“We are the Model of Today’s Episcopalian”

My new curate (how long must I refer to her as new?), Anne Emry forwarded the following gem that her mother found amongst her grandmother’s papers. It was slightly dated so I freshened it up but only barely. It’s amazing how much of this still resonates. Titled “We are the Model of Today’s Episcopalian,” it is (naturally) sung to the famous tune of a similar name from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore.

I have no idea who initially authored this or even where it came from — any insights would be welcome. In the meantime enjoy, feel free to share, and haul it out the next time your parish holds one of those dreaded “talent shows.” Your organist/choirmaster will love you for enlisting the entire choir (click here for a clear example of what I mean).

We Are the Model of Today’s Episcopalian

We are the model of today’s Episcopalian,
We’re broad and high and low and wide and somewhat bacchanalian,
We’re mystical, political, we’re secular and clerical;
We can be charismatic but we seldom get hysterical.
We’re traditional and modernist and Socialist-monarchical;
We’re catholic and protestant and not too hierarchical;
About gay bishops we are teeming with a lot of views
As well as on the Prayer Book that our bishops say we gotta use.
            Chorus: As well as on the Prayer Book that our bishops say we gotta use.

We’re prosperous. By daily work our stewardship is merited,
Abetted by the little bit that some of us inherited;
In monetary matters we are very economical;
The portion that we give the church is best described as comical.
            Chorus: In monetary matters we are very economical; the portion that we give the church is best described as comical.

We’re very well acquainted, too, with matters ecumenical,
In spite of being vague about our vows catechumenical.
A knowledge of our church remains to most of us a mystery.
(Someday we’ll take the time to learn our heritage and history!)
Don’t ask us what we mean by our responses doxological;
They sound so grand they must mean something highly theological!
In short, we’ve just a smattering of elementary Sunday School.
Including many cheerful facts about the meaning of The Golden Rule.
            Chorus: Including many cheerful facts about the meaning of The Golden Rule.

 For our theologic knowledge, though we’re open and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still in matters practical that we all dabble daily in,
We are the very model of today’s Episcopalian!
            Chorus: But still in matters practical that we all dabble daily in, we are the very model of today’s Episcopalian!

We are the very model of today’s Episcopalian!
We do our work while modestly proclaiming our own praises in
Committee and Convention. We’re a confident and cheerful band.
Get four of us together and you’ll always find a fifth on hand.
We’re known for our diversity and heterogenity,
(Please don’t confuse that word with sexual spontaneity!)
On controversial subjects you will seldom find that two agree
Episcopalians are each the World’s Leading Authoritee.
            Chorus: Episcopalians are each the World’s Leading Authoritee.

We’re educated, talented, creative, and professional;
So proud of our humility we don’t need the confessional.
We are very open-minded in all matters strange and alien.
We’re only narrow-minded towards another ‘piscoplian.
            Chorus: We are very open-minded in all matters strange and alien. We’re only narrow-minded towards another ‘piscoplian.


6 Comments on ““We are the Model of Today’s Episcopalian””

  1. Brilliant as ever. Having been raised on G&S, I could actually “hear” the tune as I read the lyrics. This could become a problem as the day goes on.

  2. I love the song and have actually performed it. I appreciate you posting it. Just one correction you might find helpful: The song is a parody on “The Major General’s Song” from “The Pirates of Pensance,” also by Gilbert & Sullivan. Love your website..very cool. You must have worked long and hard on it. Thanks.

  3. Oops! I forgot. I originally saw this parody in an issue of a publication titled “The Anglican Digest.” The issue came out sometime in the mid to late 80’s. 🙂

  4. Father Tim says:

    Thanks, Patrick. And someone else mentioned to me thhat they originally saw it in TAD. And, okay it was from Pirates. Don’t tell anyone I was wrong.

  5. Luis says:

    When is the recording coming out?

  6. This is a very good parody. Thank you for sharing it. If you enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan theology, there are a couple of efforts on my blog (one by me and one by a friend).

    Firstly, a parody on the ‘Modern Major General’ song from Pirates: http://baptistbookworm.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-am-very-model-of-liberal-millennial.html

    And secondly, a parody on ‘I am the Captain of the Pinafore’ http://baptistbookworm.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-am-pastor-of-this-baptist-church.html


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