Just for something a bit different, I decided to attend a service at St Michael's Church, Aberystwyth instead of my usual attendance at Holy Trinity Church. That and I'd gotten invited by a friend in my History class (whose name I always forget) who also invited me to lunch after the service. (I turned down lunch.) Now both churches are Anglican or Church of Wales members, but Holy Trinity is the smaller of the two. From a distance though, St Michael's always looked massive. The first time I walk alongside it (today) I find it's actually smaller than All Saints, Carshalton (now that is a big church).
When I went to Holy Trinity for the first time, I felt warmly welcomed and comfortable. The atmosphere there is rather laid back yet jolly. What struck me as soon as I stepped foot in St Michael's was the sheer amount of people (there were very few empty seats when we sat down-how unusual for a Church) and everyone seemed so happy just to have gone there. In fact there was such a buzz I was wondering if people were getting ready to jump to the ceiling. I also noticed that the interior is very wide. Since not everyone could possibly see the...front bit (you know...where the altar is) there's a camera pointed at it and the recording is projected onto a pull-down screen at the front as well as broadcast on the 10 TV sets. That's right, 10 TV sets-though not the very latest models but definitely state-of-the-art and in good condition. I can only wonder how they raised the money for that (probably used the collection money from a month considering how many people turn up). Oh yeah, they ditched the hymn book and have the lyrics projected/broadcast.
When I was younger I always thought that my ideal service would be a very modern sorta service with a band and no dreary music, just simple songs we all enjoy just like in Primary School. Funny how when I finally get my wish I have already grown up and my tastes have changed. I didn't know any of the songs (I'll get to the exceptions later) but they were easy to pick up (I really wasn't trying). They were the kinds of songs I didn't like: hymns written by people who want to modernise the Church (make it 'hip') by doing mainstream-sounding songs with the most mundane lyrics and mundane tunes that bore you out of your skull. And if the lyrics happen to be good then the tune lets them down. The reason I prefer older hymns in general is because the lyrics and music were inspired and are inspiring in turn-they make you want to sing them. So simplistic were they the congregation might as well have sung the theme for Iron Man.
(Sing along everybody! "I! Am! I-on Man!")
But I could hear Nathan laughing like a maniac as soon as they announced the hymn: 'God is so very big'. (During the holidays Nathan almost regularly recounted the sketch in 'Monty Python: And now for something completely different' where you see that priest in a church make a prayer. "Oh God, you are...so big, so...large, so...very huge" etc) I do mean in my head btw, Nathan's in Manchester so why would he be here? Now I did know the hymn Amazing Grace but the tune they did was a dumbed-down version; made it terrible to sing. I hated the fact that the singers at the front sang it so happily as if it was so joyous and a number of the people in the congregation held up a hand as if wholly inspired. The last hymn was traditional and one I knew very well so...no complaints there. What I also didn't like was the way that every prayer was said in that stupid happy voice the vicar put on, as if all the problems in the world could be solved if a bunch of Christians went to a troubled area just to spread the love... God knows I wanted to smack him. And I really was not bothered to take part in an exercise to remember some biblical verses. I did like the lack of sermon, instead there was a demonstration showing why someone should spread virtue instead of hogging it-by dressing a small girl in a large man's clothes-very comical.
A request for more servers hinted that this service wasn't typical. Making sure of that with the various people I knew, turns out the service I described only happens once a month. Usually they have a Holy Communion inclusive of servers, liturgy and sermon. The hymns are a mixture of being led by a choir and organ (traditional) and a band (modern). Knowing this, I think I'd remain at Holy Trinity, since my tastes are now firmly embedded in the traditional. That doesn't mean I won't sing any modern hymns at all, just...find me a good one.
You might've noticed a new link on the homepage? Indeed, I'm writing a new story. For at least a year I mentally tinkered with the idea to just write a story for fun directly onto this website. Fanfiction ideas kept surfacing but I'm not really the type to write any. But recently I got wonderful inspiration to write a lovely little satire...or an attempt at one at any rate. Seeing the title, you might immediately assume it's a Stepford Wives parody. In actual fact I'm satirising the way that fangirls go to extreme lengths to make something...well, impossible both probable and believable. Male pregnancy usually, but that follows making an incompatible couple love each other. Having already written the first 1.7 chapters, it seems having not written a story in so long I've forgotten how long it actually takes to write a description. I keep getting angry when I have to describe something/someone because I sometimes feel I'd rather write a script. But that's not fun, considering I'd rather write a detailed story and let the readers guess who the various featured couples are. The couples I'll be featuring are a mixture of established fictional couples and popular fangirl-shounenai couples (although one couple is from a fictional piece so obscure I'm wondering if anyone would recognise them).