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VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 2   |   Release date: October 15th, 2007

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Raised Hands in Church Make Better Doors than Windows

Your Guide to Becoming a More Considerate Worshiper

by John Q. Parishioner

Picture it for a moment. Your Sunday morning “Worship through Music” has almost reached its apex when the worship leader decides to touch that third rail by going for the rarely attempted bridge in “Shout to the Lord.” Danger! Unknown lyrics ahead. The time has come to primly pry open your serenely shut eyes. Ok, here comes the unfamiliar territory:

“Let the Earth sing. I declare your great…”

Wait. What is this? Suddenly the words on the Power Point slide are written in an ancient Chinese script. That’s when you realize that you’re not looking at the Power Point at all, but rather at the meaty paw of one of the church’s college kids, whose serial tardiness has once again placed him in the front row and directly in front of you, hands waving around like a Pentecostal on PCP. Those Chinese characters you saw were, in reality, a part of his oh-so-trendy tattoo, the words of which probably don’t even translate to the next line of the song.

You slump back into your stackable chair and mope until you remember that you have a handy book that not only contains all of the words to all of the songs you sing in church, but all of the sheet music as well. Then your hopes are dashed once again when you remember that it’s the 21st century.

We’ve all found ourselves in this situation at one time or another, and it’s about time someone had the guts to speak out. In these heady days of Power Point worship, raised hands are nothing but a nuisance. Now, we are aware that some of you will no doubt be offended by this sentiment – those of you who are so holy and affected by random moments of musical worship that you just can’t help but jab your hairy knuckles right into our unsuspecting grills. Relax. We’re not calling for an all-out ban on raising your hands during worship. Instead, we’re just asking for a little common courtesy. Please follow these few helpful guidelines:

  1. Only shoot up your mitts when the words are familiar. This really shouldn’t be a tough one. Most churches only have about a dozen songs in the rotation anyway. Everyone mostly knows the words, except for the visitors, and it’s not like they’re actually going to sing anyway.

  2. Sit near the back. Of course, this one will take a little planning ahead. Not only will you have to think about the fact that you’re probably going to be moved by worship, you’ll actually have to get to church in time to secure a spot in the coveted back row.

  3. Don’t skimp on the deodorant. The only thing worse than staring at the back of someone’s hand when you’re trying to remember the words to the new Chris Tomlin tune is getting a nice big whiff of a moist pit while you’re at it.

  4. Cut down on the waving. Now, we know you’re getting into it and everything. After all, that’s why you’re raising your hands in the first place. But this is just distracting, and you’re making all of us a little dizzy.

We know church rules can be a drag, but these are really for the benefit of everyone. So, if you can all come together and become a more responsible group of hand raisers, maybe we can avoid putting you in your own separate section like we were forced to do with the breast feeders.End of story

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