October 1, 2007

Flag on the Pray

If we could call penalties in church like on the football field:

Delay of kickoff - When someone waylays the pastor before Divine Service, causing a late start.
Illegal substitution - When the organist plays the wrong hymn; also, when an unauthorized person preaches in place of the pastor.
Excessive time out(s) - When the presiding minister feels the need to stop the service to announce liturgical acts and page numbers.
Roughing the pastor - Mistreating a clergyman faithfully carrying out his preaching office.
Player out of bounds at snap - Outside the nave when Divine Service begins.
Too many men in the huddle - Meetings with more than four or five people; voters assemblies.
Encroachment - Laymen in the chancel (except to receive communion)
Offside - Clergymen in the nave (except during a processional)
Offside--unabated to the quarterback - Dashing to talk to the pastor after a meeting or class without regard to his upcoming obligations (e.g., service starting in ten minutes).
Neutral zone infraction - Toddlers crawling under the communion rail; playing with the individual cups.
Illegal use of hands - Using the "Superman" posture (both arms raised) for the Aaronic Benediction
Holding - Extending a meeting without good cause.
Delay of game - Hymn introductions or offertories that last longer than necessary.
False start - Unclear hymn introductions resulting in the organist beginning the hymn before the congregation realizes it is supposed to sing.
Illegal formation - Sitting in the back pews.
Illegal motion - Leaving the nave during Divine Service.
Invalid fair catch signal - Not clearly indicating mode of reception of the host during Holy Communion.
Ineligible receiver downfield - Coming to Holy Communion without notifying host pastor.
Illegal forward pass - Sermon containing irrelevant illustrations, emotional stories, or departing from historic lectionary.
Chop block - Gossip and slander among Christians.
Helping the runner - Enabling children to misbehave.
Fair catch interference - Children squirming while parents receiving Communion.
Illegal hands to the face - Children grasping at parent's mouth during Communion.
Deliberately kicking a loose ball - Raising a new, thorny topic when a meeting is almost over.
Failure to report change of eligibility - Joining other church without notifying the pastor.
Excessive crowd noise - blowing nose loudly during Divine Service; talking; giving children rattles and other noisemakers.
Illegal equipment - cell phones in church; excessively large stoles and pectoral crosses; colored clergy shirts; use of the color blue during Advent.


Eric Phillips said...

Funny stuff. I don't even know what some of those calls mean in their gridiron context.

Rev. Christopher S. Esget said...

Thanks; Kassie and I had fun working on it.

VirginiaLutherans said...

Haha... very funny. I definitely try to avoid the neutral zone infractions! Very creative...

Rev. Christopher S. Esget said...

I definitely try to avoid the neutral zone infractions!

And I appreciate it!