is a piece of anonymous humor that predates the Internet, rolling in reams off church photocopiers–nay, mimeographs!–since at least the 1960's.

I once succumbed to a Friday afternoon temptation to rework this hoary item.

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A new priest at his first Gnostic Mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After Mass he asked his bishop how he had done. The bishop replied, “When I am worried about getting nervous on the dais, I put a little vodka in the tomb. If I start to get nervous beforehand, I take a sip.”

So next Sunday he took the bishop's advice. During the Creed, he got nervous and took a drink. He performed the Mass with great vigor.

Upon his return home after mass, he found the following message in his e-mail:

  1. Have a sip of vodka, don't chug the bottle.
  2. The Three Regular Steps should be in a straight line.
  3. You are to administer the virtues “unto” the brethren, not “under” them.
  4. We invoke by “seed and root and stem and bud and leaf and flower and fruit.” The addition of “thorn and burr” is unnecessary.
  5. Hadit is “the secret flame that burns in every heart,” not “the secret flaming heartburn.”
  6. If you must drool copiously on the priestess' knees, take a moment to clean up after yourself at the end of the Collects.
  7. When displaying the host to the congregation, please refrain from exclaiming, “Check it out!”
  8. The anthem concludes with “sap of the world ash, wonder-tree,” not “shape of a world ash, wonder-twin!”
  9. The proper formula for declaring communion is *not* “God's got nothing on me, baby!”
  10. Playing mumbledy-peg with the sacred Lance during popular communion is inappropriate.
  11. The second clause of the closing benediction is *not* “May the Lord turn you on, tune you in, and drop you out.”

Offerimus tibi donum corpus dei.

Researches and Recreations
The Exposed Adytum

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