Tuesday 11 January 2011


The sign of peace. I'm not moving from where I'm standing, but if you are either side of me, behind or in front, I'm not ignoring you. If someone smiles at me across the Church at that moment, a muted nod and a smile, but nothing that encourages anyone to go on a Billy Connollyesque world tour of the church, I hope.

I've seen so much that is so much worse, I'm not having a breakdown about a hand shake. I find bidding prayers much more excruciating. You can't blame people for the sign of peace, we get told to do it after all. I'd much prefer it wasn't there, but there we are.

Anyway, I now have to remember not to kneel down for the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei in the OF Mass, but wait until afterwards.

Too much to remember...


Patrick Sheridan said...

I have no objection to the Sign of Peace. I would just rather the Sign were given by an Acolyte to a member of the congregation, and they passed it on as they do in the Sanctuary.

As for ''bidding prayers'' - the reason they are so distasteful is because they are read by a lay person, and in a style of English which hardly befits the House of God. If the ''bidding prayers'' were instead a Litany chanted by the Deacon facing Eastwards it would add that much more of a difference.

Anonymous said...

I despair at all this liturgical snobbery! It lacks all charity.
I agree we do not want all and sundry wandering around the church at the sign of peace. Our Lord is everywhere, even in the people we encounter in our daily lives.
When you are having a really bad day and come to Mass you can be lifted by the simplicity of a strangers smile, in turn you can pass that small act on to another.
Bidding prayers come from the laity and it is good that they are read by the laity.
Bidding prayers read by a Deacon facing East…..Come on?
So let me get this right:
Mass should be attended only by a Priest and a Deacon and a select few who love the EF. But we will have none of this lay participation and definitely no riff raff!
Here's me thinking that Holy Mass was for everyone!

Clare said...

As the organist you can start the Agnus Dei as soon as the hand shaking starts. That always gets people back to their pews pronto.

leutgeb said...


Not sure to whom your comment is aimed.

So to be clear, I never ever refuse a hand offered to me or behave in a less than gracious way,because that would be rude.

I don't like Bidding Prayers because I don't like lots of words, they move so swiftly from one intention to another that I find it hard to keep up and the fact that the prayers are composed by anyone leaves them open to someone's personal taste which I have found iffy.

The other iffy things that I have seen at Masses in a Catholic Secondary school include
Readings replaced with passages from secular texts
secular music
liturgical dancing
short dramatic scenes
Mass celebrated in a school hall at a table, when there was a Catholic Church five minutes walk from the school
Holy Communion being given to non-Catholics and unbaptised teachers in front of pupils.

I could go on.

The Mass is clearly for the whole of humanity, because the Gospel is.