The Trifecta of Evil Goes to Mass

acting the gospels book

Acting Out the Gospels with Mimes, Puppets, & Clowns

I have often referred to mimes, puppets, and clowns as a trifecta of evil. Integrating things inside a Catholic Mass is just horrific on so many levels. Maybe it is a way for those attending Mass to glimpse what Hell would look like. The images of a clown face on a crucified Jesus or the Apostles is so disturbing. This is the stuff of nightmares. I am just Catholic enough to be weirded out about this book.

As a librarian, I realize that my opinion is just my opinion. If this was truly something that my community wanted, I would do my best to accommodate them. This book is nearly 40 years old and it looks it. If you want to break out the clown stuff during Easter Mass, than rock on with your bad self. I will cheerfully help you find the right book (if such a thing exists) but I will not be in attendance.



Hail Mary play book activity clown at mass


  1. “Props: None” is that how many you are expected to get for your work?
    Snark aside, these books do leave me thinking to myself, when do different ways of teaching a religion lessen it and make its ministers lower in their congregation’s eyes.

  2. I’ve heard of putting the fear of G-d into someone. I think this would scare them away from religion for good.

  3. Oh, jeepers. I can remember feeling awed, restless, fascinated, bored, impressed, and humbled by turns as a child attending mass…but never horrified or embarrassed! To this book I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” Yikes.

  4. For those of you who had to immediately avert your eyes: The clown on the cover is wearing a dress/robe thing (sorry, Jewish girl here) with an ultra-realistic clown painted on it and holding a balloon with a cartoony clown face painted on it. He’s clearly doing a faithful and moving portrayal of the little-known gospel of St. Nightmare.

    Is it awful of me to imagine a preacher who isn’t wearing clown makeup showing up on Sunday morning wearing that terrifying robe thing and acting like everything is normal? That’d be a pretty successful way to get people to find Jesus, I bet.

    1. I don’t know what the term for it is either, maybe chasuble? Anyway, they do not have on them clowns on most/all Sundays that I’ve heard of, but am not Catholic.

  5. I went to an Easter Vigil where one of the readings was acted out by a mime. It was odd. Powerful in its way, but odd. He was an excellent mime, but still.

  6. Ngl, when I saw that the caption for the photo on the last page was โ€œThe Devil and Mr. Jโ€, I freaking lost it.

  7. My church used to have marionette plays for the Sunday School occasionally. Thinking back to my own days in Sunday School, I would have liked this activity. The Religious Education Director and the Minister worked very thoughtfully on them — it helped the children grasp the points of the stories better than just reading them. They were very careful, did research, etc. Having a little stage with a curtain to pull engaged the kids, who also made the marionettes and the scenery.

    But no clowns and no mimes, ever, ever ever! And no marionettes in the Sanctuary, just in the parish house.

  8. All I want to say is that I find most Bible stories more nightmarish than puppets, clowns, and even mimes. And mimes *really* make me uncomfortable. Except for a Lalaloopsy doll I own named Charlotte Charades. She’s pretty cute for a mime. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. “What a week for Jesus”? Sounds like something out of a dodgy 80s sitcom!

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