Sunday, July 29, 2012

A cleric's creativity

It's a little embarrassing not having the hymn book and not knowing the hymn in a church service. You are forced to adopt one of two approaches: play deaf and dumb or use Mr. Bean's approach of moving your mouth soundlessly and finding your voice when you get to the familiar chorus part. 
Some churches have responded to this small challenge by providing hymn books or booklets containing songs to be used in a programme that will involve visitors. The challenge remains getting the visitors to drop the said hymn books/booklets after the service for the benefit of other visitors in future. Churches usually inscribe 'Not to be Taken Away' boldly on such materials.
At a wake-keeping I attended in Ilesa on Friday, the church adopted the modern approach of distributing booklets containing relevant songs to non-members. To ensure recovery, 'Not to be Taken Away' was boldly written on the booklets. 
But the reverend introduced a creative touch to ensure 100 percent recovery rate. The man of God announced that the songs contained in the booklets were not used for happy events such as naming ceremonies, weddings, or house-warming. He told his audience the songs were all used for wake-keeping ceremonies and funerals, and as such should not stay overnight in the house of anyone. The only suitable place for such booklets to stay overnight was the House of God, from where they would surface in the home of the next person to meet the Lord. It was a nice spectacle seeing people rushing over each other to give back the booklets to ushers. Naija may be tough, but nobody wants to die! 

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