“Shake, rattle . . . ” — blogger’s cutting remarks . . .

. . . Nah. Penetrating. To the heart of the matter.

. . . Which is yet more on the “Shake, rattle” controversy — handshake as kiss of peace before communion.

Summarizing, offering selective observations by readers of ten-plus years ago.

* Bob O. suggests kiss and non-kiss (-shake) sections of church, the ushers asking your preference.

* Bob K. considers church ideal for meeting, greeting, and otherwise being nice to people.

* Margaret tells us that church is for God, not us: Ask not what God can do for you but what you can do for God.

* D. says timing is all off: you greet fellow or sister worshipers (discreetly) at the start of mass, not in the middle of it.

* Jennifer has no use for “power” as used by Bob K. — “our gathering of power from the spirit” — and sees psychobabble in this.

* Bob K. notes that mass has changed with the centuries, defending how we do it now as in the tradition.

* Margaret asks, “Can a New Mass that so obscures its own meaning be from God?”

Some good stuff here.

* Bob O’s consumer-preference model reminds me that the new mass was stuffed down our throats in the ’70s, to the extent that Latin mass-sayers were made to stop, because they were drawing too many away from what experts thought was good for us.

* Bob K’s meeting and greeting is a great idea — outside of mass. Attempts at prayer go with socializing? Don’t buy it.

* Margaret’s bringing us up short with her revolutionary idea that we are not the center of the known universe is refreshing. So is her (unpublished) reference to accounting for herself “on judgment day” for steering anyone away from mass.

Who now is concerned about judgment day? Is it a legitimate concern, or has it gone the way of the Latin mass? We don’t hear about, that’s evident. Maybe some expert can tell us.

* D. addresses the way kiss-handshaking is done, raising her small voice of reason as maybe a stopper or slowing-downer of ENTHUSIASM in the pews.

(Ronald Knox wrote a book about it, bringing scholarly restraint to our impulses and compulsions.)

* If Jennifer is going to spot psychobabble in public utterances by church people, however, she will have time for nothing else. My advice is to pick out the more egregious examples and pray hard for the perpetrators.

* Bob K’s changing-mass concept leaves us wondering why this change and not that. What we have is “prescribed,” Fr. Dietzen reminded us (incorrectly) in his New World column.

There’s something awry also in Bob K’s saying our “faith” has changed, citing cardinals’ fancy duds as something Jesus did not wear. “Faith”? Bob slipped, I’m sure; he does not want to say faith includes vestments.

Meanwhile, the kissing for peace continues as strong as ever, in its handshaking incarnation.

It happened to me on a weekday morning long ago, in a two-hands-on-shoulder from the parish deacon in vestments, who had left the altar and sought me out as I sat in a back row off to the side, sitting with ONE HAND OVER MY EYES TRYING TO BE AND LOOK PIOUSLY ABSORBED.

Talk about ENTHUSIASM. He climbed into the pew in front of me and scared the bejesus out of me with the clap-on-the-shoulder bit. I had not seen him coming!

Next time I will have to keep my eyes fixed on him so I can be ready.

Some years earlier, going up for communion at a Sunday “family mass” in the school hall of another parish, I failed to give my name as had been prescribed by the organizers, and the big guy holding the host refused me communion until I did.

Oh I tell you, there have been some fun times in church in these glorious years of the mass since the council. Of which more later.


  1. Jim Bowman says:

    Reblogged this on Blithe Spirit and commented:

    From the pews, with love . . .


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