Monday, May 23, 2011

More About Sodom


  The Church of the Little Flower sits catty-cornered across the road from a Baptist church. Jane, a Sodom-raised acquaintance of mine told me her memory of how the young people there at the Catholic church for mass would hear the Baptist congregation begin to sing and would squirm on the hard benches, eager for the Latin service to be over so they could dart across the road and join in the Baptist singing.
Singing's important in Sodom. This little community is the home place of ballad singers who preserve the old songs their forebears brought over from England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Sheila Kay Adams is one of the seventh generation to sing  those stories of love and death.  She's a talented musician and storyteller and her "Come Go Home with Me" is a series of charming vignettes, from funny to heart breaking,  about growing up in Sodom back in the Sixties.

Sheila tells a delightful story about religion in Sodom.  First she and all the other kids would go to the Church of the Little Flower, where the service was all incomprehensible Latin. As soon as that was over, on to the Baptist Church where, though the service was in English, the pastor had no teeth, which made his words equally unintelligible.

"We all grew up, " says Sheila, " thinking that religion was one of the great mysteries of life that we mere mortals weren't supposed to understand."
 
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20 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i know quote a few small towns where religeon holds the balance of the sway...singings not a bad think to have as important...smiles.

Anonymous said...

I can certainly relate to the Catholics who snuck over to the Baptist church to hear the music! Once a year at our R.C. church, the congregation joined the choir in singing Tantum Ergo Sacramentum and it was quite exaulting to sing in Latin. Once a year was not enough, though. I was always jealous of the Protestants for getting to sing in church every time they went.
Here's a link if you'd like to hear this beautiful Latin hymn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfecfQhgeOI&feature=related

I've enjoyed reading Sheila's book and have been privileged to hear her speak several times. She's a living treasure of our state.
Deana the Queena

June said...

I do remember a Catholic friend coming to church with me one Sunday when I was a kid. Afterward, she said, "I liked all the singing!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a charming little brown church. It's what small town living is all about.
Sam

bo parker said...

The more I read about Sodom, the more it makes me feel like the place is a real-world Brigadoon.

Darla said...

Cute story... :-)

Friko said...

What a delightful story.
The Catholics in Europe sing in services, it's not all Latin now. (I haven't been for years this is how it used to be)

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Too much, Vicki. I loved the Sheila Kay Adams story. I took the time to look up Revere on the map and discovered that I have been through Sodom several times, when we chose to go through Greenville instead of Hot Springs. Don't know how I missed the Church of the Little Flower. I definitely plan to go look for it next time we're in the area. Jim

jennyfreckles said...

What a lovely story - I didn't realise Catholics don't sing...I think they do here. I learned a new word too - catty-cornered!

Vicki Lane said...

I too love the singing in various churches. And I'll have to do a post on shape-note singing soon...

Deana -- that's gorgeous. A chant like that, particularly if it has a big old cathedral to echo around in, is, well, heavenly!

Bo, that's the way we felt when we moved here almost forty years ago.

Friko, Sheila Kay also said that about the time the Catholic church switched to English, the Baptist Church got a new preacher with teeth and all was made clear!

Jim, it's easy to miss -- it sits high above the road and the sign is small and inconspicuous. Hint: There's a bright blue house just across the road.

jennyfreckles -- The correct word is cater-cornered -- but catty-cornered is how I grew up hearing it.

Martin H. said...

Another fascinating insight, Vicki. Thank you.

Joan said...

As a little catholic girl in NZ I once went to Sunday School at the beach with my friend. My mother did not know and I lived in guilt for ages fearing she might find out. I can still sing the songs..' I met Jesus at the crossroads' et al..
Great post Vicki!

NCmountainwoman said...

What a great story. I'm definitely going to look for the book.

Deanna said...

How well I remember the incomprehensible Latin Masses of my youth. My parents would have tanned me, though, had I ventured anywhere near a Baptist church. The story is great and makes me smile!

pat said...

is that some sort of swamp iris, or just siberian?

Vicki Lane said...

Pat - the yellow flag iris is native to North Carolina, I believe.

Victoria said...

Great story, made me laugh out loud.

Beautiful photos, too. That little brown church has got to be one of the most charming Catholic churches I've ever seen.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Vicki: Yes, I find the Southern Baptists soulful sound so uplifting. Enjoy visiting various churches and remember singing folk songs and old classics. Always loved going to church. Is dancing allowed in Sodom (amazing placename)...wonders where is Gommorah..?No pillars of salt around?

Book said...

Fantastic photo and caption. Bravo!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

That is a wonderful church building and an interesting story about the denominational singing.