SAY THE BLACK AND DO THE RED: What We Really Want in the Liturgy

From my friend (and one of my favorite authors) Fr. Dwight Longenecker:  a poem from his slim little book, “A Sudden Certainty:  Priest Poems.”

*     *     *     *     *


No, no, Father, please don’t toss the mike

like a DJ when you preach.  Please don’t be cool.

Please don’t ride a Harley motorbike

when you come to school.

Don’t wear red cowboy boots for Pentecost,

and tell dumb jokes to be our pal.  Please don’t high five;

say, “Sweet!” “Awesome!” “You suck!” or “You’re toast!”

Don’t teach us how to jive.

Don’t sing along to the latest pop band;

you don’t need to be hip and up to date,

or come to our parties with a drink in your hand,

trying to relate.

Play it straight.  Say the black and do the red.

Refrain from politics and rainbow pins.

Pray for all of us, the living and the dead,

and listen to our sins.

We want you to keep the faith, you see,

but keep it as it always was.  We want it old.

We want it to be waiting there when we

come in from the cold.

We want you to be our Father, not our mate.

We want a solid rock; so if we roam,

we know you’re there, waiting at the gate,

to welcome us home.

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