Head Bobbing in the Holy Presence

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While I attempt to conform to all reasonable requests of the GIRM, there are some aspects that I find just plain annoying. Todd mentions one of these. Below is my response to him (See January 6, 2004: Checking in on IGRM changes):

I find the head nodding rather distracting and insufficiently respectful--typical of a society that has forgotten common and uncommon courtesy. You are in the presence of Him to Whom you owe all that you are, all that you have, all that you will ever be, and so you nod your head and give the big thumbs up and a "Cool, Dude!"

I prefer the Byzantine and Eastern rite profound bow (however, I do not do this in Roman Rite Churches because it is out of place and contra received instruction). Mindfulness, to my perception is mindfulness also of the relative stature of the two participants in this communion. As one protestant is quoted to have commented, "If I believed as you did regarding the Eucharist, I would have to prostrate myself upon the floor in its presence."

A head bobbing to the King of the Universe is somehow lacking.

All of that said, do I do the little head-bobbing thing? Yes. Why? Because that is what obedience is about--not my preferences, not what I find to my taste, not what I think is the right way to go about things. I have lived long enough and have had sufficient experience to realize that I am wrong at least as often as I am right. Moreover, St. Teresa of Avila advises us on the subject of obedience to do all that your spiritual advisor tells you to do and to pray about it. If it is in God's plan for you to do something else, then God will move your advisor to change his command. Until then, it is binding. And so, as a faithful son of my mother the Church, I obey--but I don't particularly like it.

Later: I suppose one of the things I find distasteful regarding this discipline is that it seems once again to detract from a sense of reverent awe and respect. One more time we are making casual what should never be other that awesome and awe-inspiring. Regardless of the time that it takes, if we were doing this properly, it seems, we would all be kneeling at an altar rail. (And this from someone who is not particularly "traditionalist" in any of his views.) I just can't think of any other way to appear before the King of All.

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As someone who enjoys dance and expressive movement, I can't agree more. It's ironic. The modern world is into being holistic - -mind, body,and soul working togethre -- and the Church is retreating when she was a leader!

Not to mention the unfortunate crowding that makes anything more than a head-bob very dangerous. Why, if you bow from the waist, you're going to headbutt the Extraordinary Minister.

Compliance in my parish is pretty low . . . I'd say one in five actually bow in some form. Of those, maybe one in twenty bows before they receive the Precious Blood as well as the Body.

Maybe it's *because* the bow oesn't feel reverent enough that people are still making little acts of veneration?

We are encouraged to bow; we do before we receive the Sacred Host. He do not before receiving His Precious Blood - because we have the Host in our mouths. Our bow is to Him, in the entirety of His being.

Most, unfortunately, do not bow or "bob". A few genuflect. So far, noone has tripped over their feet.

Heh, we were instructed to bow twice! And we even had a note in this week's bulletin reminding us. :-)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 7, 2004 5:00 AM.

Prayer Requests--7 January 2004 was the previous entry in this blog.

Present Non-Comprehesive Reading List is the next entry in this blog.

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