This post comes about from a conversation among the clergy here about just how long and how boring a sermon one could preach at the Christ Mass before a riot broke out…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

Mabel was stirring and shouting “Oscar you lout!”

For Mabel intended midnight mass to attend

and no lazy husband her plans would upend.

So into the Crown Vic they did clamber,

surprised by each light, bemoaning the clamor.

Mabel knew that this night could not get much worse

for there was no parking unless driving a hearse.

Yet park they did and the hike they made

trundling up stairs, through red doors, and into the nave.

Yet worse got this night for Mabel did read that tonight she would hear

Neither Healy nor Wilan but MacMillan, O Dear!

Suddenly her nose did pucker and tingle

for the smell of popery with pine did mingle

Wide swung the doors and poor Mabel near cried

for from the deep of the church incense she spied

She commenced to cough, and to wheeze and to mumble,

“From bad to worse does this old church a-tumble”

With organ alive and banners held high the procession commenced

and dazzled many an eye

Yet Mabel, unmoved, narrowed her gaze

for this night would get worse, just let her count the ways

The subdeacon chanted, the choir sang

the procession formed, making its way

Of course next to Mabel did the deacon plop

He commenced to chanting and swinging, and just wouldn’t stop

Then Father took to the pulpit and starting all mild

bid the people to ponder the mysteries of a child

On and on Father seemed to go,

When would this end Mabel wanted to know

Yet Father had fixed in his mind that what the people did need

was to know the meaning of Christmas, of the Incarnation, and the Creed

So on and on did Father soar

filioque, and Arians, and Gnostics, and more

A five and twenty minutes did Mabel grumble

At thirty, she thought she might surely crumble

At last at forty she could take no more,

A hymnal took flight, through the air it did soar

It struck poor Father square in the nose

And gobsmacked he paused, he simply quite froze

Yet Mabel was not done,

not yet and not quite

For she knew that she must,

simply must save this night

A riot she led, down came the greens

out went the banners, for that temple she’d clean

Amid the din and the clamor did Father escape

yet not without losing his lovely long cape

Afraid for his life, into the night he ran

wondering how this all went so very off plan

Yet Mabel, good Mabel went home on that night

knowing that she’d saved Christmas and sent popery to flight.

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