Thursday, August 11, 2005

Liturgical crop circles
Okay, I had to draw the line today at Holy Mass. I have not been and I am not a fan of hand holding during the Our Father in Catholic churches. Hand holding at that moment is not something we are directed to do by the liturgical documents. It is a practice that has crept in from elsewhere. Now, with all of that said, I still am not going to tell people NOT to hold hands. I think that would be making too much of a scene out of a relatively minor matter.

However, things have been getting progressively more and more strange at morning Mass during the Our Father. Our religious sisters are back at their home convent in Mexico for some summer rest, and so our daily Mass attendance is down about as low as it gets. We have about three people who come on average. With the low attendance, I have been noticing the adoption of increasingly bizarre "formations" to accomplish the felt need for hand holding. While I did not tell the people not to hold hands any longer, I did explain that hand holding for the Our Father is not a Catholic practice and that if holding hands requires anyone to turn away from the altar and the focus upon the Holy Eucharist, which is the center of our gathering, then a different posture ought to be adopted. Everyone seemed to understand. As I looked out today during the Our Father, the three people having formed a little circle, turned in on itself, I couldn't help but think of "liturgical crop circles"! It really looked silly from my vantage point. Thus, the liturgical tutorial was given after the post-Communion prayer, before the final blessing.

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