Tomorrow is the big day. Procession with hats, staff and/or rod, and a mirror. Then conflagration of hats. Followed by consumption of ice cream and there could be Raspberry sauce. In the suggestion box this morning, several caught the attention of the Officiating Priest who, I am told, is already rather nervous. A condition in him that can produce wishy-washiness.
One suggestion from the box, argued for the drowning of hats in the pond, which given complete lack of rain, fields of tinder, and temperatures probably in the nineties, might make perfect sense. Also, in the same handwriting, a suggestion that perhaps hats should be drawn onto a piece of paper which would then be pasted to the forehead of those participating in the procession, which also seems quite sensible. As well there was a scribble or two about the composting of hats, which of course is out of the question and clearly a product of a fevered and over excited imagination. And there was the usual, "what's the difference between a staff and a rod." Nor does anyone seem to remember what the mirror is for.
But one of the responsibilities of being a Priest is the maintaining of what we in the trade call 'long sight.' Which is another way of saying 'never being wrong.' It's simple really, God gave our species the ability to reason only because he enjoys watching us beat our heads against his brick wall. Which means the work of a Priest is to find reasons why drowning of hats in the pond is not a good idea. And why pasting a drawing of a hat onto the forehead is not a good idea. And why composting of hats misses the point altogether.
A first instinct might be to see in all three suggestions the diabolic workings of a hat loving mind attempting to avoid a conflagration of their hat which would consume it utterly. But that might be deemed a primitive or fascist instinct, rather than a faith-based and symbolic one. So as a chief advisor to the Priest's chief community relations assistant, in my email I'll include, "chance of contact with flesh eating bacteria" as one argument against drowning of hats in the pond. And "sad lack of commitment" as a reply to the pasting to forehead suggestion. With respect to composting of hats, hanging hats on fence posts and so on, I'm inclined to think a withering stare from the Officiating Priest accompanied by a gesture with rod or staff, should suffice to put paid to any further nonsense.