Monday, August 01, 2005

Catholic Poll at the Anchoress

The Anchoress is running a Catholics only poll about different parts of the Mass. If you have not already done so, consider participating.

Here are the questions:

1) A few minutes before Mass begins, are you:
a) praying/reading
b) talking to a neighbor
c) simply sitting quietly

2) Sign of Peace:
a) I love it and look forward to greeting my neighbors
b) I hate it and wish it would go away or be moved to the start of Mass
c) I don’t love it or hate it.

3) Holding Hands during the Our Father
a) I love it - it’s so unifying
b) I hate it, find it intrusive and wish people would stop doing it.
c) I don’t love it or hate it

4) The Ushers at your parish DO or DO NOT greet you and shake your hand as you are exiting your pew for Communion:

If they DO:
a) I like it - it’s friendly.
b) I don’t like it. We’ve finished the sign of peace and I’m preparing for Communion.
c) I don’t like it or hate it

If they DO NOT:
a) I wish they would!
b) Please, God, don’t give them ideas!
c) I don’t really care

For the record, here are my answers:

1.) a -- OK, OK it's d - you mean people actually get there before Mass begins?
2.) c -- it's part of the Mass, always has been, so what's to hate?
3.) c -- I only hold hands with the family
4.) they do not, b -- B! B! B!

This is the second time I've seen a question about the Sign (Kiss) of Peace. And based on the posted comments at The Anchoress, it seems most people could do without it. One notable exception is Minivan Mom. I honestly do not understand the dislike.

St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Harry Flynn has written:

Eucharist extends our participation as baptized Catholics and invites us to discipleship. We are invited to the table to join with the community, to give thanks, to be nourished, to be challenged in our discipleship and then sent forth to be disciples. This discipleship requires that we constantly develop a more profound grasp of our faith, that we be attentive to the direction of the church and that we play a part in providing leadership in the world.
Our part in leadership anticipates that we have oriented ourselves to the Eucharist by first reconciling with God, which we do more than a dozen times during Mass, and with each other, which we do during the Confiteor (all too often skipped these days) and the Sign of Peace. The Mass and its components are directed at the Eucharist, so I don't understand the opposition to one of those components, namely the Sign of Peace. What I do understand and respect are objections to distracting abuses of those components, which could include chatty neighbors, hand holding during the Lord's Prayer, and glad-handing ushers.

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