Don't fill the meetinghouse with domestic bric-a-brac

Table of Content

I got so many nice comments from my post about not holding worship in the round, that I thought I'd press my luck by talking about how we decorate our worship space.

A few months ago I attended a worship service -- not in a Unitarian Universalist church, if it matters -- where the candles and flowers and paraphernalia of worship was made up of flower delivery cast-off vases, a hodgepodge of tea lights plus tatty papers and other assorted junk.

This wasn't a poor congregation. They have full time staff, an old but large and attractive building and a prominent place in the community. And I remember thinking in the moment that this worship service was dragged down by the ticky-tacky.

Not that the congregation needed elaborate or expensive ornaments. But it should be fitting. And in a large building, large equipment is necessary. If the vases are donated, let them be large ones and few. A little taper on a candlestick is far more attractive than a mass of matches, barbecue lighters, or messy little tea lights. The readings that service leaders bring should be put into attractive if inexpensive folders, and not be seen as floppy bits of printed paper.

Less is more. And cleanliness is next to godliness.

And while you're at it, revisit this video -- a few years old and taggeted to an Evangelical audience, but still apt -- about how your church may be perceived.

4 Replies to “Don't fill the meetinghouse with domestic bric-a-brac”

  1. Fun vid. However, they forgot the part where the visitors get the hairy eyeball for sitting in the “wrong seat.” Also, for what it’s worth–no manila folders in this preacher’s hands; a nice leather folio that holds all manuscripts and has pockets for order of service, etc. Plus, a nice little picture of my beloved and me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.