Thursday, October 4, 2007

Church Chat*

Okay, regarding that last post...let me clarify (or not) a few things. I like my church traditional and my Church mostly traditional with a BIT of modern thrown in. I like beautiful marble churches with old-timey stained glass and old wooden pews, but I also like female altar servers and in general a greater role for women. I agree with the Church's stand on 2 out of 3 mainstream issues and undecided on 2 more (those issues would be birth control, abortion, female priests, divorce, and clerical celibacy - but, that's a post for another day, if ever). I don't think I'm a "cafeteria Catholic" but I'm sure there are some hard-liners out there who would beg to differ. (Isn't that special? Could it be...SATAN?) I don't even know what I'm getting at here. I guess you do what helps you feel closer to God. I just don't like the feeling of being "bullied" into touchy-feely stuff that I personally am not comfortable with. When I'm in church I want to channel all my energy into communicating with Him, not the other congregants. I think that goes along with my personality - I'm not good in a crowd, I prefer smaller, more intimate groups. That's when, God help you, the real me comes out.

*extra points for anyone who gets the pop culture reference


Hannah said...

Ooo, Ooo, Ooo, I get points! I loved her dancing and drum playing. Awesome memory, thanks!

Deacon Dean said...

A couple of points.

1. While there is nothing particularly wrong with disagreeing with the Church's teachings, it is important to be sure that you thoroughly understand what they teach, and why they teach it. The teachings of the Church are not handed out whimsically, or to be heavy-handed. Much investigation, research, thought, discussion, reflection and prayer have gone into the teachings of the Church and should not be dismissed lightly because they make one's life more difficult or challenging. And, there is a HUGE difference between disagreeing and disobeying.

2. The Mass is a communal celebration. However, it is also a rite, with certain rubrics (rules, codes of conduct, if you will) that are associated. While certain events of late such as Cursillo and the "Charismatic Movement" have fostered a more demonstrative form of worship, these are not necessarily part of the rubrics of the rite. Holding hands during the "Our Father" is one such phenomenon. It is not part of the rite, and while in our local church the Archbishop doesn't formally discourage the practice among the congregation, he has made it clear that it is not to be done by anyone who is functioning as a minister during the Mass, e.g., lectors, EMs, altar servers, etc. Part of the thought process behind this is that holding hands during the "Our Father" perhaps takes away from the communal "sign of peace" which immediately follows. Also, it can make people uncomfortable when they prefer NOT to hold hands but feel compelled to because of the actions and attitudes (real or perceived) of those around them if they don't accept an extended hand.

Patti said...

My point exactly.