Volume 18, Number 1 | MAY 27 —JUNE 2, 2005, 2005

This rector clowns around

Two clowns in full regalia stood on a Downtown sidewalk. On a gray morning, they were bursts of color in their red and orange wigs and painted faces. One wore a red and white costume with pom-poms. The other was in a red and yellow oversized clown suit complete with bowtie.

Had the circus come to Lower Manhattan?

Actually, the clowns were Rev. Dr. James Herbert Cooper, rector of Trinity Church, and his wife, Tay Cooper. They were welcoming parishioners to Trinity Church’s first “Clown Eucharist,” which took place Sunday in the landmark church. Other members of the clergy, as well as parishioners, came dressed as clowns.

The church offered face painting and passed out red noses before the service.

In a letter to parishioners posted on the church’s Web site, Cooper, who had ministered as a clown before in his former parish, writes, “It will likely be a surprise to see clowns inside Trinity Church. … In the clown, God has shot from his cannon for us a vivid symbol of divine foolishness.”

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