Help Me, I'm Having an Erik Keilholtz Moment

| | Comments (1)

(Erik, please forgive me if I misspelled your name, I couldn't find it on your blog anywhere.)

My post about head-bobbing has gotten a number of comments, and I'm half horrified by the amazing number of different instructions it seems people in various parts of the country are receiving. Effectively this means that if I go to a different parish I have to try to figure out among all the various nonconformists, noncompliants, and just the terminally daydreaming what is the proper liturgical posture before receiving communion. It sounds as though some have profound bows, some have simple bowing of the head, some may have nothing at all. All, I assume, dicatated by the Bishop of the Diocese.

In a place like the nearby Shrine which is a ministry for tourists to the area that means I could see about forty different things going on at communion time. It's already bad enough with the congregation standing about half the time with "Let Us Pray," and sometimes getting up halfway through, and sometimes sitting through the whole thing.

This is exactly why I oppose democratic rule in the Church. Tell me the ONE appropriate thing to do--whatever it may be. Don't give me options, don't make it the bailiwick of the Bishop to decide among four or five possibilities or invent something new. Please. I don't want to be distracted with what I should be doing, I want to be focusing and centered on the Eucharistic sacrifice. I don't want to think about me--I want to be thinking about Jesus. The advantages of a very clear rubric are that I don't need to be thinking about the mechanics, I can be thinking about and receiving the Lord.

When I was young and we were going to receive someone of importance at our school or church, the adults would practice with us for days ahead of time so that when the dignitary came, we could do what we were supposed to without flaw and we could focus more on the dignitary than on ourselves. That's the point, it seems to me of rubrics. Lead me on, deeper into the embrace of the Lord. Don't make me try to figure our if I should genuflect, bow, nod, do the twist, or whatever is the movement of the week. And for heaven's sake, try to help everyone do the same thing. There will always be a few noncompliants--but catechesis from the pulpit helps tremendously.

The first time I heard about standing at "Let Us Pray" was when I was at "Our Lady of the Angels" (Father Jim's church). It was clearly explained from the pulpit--both the proper action and the reasoning behind it. Apparently they had had a series of these talks to help people adjust to the changes in the liturgy. As a result, most of my experiences at Our Lady of the Angel reflect a relative uniformity of practice (Yes--there are always some strays and unexpected events).

Erik--you can see I do have a touch of the Prussian.

Bookmark and Share


Wow! So much a touch of the Prussian that you rememebered the archaic spelling of my name (if we were up with the times, the "t" would have dropped out, but we are a conservative bunch).

Ultimately we are Romans, and Romans genuflect on the right knee to recognize the King of Kings (Kaiser of Kaisers?). Until an absolutely official and final word comes from the Bishops (instead of the fashion of the year type things, which I feel safe to ignore), I will continue to genuflect.

So far, this has not been a problem, and we frequently have His Excellency celebrating mass with us, and he has never mentioned it to me.

But, since I love uniformity, if we were to have some uniform direction from Rome, then I would, of course, obey.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 7, 2004 7:25 PM.

An Icon, An Image, A Moment of Love was the previous entry in this blog.

Prayer Requests 1/8/04 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll