Sunday’s Coming

A hysterical and painful parody of Evangelical worship services

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37 thoughts on “Sunday’s Coming

  1. Holy Cow!

    When I first saw the video I thought to myself, they are missing fog machines. Other than that it’s an exact replica of the evangelical church I attended on March 28, 2010. I went to their site to see if I could find any video recordings of their services to prove my point. Unfortunately they don’t have any video, just audio.

    What was weirder was that the audio only goes back to Easter, the week after I visited, and there were different speakers each week, none of whose names I recognized. I tried to find the name of the pastor who preached on March 28, because he was a pretty good speaker. I finally figured out he was no longer a pastor there, which was even weirder because this was his church plant and the church seemed to be really hitting its stride.

    Well, in case you are wondering this is what happened. So I feel pretty lucky. I saw a replica of the video AND I saw the final sermon of the former pastor AND I got fog machines as an added bonus.

    Also, why are the people in the video messing around with Starbucks, don’t they have their own barrista? The church I went to did. I was going to check out the coffee bar, but I just don’t care much for coffee. I was afraid that had I ordered a hot chocolate they would have immediately sent me to the resident anti-cult expert to set my mind right.

  2. Oh, man, I forgot one more tidbit. The pastor on March 28 promised that if the Easter attendance was 1000+ that the following week his wife would do a highland dance as part of the service and he would preach in a kilt.

    I bet the congregation DID drag enough of their friends to church to get the 1000+ mark, and then got shafted (pun intended) because they lost out on their rightfully earned Scottish entertainment.

  3. That video was so not accurate.

    There was no token pretty white girl singing back-up in the otherwise all-male worship team.

  4. Jack,

    The token pretty white girl can also play the keyboards, provided the white male keyboard player switches to a second guitar (preferably lead, leaving the white male singer to play only rhythm). But, she still has to sing backup too.

    Also, where is the drum enclosure?

  5. really hip churches don’t need a drum enclosure. Their people demand it be taken away.

  6. Hmm. Yes. I can see Gladys Knight and “Saints United Voices”, or equivalent, doing something along those lines.

    If Pres Hinckley gave the go head to Gladys, Pres Monson might give the go-ahead to something similar. Maybe.

    I don’t have the links, but I’ve seen something _remotely_ similar for LDS sanctioned youth conference, and privately sponsored youth/motivational speakers like John Bytheway.

    Not on Sundays tho.

  7. Tim, is the type of service that the video is parodying specifically either a _sunday_ worship service, or a _non-sunday_ worship service?

    In the evengelical milleau, is there a difference between Sunday worship services and non-Sunday services, as there is in Mormon-dom?

    I’ve seen LDS stake conferences that contained a sacrament service, and I’ve heard occasionally reminders that our Sunday stake conferences are supposed to be as solemn as a normal sacrament service.

    But LDS firesides (any day of the week) and Saturday sessions of stake conference specifically don’t have the same level of solemnity that our Sunday sacrament services do. The former have a lower level of formality. A little bit of levity is even allowed.

  8. That was a Sunday service being parodied. Reverence as the term is used in LDS circles isn’t that big of a deal in much of contemporary evangelicalism.

    Evangelical churches are far from uniform, though, in their worship styles (although I don’t know of any in my town with services as staid as ours, or even close). Locally, I do know of a few evangelical churches that have two services, one more formal or traditional than the other. But even the traditional service would seem “irreverent” to traditional Mormons who haven’t seen what the non-LDS world is like.

  9. David ~ The token pretty white girl can also play the keyboards

    Indeed. Can’t have her playing any phallic-shaped instruments like guitar.

    (This is why Skillet kicks ass, btw. They have a female guitarist AND a female drummer.)

    Eric ~ My theory is this: Mormons shoot for what they call “reverence.” Evangelicals shoot for what they call “celebration” and “joy.” Evangelicals will be offended if you say they’re irreverent, and Mormons will be offended if you say their services lack celebration and joy. But I think that’s what the different emphases come down to.

