Leave it to the Episcopal Church to seek cultural relevance by crafting a eucharistic service based on the sing-song phrasing of a children's author of the "baby boom" generation.
On October 22, Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh unveiled "Seusscharist"—a service of Holy Communion "based on the works of Theodor Seuss Geisel [a.k.a. "Dr. Seuss"]." A few excerpts:
"Clean the thinks of our thumpers / And we shall be happy jump-jumpers."
"God, we have wronged you / And we need to say boo-hoo / For the things we did and didn’t do."
"Make holy this food / To put us in the mood."
In addition, the first reading of the service was taken from the lesser-known New Testament missive Yertle the Turtle.
Now, I'm as big a fan of Dr. Seuss as anyone. I owned several of the good doctor's books as a child, and I greatly look forward to reading Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham to my kids once they are a little older. I will definitely make it a point to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the coming weeks. (Boris Karloff's narration and Chuck Jones' animation are magnificent.) And yet, the idea of recasting the Divine Service in such a way as to invoke a warm sentimentality among 30- and 40-somethings seems misguided at best, and sacreligious at worst.
Such attempts are nothing new to The Episcopal Church, which has also introduced such concepts as the U2charist (based on the music of Bono, Edge, et. al.) or the Pirate Eucharist. (Dave Barry denies having anything to do with it, but notes that it would be a good name for a rock band.) Yet, for all their efforts, The Episcopal Church continues to hemorrhage members at an unprecedented rate.
As the Grinch himself might say, "Maybe church doesn't grow reminiscing of yore. Maybe worship, perhaps, means a little bit more."