Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Times Change....

.... and so do customs.
I was reminded, this morning, of a matter I've been meaning to post about.
The custom of holding hands, and raising hands, during the Our Father, seems to be very common at Masses in the area. This custom is permitted, but not mandated. Some people think it's a wonderful idea. However, a growing number find it childish, old-fashioned, and innapropriate. I think this needs to be remembered. If someone you don't know is sitting next to you, by all means offer, but never insist. Just because it seemed like a cool idea, way back in 1980, doesn't mean everyone likes it today.
I'm fortunate in this respect. After a time of kneeling, I have to grasp my stick in one hand, and the pew in the other. That saves me from the choice of either doing something I consider offensive, or being even more rude than my neighbor and telling them they're not being as friendly as they imagine.


Anonymous said...

We were instructed by our previous bishop, Bishop Pilla, to hold our hands, shoulder high and facing outward (and not holding the hand of another) during the Our Father and through the doxology. At our parish this is not strictly enforced, so one may pray with hands by one's side.

We were also told to stand after the "Lamb of God" and after Communion, but this is also not strictly enforced, so those of us who want to kneel (seemingly most) are not made to feel uncomfortable.

I do not know if this is a universal custom mandated by the Vatican or just by our previous bishop.

Hope you are feeling more comfortable today - Susan from Akron

Jeffrey Smith said...

I should hope not. Kneeling after Communion is the universal practise of the Church and no bishop can over-rule that. If the new bishop doesn't put a stop to it, politely contact the Nuncio.

Anonymous said...

I will remember your suggestion. Our current bishop (Bishop Lennon of Cleveland) seems to be more reasonable in this respect. He has been described as a self-taught canon lawyer, and hopefully he will get a grip on the laxity. His first action was to evict "Future Church" from the offices of a rectory in suburban Cleveland, which I took as a good sign. As I have learned from better catechised Catholics than myself, Holy Mass is not about us, but is truly about God, His Eucharistic sacrifice, and His word.

Thanks for the advice - Susan

Jeffrey Smith said...

From what I've heard about Bishop Lennon, some sort of clarification's likely.