When Spectacle Replaces Ritual,

by Gary Hardaway

a guitar band singing
pop-love songs to Jesus
chases the choir away.

The aisle, nave and
transept twist themselves
into an auditorium.

The rectory swells into
an overstuffed McMansion
in a gated subdivision.

The minister-priest becomes
a motivational speaker strutting
the big stage with his coif adorned

by a hands-free headset amplified
into every crevice and corner of
the padded and upholstered hall.

An end is near. The apotheosis
will manifest as the best and biggest
pep rally for God and the chosen.