More than 25 parishioners recently gathered with the rector to share their thoughts regarding the parish’s first-ever Clown Eucharist, which was held on Trinity Sunday.
The purpose of the follow-up session was to seek feedback – either positive or negative – and address questions from the congregation, explained Dr. Cooper. He began by noting that the basic order of service for Eucharistic worship remains the same whether you attend an Episcopal Eucharist, a Roman Catholic Mass – or a Clown Eucharist.
“People are gathered together in the Lord’s name…to proclaim and respond to the word of God,” said Dr. Cooper.
Though essentially the same, he continued, a Clown Eucharist offers the opportunity to “deepen the Eucharistic experience and teach about the liturgy by presenting it in a different way, allowing people to view it through new eyes.”
Which is exactly what happened to several parishioners, who described the experience as “fabulously uplifting,” “a joyful change” and “[surprisingly] exhilarating and spiritual.”
“I enjoyed seeing members of the church so out of character, wearing clown makeup and costumes – it was wonderful,” said one individual.
“It was like a birthday party,” said another. “It was an incredible Trinity Sunday.”
While most comments expressed during the session were positive, a few parishioners admitted they felt uneasy about attending a service that differed so dramatically from a traditional Eucharist.
“I tried to be open-minded about it – I even attended the workshops and I really enjoyed them, but when the hour arrived I just couldn’t go,” said one person. “Maybe if it had been on a Saturday I could have gone, but on Sundays at 11:15 am I need to worship according to my own tradition.”
Dr. Cooper noted the importance of respecting differing opinions, adding that open communication is key to creating strong communities. He also praised the spirit of teamwork demonstrated by both staff and parishioners during the weeks of planning and preparation that led up to the well-attended Clown Eucharist.