March 01, 2005

Papal Bull

The Nihilist in Golf Pants is tossing his hat in the ring to be the next Pope and provides an eleven-plank platform in support of his candidacy.

Old-fashioned Rite I Episcopalians follow a service that is sort of JV Catholic, so I got a big chuckle out of his positions. Also, although my own parish is so Low Church we ought to hold services in the basement, it's a very conservative form of Low Churchism. So I feel the Nihilist's evident pain. Allow me to toss in a few comments of my own:

11. Intinction mandated as method for receiving communion for those who receive both body and blood. Receiving the sacred blood of Christ should never include getting the backwash of other believers.

Actually, I have to disagree with this one. We use sherry at our Church and - the spiritual aspect of communion aside - a nice full sip does wonders for the ol' constitution, especially if one was up a bit too late the night before and didn't have time to grab some coffee before heading off to the service.

9. Kids will no longer be invited to "gather 'round" the priest for the homily. They are perfectly capable of listening while sitting with their parents.

Hear, hear. Our Rector actually does this for the offeratory and the beginning of communion, shooing the kiddies off after the bread is broken. He also occasionally does it for one of his sermons. As far as I'm concerned, the only time kiddies need to be anywhere near the altar is during the Christmas pageant or the Passion play.

6. Only priests or deacons may give homilies. No homeless advocates, youth counselors, or representatives of other charities. If their message is that important, they can tell the priest and he can convey it.

I am happy to say that this sort of thing does not happen at my Church. The only time the pros relinquish the pulpit is when the Senior Wardens make their annual pledge drive pitch, assuring us that if people don't start coughing up more dosh, the steeple is going to come crashing through the ceiling and wipe us all out.

5. Priests should make the announcement that people who cough or sneeze during mass are excused from the sign of peace. There's nothing worse than sitting next to someone hacking and snotting all over who then wants to touch your hand.

Eh. If and when I ever become Archbishop of Canterbury, I'm going to see to it that passing the peace is cut out of the service altogether. Robbo's 11th Commandment is "Thou shalt keep thy bloody hands to thyself."

3. Choir directors shall keep songs to two verses or less, unless there is the need to fill time where something silent is happening (like when parishioners are receiving communion).
2. Only traditional Catholic songs shall be sung at mass. We are Catholics, not Baptists and especially not crystal worshipping hippies. Patriotic anthems like the Battle Hymn of the Republic or America the Beautiful are encouraged on appropriate holidays.

I don't know enough about the Catholic playlist to comment on this, but the Palie Hymnal - even the 1982 edition - is still chock-a-block with nifty 17th, 18th and 19th Century music that I enjoy stringing out to the fourth verse. When you've got music by Bach, Haydn and others, why stop? One thing that infuriates me at the moment: Our new assistant rector has got into the habit of unleashing the processional and recessional movements of the acolytes right at the beginning of their respective hymns, instead of during the second verse. This means that the Cross often times passes me while I'm still fumbling with pages. It also means that everything is over and done halfway through the hymn. Especially with the recessional, this leaves one standing around on one foot and feeling foolish.

As for musical selections, I have to say that my Rector and musical director are pretty good about this sort of thing. The only time they slip, IMHO, is when they insist on our singing spirituals, which usually happens on what we call "Jazz Sunday", the one before Ash Wednesday. There is nothing more ridiculous than watching a bunch of uptight, well-to-do WASP's trying to do "Go Tell It On The Mountain". It's not who we are. It should not be attempted.

Yips! to Kathy.

Posted by Robert at March 1, 2005 09:30 AM

Intinction is for sissies

Posted by: gail at March 1, 2005 09:59 AM

Sherry? You get sherry? You lucky heretics.

We get White Zinfandel. Most of the time. Or something along those lines. Paul Masson was the big wine provider when I was younger. Box wine, truly, has saved parishes a lot of money since it was introduced. My home parish never offered The Blood of Christ except on Holy Thursday. The priest, of course, consecrated some wine on the altar, but the parishoners never received it.

Funny you should mention the morning aftereffects of it, though. Last year, when the parentals celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, a family friend who also happens to be a priest offered to say mass for the fam to celebrate the occasion. Father is in a wheelchair, so he delegated the EME (ecumencial minister of the eucharist)duties to my dad. Well, Father consecrated rather a lot of wine, and as is the rule, that wine must be polished off by the EME when communion is done. My Dad doesn't drink anymore, but knowing the rules, he nonetheless took a big gulp. His eyes about bugged out of his head. It became obvious that he wasn't going to be able to finish it, so he started passing the chalice around. Between my sister in law, my brother in law and me, we were able to polish it off, but dang...nasty wine first thing in the morning is a horrible thing. It did, however, help with my hangover. It's really sad, but it's true. Holy Hair of the Dog;)

Posted by: Kathy at March 1, 2005 12:59 PM

Wonderful suggestions from Mr.,er, Golfpants. The kind of stuff he critisizes has been driving me nuts for years. I think he's out of luck on the pope job, though. I believe you have to be a cardinal. In choosing a new pope, the cardinals pair off and play elimination "odds and evens" until there's only one cardinal left. He then becomes pope.

Posted by: D. Carter at March 2, 2005 11:31 PM
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