is totally meaningless. In my day we were left winding on down the road with shadows taller than our soul! How can this new baptism rite lead the people of England to the time when all are one and one is all? It is a disgrace and ++Justin should be ashamed of himself. This new fangled rite just leaves us longing for the day we went down to Georgia”.
The Church of England has today announced details of its much-anticipated High Speed 2 liturgy which will reduce the arrival time of Eucharist-goers at their Sunday dinner table by around 20 minutes.
Following the launch of the HS1 project last year (the leaner, pared down Eucharistic Prayers for Children), HS2 will further speed up all aspects of liturgy, thus enabling multi-benefice Incumbents to fit in at least one additional service each Sunday and worship groups to repeat choruses an additional 28% without ruining Sunday lunch.
Rural areas affected by the impact of the new liturgies have, however, expressed disquiet. “This HS2 development will blight some of the most beautiful countryside in England,” explained avid birdwatcher and wildlife campaigner, Bill Brooke-Garden, “there will be a constant buzz of clergy whizzing along country lanes in their barely-roadworthy old bangers.”
A spokesperson for the Church of England’s liturgical commission said, “Clearly we took these concerns of countryside campaigners and Tory MPs whose constituencies are affected into consideration but we decided to press ahead. This is a major infrastructure project in the world of liturgy which will mean that clergy productivity and user experience will be greatly improved by 2025. Future congregations can look forward to seeing clergy who truly will spend Sundays on their knees. Well, they will be by 8pm after nine services…”
Following the introduction of additional Eucharistic Prayers for Children in September, November will see the Liturgical Commission launch Eucharistic Prayers which target other demographic groups.
The most controversial is likely to be the Eucharistic Prayer for People Who Can’t Abide the Vicar of Dibley. “This is much needed,” said commission member Canon Brian E. Taylor, “for all those who really cannot focus on the Lord’s table whilst recalling the mis-spelling of St. Barnabus (“it’s BarnabAs – with an A” is a line from the new prayer), and their infuriation with a series which presented the Church of England as little more than a cosy bag of cute, clawless kittens.”
Chloe Finkly, aged 4, commented, “I think it’s great that grumpy grown-ups get their own prayers. Church isn’t just for us kids.” before continuing as she belted the pew in front with Peppa Pig, “Why don’t dogs come to church?”