Monday, August 28, 2006

Mass at Holy Cross yesterday

Interesting little thing happened at 8:00 AM mass yesterday - as the consecration began, at least HALF the congregation knelt down! That is a big change - just one year ago, there were only 4 or 6 people kneeling. And I wasn't one of them, either; I was too shy, in a parish I'd just joined (and I wasn't even a Catholic yet!) to seem to show off greater piety than the people around me, so I remained uneasily standing. It wasn't until my RCIA class, when in discussion it turned out that all of us newbies really WANTED to kneel, that I had the guts to do it, along with my fellow-students (and one of the teachers).

The last priest of this parish was a fanatical modernizer, and *insisted* that people stand during consecration. He didn't like the spotty effect of some kneeling and some standing, and was dead keen about "the people" expressing their unity with each other, etc. etc. I'm glad I wasn't there to experience it. Anyway, he browbeat the congregation into doing it his way, and only a few lonely holdouts still insisted upon kneeling. Well, things are turning around a bit; I was astonished to see all these people very decisively going down on their knees, no hesitation or worry, and I expect that gave courage to others.

The other thing is we have a new deacon. He was there before, some years ago, and must be in his 60s, so his Catholic thinking must have been formed during an unfortunate time. We had the usual, "Let's show what a jolly good time we can have giving each other the peace of Christ" but I just put up with that, because anyone who improvises the words always seems to do it in a silly way. BUT, there was one thing that troubled me. At the very end, I swear to God it sounded to me like he said, "Go in peace, to love and serve the World." My response was "Thanks" That sounded really wrong. I'll have to listen carefully next week; maybe I was just mistaken. But I draw the line at that kind of thing - I can tolerate clumsy folksiness, but this is a shift in meaning that I won't go along with.


Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

I have never been much of a peace passer, myself.

10:13 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Me neither, but it's the done thing at this parish, so I just tolerate it. Fortunately, it doesn't last too long; I've been to churches where it goes on and on and you can't get the priest back into the sanctuary!

6:49 pm  

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