Falling asleep in church
Jonathan Swift. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Sir, – Jonathan Swift wrote a sermon on falling asleep in church. Ray Cavanaugh states that Swift blamed this habit on “a decline in the quality of preaching”. (“Swift seemed to have little faith in his own sermons”, Rite & Reason, November 28th).
I find that I fall into one of two extremes. Either I fall asleep from listening to a boring sermon, badly delivered, or I am so irritated by what I hear that my wife detects my restlessness and nudges me to remain calm. The major churches do not seem to engage in quality control to ensure that the content of sermons is theologically correct, nor do they appear to train their ministers in the art of oratory.
I recommend that each bishop visits his (or her) churches once a year, sits anonymously in a back pew, and experiences what the flock has to endure. – Yours, etc,