  10. Well Jack, if it’s cheesy celebration and joy you’re after, there’s always “tunnel singing” at BYU…

  11. You calling us cheesy, Seth?

    there’s always “tunnel singing” at BYU…

    Did you ever actually do that?

  12. Female keyboard, congas, plus egg AND cowbell… that’s right. SO rocked the house. Only got to sing once, though. You can’t be close to the note, only a half step off, oh no, they’re real skittish about that. ; )

    I posted the video on my Facebook; might be a looking for a new church this week…

  13. Lest anyone start to feel smug, this kind of treatment can easily be applied to anyone’s worship style.

  14. The movie The RM wasn’t all that memorable for me, but I do remember the theater audience getting pretty hysterical over the scene where they satirize Relief Society v. Priesthood meetings. Not sure if I’ve ever seen a good satire of Sacrament meetings.

    You know how the Relief Society meetings will often have those really nice, aesthetic table pieces?

    My entire church has stuff like that, all around—in the main hall where we conduct worship, in the foyers where we have couches and tables for social events, at the greeting table, and even in the bathrooms. The counter in the women’s bathroom has these really pretty arrangements with colored rocks and scented, unlit candles.

    When I was looking at the different ministries at the church, I noticed that there was a team called “Worship Aesthetics.” I was like, “What’s that?” Those are the people who make all of those really pretty table lay-outs and flower arrangements happen. I never would have guessed that this would actually be a sort of “calling” in the church. I’m not sure I’ve ever been part of a church so devoted to it.

    I gotta admit though, it does give the building a really cozy, welcoming feeling. Plus there’s free gum in the women’s bathroom, and who could ever say “no” to free gum?

  15. My wife lived in Helaman Halls, but the only campus housing I ever did was the foreign language housing.

    I was living with my parents when I got dragged along to tunnel sing.

  16. I lived in Deseret Towers for one semester and Heritage Halls for two years, not fully realizing that at BYU, it’s kind of ghetto to stay in on-campus housing past your freshman year and definitely ghetto past your sophomore year.

    My husband grudgingly admits that he did tunnel singing “once,” too.

    “Did pretty girls con you into it?”

    “Honey, it’s always about pretty girls.”

    Indeed.

  17. There’s a tunnel on campus south of the Marriott Center where people gather like every Tuesday night or something and sing hymns.

    It’s actually rather popular, and attracts groups of anywhere between one or two hundred people. Real cheesy kumbaya kind of atmosphere.

    And yes, there was a pretty girl involved.

  18. I gotta admit though, it does give the building a really cozy, welcoming feeling. Plus there’s free gum in the women’s bathroom, and who could ever say “no” to free gum?

    Definitely not my kids.

  19. By the way, what do you think of the Rating thumbs? Tell me using the like or dislike.

    In theory it is awesome, but in practice it just clutters up the display. I will continue to let people know what I think if their comments in my own special way: obscenity.

  20. This is supposed to be a joke right? Because the worship service at my local church has no resemblance to the one on the video. Just my .02,

  21. Dear gloria, for the bajillionth time, there is a lot of diversity among protestants who describe themselves as “evangelical.” Don’t assume that your “evangelical” church is the norm for American evangelical churches just because it describes itself as “evangelical.”

    We have been over this. More than once.

  22. Why are you so upset, Kullervo?
    I made a simple comment and you jump down my throat.
    Maybe you are having a bad hair day. Who knows.

  23. I have attended just a handful of evangelical services in my rather brief lifetime. Most were not like the one portrayed in this video. However, this video could have been made about the High Desert Church in Victorville, California. Watching it made me feel like I was there again.

  24. The last thing people need when they go to church is to have themselves handed back to them.

    The culture is enemy #1 of the church, it’s not a friend to the church.

  25. I assume his tattoo is part of the satire. Most people get tattoos with yhwh on it, YAhweh or Jehovah. His is close, but it says wyhy, which is “and then it so happened” or “it came to pass.”

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