Introducing the Liturgi-MobilePosted: June 7, 2010
Some of you took heed when I posted this picture of the Rev. Scott Gunn, rector of Christ Church in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Scott is the model of liturgical preparedness – as with his American Express Card, he never leaves home without his thurible.
Speaking of his credit card, Scott is the only person I’ve ever known who has forsaken frequent flyer miles in favor of credits toward clergy haberdashery at Wippell’s. Really. If he buys enough gas and eats out enough, he’ll earn points for a new fully-gathered surplice.
But the reason I bring this up is that the thurible he keeps in the back of his car is just the tip of the altar. It’s true. Father Gunn drives the world’s only Liturgi-Mobile. It’s actually a tricked out Volvo but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking it. He re-paints it to reflect the seasons of the church year. Which isn’t so bad now that we’re in the green of Ordinary Time straight through until Advent. But that four-week stretch encompassing Easter 7 (white) to Pentecost (red) to Trinity Sunday (white) to the Season after Pentecost (green) is a bear.
Here are few other features you should be aware of:
We’ve all seen fancy hood ornaments. Who wouldn’t be able to identify the iconic Rolls Royce “flying lady?” Or the bulldog on a Mack truck. Scott took this one step beyond and his Liturgi-Mobile sports a custom-made solid gold monstrance on the hood of his car.
His horn is a Sanctus bell. Which isn’t the most intimidating sound but it’s classier than the General Lee’s “Dixie” and it’s kind of fun to watch the other cars genuflect as Scott zips by.
Scott uses holy water as windshield wiper fluid. This might seem slightly sacrilegious but it allows him to simultaneously baptize and offer proper burials to the mosquitoes and dragon flies that dive bomb his windshield. Giving each bug a Christian name means that Scott can add these creatures of God to the parish register, thereby increasing his Average Sunday Attendance and leading to the parish slogan: “They can transfer in, but they can’t transfer out.”
Some cars have Global Positioning Systems to guide drivers to their destinations. The Liturgi-Mobile comes equipped with a computer-generated Bible/Book of Common Prayer. It might not get you to the church on time but at least you’ll know the correct propers for Morning Prayer on the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.
A few other features in no particular order: stain-resistant coronation seat covers; cross-shaped brass antenna; velvet-lined glove compartment serves as the aumbry – overhead light doubles as sanctuary lamp; conveniently-located Bishop’s Chair in the trunk; and the radio transcribes everything into Anglican Chant. Like Hip Hop? Country? The Liturgi-Mobile plays all of your favorite tunes in full-blown Anglican Chant – none of that “simplified” stuff.
So the next time you see Father Gunn drive by, give him a wave! Or better yet, genuflect and cross yourself. He’ll appreciate your piety.