March 23, 2017

March 9, 2011

Not Even Sure What This Is, But It’s Freaking Me Out [UPDATE: Audio Added]

So the Rump Diocese of Pittsburgh sends out its email newsletter, and at the bottom is this photo of people singing, including our old pal Joan Gundersen (far left, of course):

Do you ever look at photos like that and wonder what they’re singing? I know I do.

Oh look - up on the projection screen behind them! It’s the lyrics!

Oh and as it happens, they’ve been considerate enough to publish them, and I have to say… I’m speechless.

I read music, so I know what the notes say, but I’m… I’m speechless.

I can see it’s in the key of F, and the time signature is 2/4, but other than that… I’m speechless.

I mean…

“A year ago the court confirmed us proprietors of forty-five /proper-/ties.*
These include a camp, a playground, a retreat house, churches, rectories, cemeteries and management of a /twenty-two /million /endowment.”

Anyone who would like to suggest additional verses, PLEASE FEEL FREE.

Anyone who wants to actually perform it on tape, put it on YouTube and send me a link, will get their own suite here in the underground volcano lair, complete with a fully-stocked bar that’s hidden behind the bookcase and reveals itself whenever you tilt back a well-worn copy of the 1662 prayer book.

UPDATE: Courtesy our pals at the IRD, here’s a clip of the actual audio:

Share this story:

Recent Related Posts



The sopranos aren’t going to be happy with some of those low notes.

Did they left somebody out when they sing in the last line,

“We once again have Cursillo and a Youth Initiative, prayer groups and Progressives…”?

Nope, those mean non-progressives aren’t part of that choir.

[1] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-9-2011 at 01:55 PM · [top]

Stunned. I am simply stunned they did not mention MGDs. How was that over looked?

[2] Posted by Festivus on 3-9-2011 at 02:42 PM · [top]

The newsletter said this was forced upon the attendees at the Episcopal Urban Caucus annual shindig. Those poor people. I suppose they were just grateful they didn’t have to endure Catherine Roskam and her Hip Hop Eucharist antics.

[3] Posted by polycarp on 3-9-2011 at 03:15 PM · [top]

The music is an old Anglican chant tune by Samuel Wesley—in the 1940 Hymnal, it could be used to sing either the “Benedicite” or the “Magnificat” for Morning Prayer.
Putting this text to that music turns the whole purpose of the canticles inside out. The Benedicite (“O all ye works of the Lord, praise ye the Lord!”) is a song of praise invoking all the Lord’s creation to join in praising him, and the Magnificat, of course, is what Mary sang on learning that she had been chosen to bear Jesus.

This self-congratulatory parody , as Greg says, simply leaves one speechless.

[4] Posted by AlfredNorth on 3-9-2011 at 03:30 PM · [top]

You just gotta smile over the tawdriness of such a bizarre “hymn.”

It’d be like my composing a hymn of praise to myself.

And they can do this and not have any apparent self-awareness of just how incredibly narcissistic and revealing it all is.

I mean, really—I could show this to any moderate Episcopalian I know and he or she would curl the lip in disgust.

Simply.  Incredible.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 3-9-2011 at 03:33 PM · [top]

It is an accepted marketing practice to try out ad campaigns in house before inflicting them onto the unsuspecting and innocent public.  However no matter how catchy the ad is. No matter how much we hum along with the theme.  No matter how much we recognize the brand
If the product sucks the product sucks.  No amount of flashy, whistle it out loud, feel good jingle will change that. It just leads to consumer complaints and an expose on the local news.

[6] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 3-9-2011 at 04:09 PM · [top]

Sarah hits it dead on.  It is stunning how liberal Episcopalians are so completely unaware of themselves and what they are projecting.  They sort of remind me of Charlie Sheen over the last week - seriously, they do.  I mean this is just a very bad combination of narcissism, triumphalism, navel-gazing and outright absurdity.  Why would any non-Episcopalian ever want to associate with such a weird, loopy group of people?

[7] Posted by jamesw on 3-9-2011 at 04:11 PM · [top]

a chapel with bishops on the wall

Okkkkaaaaayyyyy.  One wonders exactly how these bishops have been placed on the wall.
Is it a photographic array?  Have they been hung by their vestments having been put away like the Christmas linen?  Were they lined up like miscreants?  If so, which meaning is being applied?  Surely to be included in a song, it must be a sight to see!  Really, inquiring minds want to know.

