Thursday, June 5, 2008

I would like a great lake of beer

Last night I attended my last event in the Diocese of Huron, an ordination service at St. Paul's cathedral in London, to support two students who did placements in my parish, the Rev'd Brad Dunbar (ordained priest last night) and the Rev'd Jenny Sharp (ordained transitional deacon).

It was hot and my fellow clerics were obviously distracted by the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. My imagination was caught by this text printed on the last page of the service booklet:

"On the Heavenly Banquet

I would like to have the inhabitants of heaven
In my house:
With vats of good cheer
Laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
Their fame so great.
I would like people
From every corner of Heaven.

I would like them to be cheerful
In their drinking,
I would like to have Jesus too
Here amongst them.

I would like a great lake of beer
For the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven's family
Drinking it through all eternity."

Celtic poem from the tenth century.

I'd never heard of this text before, and it is a lovely sentiment. Many of us would indeed have enjoyed a great lake of beer last night.

The theological question it poses, however - what beer would the King of Kings drink? My friend, the Ven. Dr. Timothy Connor, would undoubtedly say Guinness, which indeed would suit the Celtic provenance of this poem. I think if it was a Canadian lake, and a great lake of beer sounds very Canadian, it would be Wellington County Dark Ale.

What do you think the King of Kings would drink?

3 comments:

Adelaide said...

Have you heard the joke about the two guys who are fishing and find a genie? One of them asks for the lake to be turned to beer and his wish is granted. "You idiot," his friend says, "Now we have to pee in the boat."

I just thought I'd pass on that bit of cultural enlightenment.

mad padre said...

And a darn fine and enlightening piece that was, Addy. Hence the phrase, ``Urine trouble now!`` :)

Alex said...

hilarious! both comments.

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.

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