Joyce Mancinelli
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Did that heading make you smile? Or hope? Or remember the past?

Remembering the past, really is the answer. Back in the day...and I mean waaay back in the day, Anglicanism became the state religion of England. The church OF England. In a sermon preached by Rev. Patrick Reid in Osoyoos, he recounted how our ancestors made certain that the church was full and the clergy toed the line. 

For a while, the liturgy was all over the place and then the church decreed that only the prayers contained in the Prayer Book could be used. If a wayward priest resorted to other than the prescribed text, he was suspended without pay for...I think Patrick said six months. A second offence meant that you were forbidden to earn a living. Period. No messing around here. A third offence--if you were foolish enough to commit one-- resulted in a pretty permanent solution.

Okay, that took care of the clergy. But what about the laity? They didn't have a choice. They put in their tithes and showed up on Sunday. EVERY Sunday. And there weren't any cushioned pews for the peasant. You stood.  And stood. And stood some more. Think about sleeping in? Forget that. Skip a week and you got fined the equivalent of $25 which was serious cash back then.  

So...full coffers and full churches. Ah, the rosy hue of the past!!!