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Monday, 20 April 2009

Signs and Gestures

I'm in the next room, and paying little attention, and I really only looked up because as a Mass with homely music (I think I am correct in crediting Thomas Day for that term?) was drawing to a conclusion, there was suddenly a loud, aggressive, kinda "retro" bongo riff.


Ah, a bumper. (I think it might be part of a series of little theological snacks called Signs for Our Times?)

In any case, while a man identified as Bert Ghezzi, (I think that was the name, my eagle eyesight at that distance takes more time to kick in than it used to when I'd been at a page or computer screen for awhile,) spoke, this caption appeared:

Making the sign of the cross is a victory over self-indulgence.

To quote Sr Pauline, how great is that?

Two thoughts.
Firstly, gratitude: thank you, Mr Ghezzi, I am going to try to incorporate that thinking, and the gesture itself into my battle with my baser nature.

And secondly, astonishment and annoyance, (whoops, bless yourself, right now, Scelata!): I am sure this is not universal, but speaking from my experience, why has catechetics virtually abandoned teaching gestures, the gestures of Catholic ritual, the gestures of Catholic identity?

Why aren't children taught to bow their heads in reverence at the Holy Name?

Why did it take initiative on my part, (and the actual work and irresistible will of our remarkable liturgist,) to get people bowing during the creed?

Why aren't those with younger knees taught to bend them as they pass Christ in the tabernacle?

Why do our servers stand and scratch, or sit and gaze around during the consecration rather than kneel for the EP?

Why does no one seem to know that he is to strike his breast during the confiteor?

Why does our diocese instruct deacons to stand, and merely bow at the elevation rather than kneel through the EP?

Why have their liturgical studies on the way to ordination not informed so many priests that one bows ones head not only at the Holy Name of Jesus, but at the naming of the Three Persons of the Trinity, the naming of the Holy Mother of God, the naming of the saint whose feast it is?

Seriously, isn't all that more important than, AND JUST AS EASY AS, teaching 1st graders itsy-bitsy spider routines for the Lord's Prayer, and for the Advent entrance ditty?

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