[8] Posted by Jackie on 3-9-2011 at 04:21 PM · [top]

Here is a photograph as they begin work on the next verse.  Or was that a revision of their creed…

Yes, indeed, their views reflect the ‘range’ of the church: all the way from lefty-prog, on one hand, to the ultra-left radical on the other.


[9] Posted by tired on 3-9-2011 at 04:35 PM · [top]

I found the mention of “non-participating congregations” to be interesting. What a way to be referred to.

[10] Posted by Jeff Walton on 3-9-2011 at 04:38 PM · [top]

Wonder if that’s the first time the word “HIV” has been pointed? 

The counterpoint has JS Bach kicking a dog somewhere in heaven.

[11] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 3-9-2011 at 04:50 PM · [top]

It is all about things, number of people in the pews and not about our Saviour.
I guess they are having a difficult time moving on.

[12] Posted by martin5 on 3-9-2011 at 05:08 PM · [top]

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Revisionists doing Revisionist Things.

[13] Posted by Ralph on 3-9-2011 at 05:26 PM · [top]

tacky, tacky, tacky
I thought that was the first Episcopal commandment - Thou shalt not be tacky.

[14] Posted by GillianC on 3-9-2011 at 05:45 PM · [top]

Oh, we are the diocese of Pittsburgh. 

Our bishop has a morbid health condition and his disenguinity drives people away, even when he’s being nice. 

Our liberals are in the majority right now, because our real bishop left TEC

Oh, we are the Diocese of Pitts-its-bur-ergh.  We are that diocese and we like it that way. 

We’re a part of the Rustbelt and contain the Ohio, Missagua, and some other river whose name I can’t pronounce or spell.  If you are a steel worker or a materials scientist, you’re pretty much out of luck in these parts. 

Oh, and we have a seminary too, even though it’s independant but we like to call it ours. 

Oh, we are the Diocese of Pitt-its-ber-ergh.  We are that diocese. 

Our bishop couldn’t mitered by normal means, so he became Katie’s hatchet man.  Now we’re as confused as when Obama was given a Nobel Peace Prize…

[15] Posted by J Eppinga on 3-9-2011 at 06:10 PM · [top]

I got a chuckle out of the first link, which led me to this:

A difficult question: Can we bring God and children together in the classroom?

The short answer: YES!

Glad they just discovered that concept. Of course the Bible portrays that more than 2000 years ago in Mark 10.

[16] Posted by Festivus on 3-9-2011 at 07:08 PM · [top]

Thanks but no thanks! I will take the singing at our (South Carolina) diocesan convention ANY DAY! WOW! There is no question that the Holy Spirit was moving in that place (St. Helena’s Beaufort) that Friday evening!  This bit of awful “hymnody” seems more like the fruit of the other party ie Satan.

[17] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 3-9-2011 at 09:04 PM · [top]

I entirely agree with #4 and #13.  Canon Winifred Douglas, the editor of the Hymnal 1940, is rolling in his grave.

[18] Posted by Blue Cat Man on 3-9-2011 at 09:13 PM · [top]

Just further evidence that there’s no place for me there.

[19] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 3-9-2011 at 10:36 PM · [top]

Did you catch Mrs. Schori’s message for Lent in the sidebar of the email newsletter?  That would be worth a posting in and of itself.

[20] Posted by gkissel on 3-9-2011 at 11:04 PM · [top]

Wish I hadn’t. If she would just stay in one place, not speak, that would pretty much take care of the seas rising.

[21] Posted by martin5 on 3-9-2011 at 11:22 PM · [top]

So I was thinking.  We deserve our own Commenter’s Canticle.  In the spirit of the thread of course.

We are the Commenters of Stand Firm
Who is there like unto all of us?

We praise our vast erudition
We give new meaning to wisdom

Knowledge and Truth are our watchwords
Wisdom sits down and she learns from us.

We never take threads off topic
Whatever we write is on topic.

We come from many traditions
One day we all will be Calvinists

Other blogs have other commenters
They look at Stand Firm with envy

We are the Commenters of Stand Firm
Who is there like unto all of us?


[22] Posted by carl on 3-9-2011 at 11:26 PM · [top]

Me, a Calvinist?  Hah!  You are jesting, aren’t you?

[23] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-10-2011 at 09:25 AM · [top]

What is it? 

It’s a ‘Commemoration Song’ tracing the (contrived, very slanted) history of their faux ‘Diocese.’ 

