Sunday, 22 November 2015

Media spotlight on the Lord's Prayer

Today I celebrated the Solemn Mass of Christ the King (aka Stir up Sunday) at St German's. In the afternoon, following the announcement made in church, I watched BBC 'Songs of Praise', which featured the singing of a hymn which had been filmed there a couple of months ago. Instead of a programme featuring one place and its people, the programme formula featured hymns filmed being sung in different churchs around the country. This was particularly convenient as the continuity theme threading through the broadcast reflected on the Paris attacks of Friday 13th, with Archbishop Vincent Nicholls and Archbishop Justin Welby. 

It concluded with them saying the Lord's Prayer together in French, appropriate in current circumstances for more than one reason. This morning an interesting CofE pre Christmas publicity video (with the Twitter hashtag #justpray) was launched featuring people saying parts of the Lord's Prayer in every imaginable setting of everday life, as well as in church. A great and hopefully infectious idea conveying the relevance of basic Christian spiritual practice to the whole of life.

The publicity launch, however, had a flavour of its own. It majored on the refusal of cinema advertising chains to accept this as a video promotion to be shown in between flims. A pathetic notion. The overloud advertisements shown in movie halls are generally re-runs of TV adverts regular viewers are already bored with from home over-exposure. There's vain repetition of this kind, and the altogether wholesome reptition of 'the words our Saviour taught us to pray', and while words of prayer are not out of place anywhere, why bother to promote them in the context of a dead zone, known for boring infotainment repetitions?

Let's hope the 'justpray' video goes viral on YouTube and Twitter.

Let's hope it will spawn imitiations in many more languages and varied contexts than the initial. Now that would really be a modern mass media act of witness.

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