My fedora is off to CK Dexter Haven for his extensive and fascinating Staff Report on Angels. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mangels.html He revealed that the name and description of cherubim come from the Assyrian or the Akkadian people, who called them “karibu.” (I’m avoiding the jump to “Cajun” for some reason.) Anyway, Mrs. Nott and I were reading that part together. She said, "Karibu?! Is that like reindeer? " Well, perhaps. The history of Angelogy, as Dex explains, is riddled with cultural cross-pollenation. It’s not a big jump from Karibu to caribou to reindeer, is it? Is it completely off the map to suppose that a Christian Saint’s sleigh could be drawn by angels?
Actually, Duck Duck Goose, it was immensely more complicated than that. An old friend of mine killed his estranged wife in my house in September of 1992, while my wife and I were out of town for the evening. A few weeks later, I was pretty frazzled, and willing to grasp at straws. A friend suggested we have the house blessed. I thought, “It couldn’ hoit,” and I called Fr. Justin Belitz. I’m not a Catholic, but Fr. Justin had taught a class I took, and I figured he’d be more into a blessing ritual than a protestant guy would. He said some prayers, sprinkled some holy water around, and as an unexpected lagniappe, he installed a guardian angel. I don’t think about the angel much. I picture him standing on the roof, leaning on the chimney, doing crossword puzzles. Oddly enough, the blessing took place on Hallow’e’en of that year, and the ritual was interrupted by children in costume.
I didn’t get any documentation with the angel. I don’t know about lightning protection or diversion of bad juju. It’s hard to get a statistical perspective on such rare phenomena. I don’t know if he’s an employee or an independant contractor. I never thought about that stuff until you mentioned it. Heck, I don’t even have a Social Security Number for the angel.
Part of the prayers dealt with shuffling the victim’s soul off to heaven, and getting the killer to find redemption. We’ve never had any occurances that indicate a ghostly presence. If she’s here, she keeps to herself.
Hey, huccome the Catholics get a lock on all the neat stuff? I’m trying to picture you telling your Protestant minister that you were weirded out by the fact of this killing. He’d have suggested that you get some counseling, not simply gone over to your house, matter-of-factly performed an exorcism, and thrown in a free guardian angel.
<< wondering what language the documentation would have been written in >>
Every church sect has its own style, Duck Duck Goose. My parents routinely took me to our local Presbyterian church, where the minister wore a black robe with a sash over his shoulders denoting his doctoral degree. His style carried a lot of that deadly boring pomp, too. I quit going to church and had my name removed from its membership list when I was in my twenties, so I really had no Protestant minister when my house was sullied. Fr. Justin was the only minister I really knew at the time. The ritual was a great comfort at the time, as were the coupla visits to a local shrink who specialized in victims of violence. I’m not a Catholic, and maybe if I was, it would have meant more to me. I dunno.
Garrison Keillor said last week, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. You can sleep in a garage, but it doesn’t make you a Chevrolet, does it?”
Well, there is the One True Church thing. Unbroken line of succession through Popes to Peter to Jesus to Almighty God Herself. Then there’s the two millenia of unbroken history and tradition. Not to mention obscene number of followers and influence. Also, there’s the patrimony of historical treasures, and artifacts, and relics, and confiscated Pagan talismans of incredible spiritual power that can control the minds of world leaders continents away. Not to mention VIA, the Vatican Intelligence Agency with world wide special agents and a subterranean lair housing a million cubic feet of files of every living human being (yes, they have a file on you).
True. But can Protestant ministers bless water so that it burns the skin of vampires? Didn’t think so.
“We would like to announce that we have detected what was once only a theoretical subatomic particle… the holyon. We believe that the holyon is responsible for the transmission of the blessing charge. Once an item has been blessed, a build-up of holyons creates a holiactive field of good luck.”