In New Zealand there are not standard-size windows. When someone here breaks a window, a glazier comes, measures the window, cuts a larger piece of glass down to fit, and then installs this cut-down pane, throwing away the pieces cut off.
There are not standard kitchens. When someone wants to update their kitchen, the new kitchen is designed de novo, ex nihilo. Often an expert is employed to design a kitchen specifically for your unique requirements using custom-made cabinetry designed to fit your space. The same is true for bathrooms and toilets. And bedrooms. And other rooms. And houses. And offices.
I saw a new, fixed desk in an office space – the distance from the desk to the wall behind it was too small to relaxedly include a chair. At a motel I stayed in recently the toilet seat would not stay up, the individually-designed toilet in this case would not work appropriately.
Prices in New Zealand reflect the need to have experts at every turn, from getting your kitchen or toilet to fit, to getting a broken window replaced. And these things take longer.
There are exceptions, and an increasing trend away from the above. Kitset kitchens, taken for granted overseas, are becoming known here. Houses built to a company’s set of plans are increasingly seen.
But the culture of creativity-is-best, creating-everything-de-novo, creating-everything-ex-nihilo is still very prevalent. Including in liturgy.
A culture that eschews one house looking like its neighbour’s (or any other house for that matter), a culture that abhors the idea of standards, that shies away from neighbouring buildings even sharing a particular style, of course such a culture will abhor one service being akin to another within the same community, naturally in such a culture one parish would abhor having a service that is anything like what is offered in the neighbouring parish.
“We used ashes for Ash Wednesday last year, what can we do differently this year?”