I love being married. There are myriad reasons for this not the least of which is that I'd be a lousy single priest. I know plenty of clergy who pull this off beautifully but I'd be terrible at it. I can't imagine a guy in a clerical collar gets many hits on match.com and the whole clergy dating/boundary thing would be a drag. Plus getting set up with every parishioner's granddaughter would get old.
Nonetheless church is one of the best places for singles to meet one another. I'm not equating coffee hour with a meat market at a hip club but it's a good place for people of faith to connect and critique bad liturgy. So as a public service I decided to share my top ten church pick-up lines. Use with discretion as they work, in the words of Billy Dee Williams, "every time."
I've kept these as clean as possible so if you have others to add, please do so in this spirit. In other words, please don't go there. And if you're offended by the whole concept, rather than complain to me please log onto my archnemesis Father Scott Gunn's blog which is less edgy than mine and not nearly as interesting or humorous. (Today is his first day as Executive Director of Forward Movement Publications so I thought I'd get in a cheap shot while he's not paying attention).
Here we go:
1. "Excuse me, is this pew taken?"
2. "Kneel around here often?"
3. "It's almost time for communion. Can I buy you a drink?"
4. "What do you think Paul meant when he said, 'Greet everyone with a holy kiss?'
5. "If I told you that you were wearing the world's hottest cotta would you hold it against me?"
6. "This sermon's terrible, how about we 'continue the liturgy' in the parish hall?"
7. "You might not be able to tell but I'm the best Lay Minister around."
8. "You want to stick around for the laying on of hands?"
9. "You were a thurifer at your old church? Great! How would like to join our Swinger's Guild?"
10. And if the bishop is visiting: "Is that a crozier in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
So while dating as clergy might have worked if I were the "dashing young curate" the middle-aged rector is a whole different pot of incense. Time to go hug my wife.
And finally, while we're on the topic, below is Thomas Hardy's 1835 poem "Church Romance" for your reading pleasure.
She turned in the high pew, until her sight
Swept the west gallery, and caught its row
Of music-men with viol, book, and bow
Against the sinking sad tower-window light.
She turned again; and in her pride's despite
One strenuous viol's inspirer seemed to throw
A message from his string to her below,
Which said: "I claim thee as my own forthright!"
Thus their hearts' bond began, in due time signed.
And long years thence, when Age had scared Romance,
At some old attitude of his or glance
That gallery-scene would break upon her mind,
With him as minstrel, ardent, young, and trim,
Bowing "New Sabbath" or "Mount Ephraim."