Monday, September 22, 2014

That Voodoo That We Do

People pointing at me
causes circus flashbacks.
Sunday was Catechetical Sunday. How was it celebrated in your parish?

In ours, the Bear and the other RCIA teacher were summoned to the front of the Church after a "reflection" [homily] by the lay pastoral assistant.

Did you ever have someone try to do something nice for you that just made you cringe, but there was nothing for it but to grin and bear it? Father had the entire congregation extend their hands "in blessing," while he recited a nice prayer.

Now the Bear needs all the prayers he can get, and appreciates the intent, but the "tradition" of everyone extending one hand in the "Nazi Salute," or -- in this case -- both hands just seems wrong.

First of all, as far as the Bear knows, only priests can properly bless, other than maybe the paternal blessing for children. For example, it bothers the Bear to see "Eucharistic Ministers" bless people who do not take communion.

Also, there is a New Age vibe to it that troubles the Bear. It is just barely possible that New Agers are onto something, and that a group of people focusing their attention on someone can indeed manipulate energy, or channel light, or direct chi, or however you want to put it, according to a particular intention. Without going into detail, let's just say the Bear wouldn't be surprised and doesn't want any part of it.

Finally, it's just a bit too Pentecostal for the Bear. (For the record, the Bear does raise his paws in front of him in a discrete "receiving" gesture during the Our Father because, well, just because. If nothing else it keeps his neighbors from grabbing them. He does not gesture toward the priest at "and with your Spirit.")

Call it what you want, but the Bear calls it odd at best, and voodoo at the worst.

So, what do you think? Is the Bear a carping ingrate? Does he need to loosen up and go with the flow?


  1. Hey, I teach RCIA too! Every year I start with a brief reflection of the start of salvation history. You know -- when the Lord said to Abram, "Leave your father's house. Go into a new land that I will show you."

    Just sayin'.

    1. Cool beginning! I am relegated to one presentation this year: the Papacy.

    2. You're kidding right??? seriously, haha, you're kidding, right?...HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH......

      no seriously?

    3. The Papacy, or the congregational blessing? Both are true.

  2. Poor Bear, I think you need to get that nail out of your foot ASAP before you get Tetanus and run don't walk to the nearest Traditional Roman Catholic Church!!


    We are St. Joan,
    Philomena, Campion
    The Faith in its whole
    Is what we do champion.

    We are St. Margaret,
    Pearl of York
    Where the bowels of the Faith
    They tried to torque.

    We are Sir More,
    That's Thomas the Saint
    Whose reputation
    They could not taint.

    We are vocations
    In Tradition and kneeling
    Adoring His presence
    It's not just a feeling.

    We are descendents
    True Catholics and beggin'
    To stop all the men
    Who are turning us pagan!

    We are the poor,
    Uneducated ones
    But in faith well-informed
    The heretic shuns.

    And when we are told,
    "Don't kneel anymore."
    Since we don't hold doctorates...
    We kneel and IGNORE!!

    1. Poor Bear would be running a long time! There aren't any near Zoar.

  3. Same agenda at my parish. Our town has strong German roots. We chuckle a lot about the Nazi salute.

    We are to turn toward the congregation (er, assembly). I look at the priest since he's doing the talkign and all that. I bow my head down for the Nazi salute and skeddaddle back to my seat stat.

  4. We attend at a local men's religious shrine. Where, for the most part, orthodoxy and the GIRM rules (except the ordinary likes to sorta ad lib at Agnus Dei and Orate Fratres)

    So, no Catechetical Sunday for us. Which is probably just as well...

    Now going in to Full Third Person Mode.

    Things that Newguy won't do...
    *Raise hands to bless other congregants during Mass. Newguy can only bless members of his own family.
    *Hold hands during ANY part of Mass.
    *Orans anything. No "wax on and wax off" for newguy.

  5. Oh, I think your instincts here are spot on, Bear - and whoever in your parish is mandating such nonsense ought not to be able to get away with it. Like EMHCs becoming a fixture at every Mass, this business of the congregation “blessing” you was cooked up by people who are eager to blur the lines between priest and layman (and laywoman…see where this might be going?), the same anticlerical --or maybe that should be “omni[bogus]clerical” -- types that have been jerking hapless Novus Ordo attendees around for years now. They wrap themselves in the flag of “the priesthood of all believers”, and utter the word “hierarchy” -- preceded by “the” and accompanied by a lip-curling sneer -- as a profanity.

    I don’t like them. They don’t care. (Why should they? -- they appear to be winning.)

    1. It ate my reply! It's all on Father so the "community" can "participate." He's a Collegeville alum, so I am just thankful it's not worse. He thinks he's doing the right thing. Our parish is, in a lot of ways, emblematic of post-Vatican II worship. Nothing too weird, but too many off-putting "creative" touches.

    2. Plenty of well-meaning priests have fallen for the idea - hatched by anticlerical fanatics - that they are supposed to model awesome church camp recreation directors. Some of them may even have been trained to think of Jesus as a kind of awesome church camp recreation director. (Hey, it's good enough for those blissed-out Protestants down there at the mega-church!)

      If you’re happy and you know it…


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