By this chanted recitation, they are trying to add what is lacking in dignity and legitimacy to a ‘rump’ diocese that was invented whole cloth - illegally and non-canonically.

This chant song sounds like what it is commemorating - a farce - a genre that would be more appropriate for an occasion of levity, such as a roast - but that’s exactly what you do with rumps - you roast them!

[24] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-10-2011 at 10:31 AM · [top]

What is it?  The campy cynicism of the narrow TEC demographic portrayed in the photo.

[25] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-10-2011 at 10:39 AM · [top]

Hymns are sung as worship to the Divine.

Why are we surprised that there are two themes repeated throughout this diatribe: property and “us”?


[26] Posted by FrJim on 3-10-2011 at 10:54 AM · [top]

Just added a clip of the chant. Lord have mercy.

[27] Posted by Greg Griffith on 3-10-2011 at 12:19 PM · [top]

“the range of the church” indeed

[28] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-10-2011 at 12:22 PM · [top]

Greg,  Thank you for taking care of my Lenten penance in just one easy step.

[29] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 3-10-2011 at 12:24 PM · [top]

Oh. My.

I’m listening to the audio.


This just *perfectly* encapsulates—in living audio—why TEC is where it is—plummeting to the earth like a shot bird.

It’s hard for me to really articulate all of the many angles and perspectives from which one may listen to this audio and still come up with the same conclusion . . .

. . .

[gasp, draw breath]
[thump, clatter clatter clatter]

[30] Posted by Sarah on 3-10-2011 at 12:25 PM · [top]

You are right to heap mockery upon this spectacle, Sarah.

[31] Posted by Greg Griffith on 3-10-2011 at 12:27 PM · [top]

Did I hear laughter? smile

[32] Posted by martin5 on 3-10-2011 at 12:31 PM · [top]

Aarrggghh…I’m melting, turn it off, please!

[33] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-10-2011 at 12:35 PM · [top]

My ears, my ears.  Now what will I do for ears? 
Heavens to Betsey.

[34] Posted by Jackie on 3-10-2011 at 01:05 PM · [top]

I think I’ve heard that sort of sound before:

“Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are electronically generated noises that resemble speech[ or song], but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings.”


[35] Posted by tired on 3-10-2011 at 01:28 PM · [top]

Oh, dear. Oh, dear oh dear. Poor Anglican chant—to have gone from this to the above in just a few centuries. (You will need to explore several other pages at the link—such as this, too in order to erase the awful impression of the genre given by listening to even a portion of Greg’s clip.)

[36] Posted by AlfredNorth on 3-10-2011 at 02:38 PM · [top]

I am waiting to hear back from the lawyer to see if this can be considered felonious posting.  raspberry
I mean there wasn’t even a hazardous sound warning.

[37] Posted by Jackie on 3-10-2011 at 03:56 PM · [top]

Perhaps the musicians of the diocese went to ACNA. This is an exceptionally inept attempt at performing Anglican chant.

[38] Posted by Ralph on 3-10-2011 at 05:48 PM · [top]

Oh my.  Thats just…..awful. That picture should be made into a poster.  Your TEC.  Living up to every caricature.  They are left with the grey haired people that wanted to be cool in 1968, but weren’t, and the just downright goofy 40 year olds.

This attempt at humor is so beyond lame.

However, to their credit, they took control of TEC. Of course, with “lameness, which passeth all understanding” like this, they shall surely auger the church in, in due time.

[39] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 3-10-2011 at 05:52 PM · [top]

We chant the Morning Prayer canticles (1928) monthly, on third Sundays.  That audio is awful.  Methinks these folks, besides having a lousy script, haven’t actually done any Anglican chanting in a long, long time.

[40] Posted by Katherine on 3-10-2011 at 08:52 PM · [top]

‘Onward, Christian Whiners’

[41] Posted by cliffg on 3-10-2011 at 09:32 PM · [top]

“No mommy, NOOO!  Don’t make me click the button….NOO!!  I’ll clean my room!  I’ll make the bed….I’ll build that addition….Just PLEASE don’t make me listen to them!....NOOOOO!!!!”


[42] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 3-11-2011 at 07:12 PM · [top]

Oh, to be deaf and perhaps them to be dumb (that is, unable to speak).

[43] Posted by Blue Cat Man on 3-13-2011 at 07:44 PM · [top]

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.

Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more explanation, and the posts here, here, and here for advice on becoming a valued commenter as opposed to an ex-commenter. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments which you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm site administrators or Gri5th Media, LLC.