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Eucharist kneeling request sparks controversy [Catholic Caucus]
WCR ^ | December 15, 2008 | DEBORAH GYAPONG

Posted on 12/12/2008 6:48:14 AM PST by NYer

OTTAWA — Ottawa’s archbishop would like all parishes in the sprawling diocese to kneel at the same time during the Mass.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast said he is implementing what the Canadian bishops had decided a few years ago would be common practice throughout Canada when the new translation of the Roman Missal comes into use.

He never expected his request would become a front-page story in the Ottawa Citizen, describing the move as “authoritarian.”

“It didn’t strike me as controversial,” he said. “But you can always line up people on either side of an issue.”

“It gets the message out that there’s a change,” he joked.

Though the new missal is not expected until 2010 or 2011, the archbishop decided to introduce the change at the start of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year.

“I want harmony and unity in the diocese,” he said. “I felt we needed to move now, to make some movement towards a regular, balanced position on liturgy.”

Pastoral letter

In a pastoral letter dated Nov. 23, Prendergast invited all parishes to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer, from the end of the “Holy, holy, holy” to the Memorial Acclamation when the celebrant says, “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.”

'If you had no response to change, people wouldn’t be alive.'

- Archbishop
Terrence Prendergast

Prendergast had informed his priests of the change last August, and said “a number” were not happy about it. Some expressed concerns that the archdiocesan liturgical commission was not consulted.

He has also had some parishioners complain.

“Change always does that,” he said. “If you had no response to change, people wouldn’t be alive.”

Bishops in Atlantic Canada initiated the move to a new common practice while he was still archbishop of Halifax, he said.

The Canadian bishops’ decision to adopt this happened before his appointment to Ottawa in 2007.

Noise and distraction

In travelling throughout the sprawling Ottawa Archdiocese, with its French and English sectors, Prendergast noticed a whole range of practices: some congregations stand throughout, some kneel in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer, causing a lot of noise and distraction, and others continue to kneel after the Consecration.

As more parishes are working together, sometimes congregants will be confused at a joint gathering, with half standing and half kneeling, a sign of division, he said.

When the controversy hit the front page, Prendergast had just returned from Rome where he had attended meetings of Vox Clara, an advisory group of Scripture scholars that is making recommendations to the Congregation for Divine Worship on the English translation of the Roman Missal.

The work during the latest meeting concerned the translation of the Proper of Seasons, that includes the prefaces for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and other seasons during the Church year.

“It’s slow,” he said. “It’s always longer than you think.”

“We were hoping to finish by 2010, but it looks like we may finish by 2011,” he said.

Dignity before God

Some of the controversy over the change is theological, though Prendergast noted in his pastoral letter the reasons for standing: “expressing our dignity before God as his children set free by the death and resurrection of Christ;” and for kneeling: “to express adoration and reverence.”

He also pointed out that both postures would be in use during the Great Eucharistic Prayer of Praise.

Others have objected to being told what to do, though the Citizen had trouble finding people to comment publicly.

Though the newspaper described his move as authoritarian, the archbishop disagrees with the label. Exercising authority and making proper decisions can be perceived as authoritarian, but it is not, he said.

Others objected to the focus on a liturgical change when the Church faces other problems.

Parishioner Toddy Kehoe told the Citizen, “Is that all they have to think about? I don’t see the Catholic Church as doing loving things.

“I don’t see them as the caring community they should be. It isn’t whether you stand or kneel.”


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: ca; catholic; ottawa
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1 posted on 12/12/2008 6:48:14 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 12/12/2008 6:49:08 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

>>Parishioner Toddy Kehoe told the Citizen, “Is that all they have to think about? I don’t see the Catholic Church as doing loving things.

“I don’t see them as the caring community they should be. It isn’t whether you stand or kneel.”<<

If Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared right there standing on the Altar, how concerned would this dude be about “community”?

Well He is there. Right there, on the Altar. Apparently, this man has no clue about that.


3 posted on 12/12/2008 6:52:59 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: netmilsmom

I don’t see how valid authority is not seen as “loving”.


4 posted on 12/12/2008 6:55:39 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: NYer

...if they don’t like it the Episcopal/Unitarian churches are right down the street...


5 posted on 12/12/2008 7:01:40 AM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: netmilsmom

WWJD? Would He care? Hel-loooow, padre - get a life.


6 posted on 12/12/2008 7:05:24 AM PST by QBFimi2 (Ve are the New World Order; ve bring to the world dis-order. Spike Jones, 1943.)
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To: Carpe Cerevisi

oh how stiff necked His people have become. I wish I could receive on my knees like I used to. We have become so full of pride, even the smallest amount of humility seems to cause strife. get over it Catholics, or find another Church! We ARE WHO WE ARE, and we are the Church of Christ. I can’t imagine any catholic arguing against kneeling at the time of consecration, except those who do NOT realize it is not merely a symbol because of poor catechesis.


7 posted on 12/12/2008 7:05:36 AM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: NYer
Prendergast had informed his priests of the change last August, and said “a number” were not happy about it. Some expressed concerns that the archdiocesan liturgical commission was not consulted.

It's about time that bishops started showing their priests who's in charge!

8 posted on 12/12/2008 7:07:05 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: NYer
Others have objected to being told what to do, though the Citizen had trouble finding people to comment publicly.

Translation: we had to hunt everywhere we could think of for days and days to find Toddy Kehoe, who hasn't been to church in years.

Comment: If you don't like being told what to do, Toddy my boy,

You'll fit right in!

9 posted on 12/12/2008 7:07:36 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: QBFimi2

>>WWJD? Would He care? Hel-loooow, padre - get a life.<<

Do you believe in the trinity?


10 posted on 12/12/2008 7:09:16 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer

I have been attending the Trinidine Mass on Sundays.

No shorts, no flip-flops, no shaking hands, no kids running around and eating, no laypersons distributing Holy Communion.

Just an hour of celebration and worship of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as I remember it.

What a joy!


11 posted on 12/12/2008 7:09:54 AM PST by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kellynla

We have the same thing at our Very traditional NO Holy Mass.

We kneel. A lot.


12 posted on 12/12/2008 7:13:10 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: QBFimi2
WWJD? Would He care? Hel-loooow, padre - get a life.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

WWJD?

Jesus was obedient. He was so obedient that he atoned for our sins. He asked his Father if the cup could be passed, and when it wasn't he obeyed.

If Christ could be humble and obedient, I would think Catholics would be more than willing to be humble and obedient to their bishop's righteous **invitation**.

I greatly admire Catholics who practice **all** of their religion. I wish we had a nation filled to the brim with them.

13 posted on 12/12/2008 7:16:24 AM PST by wintertime
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To: QBFimi2

I certainly think the Christ would notice you don’t recognize who HE is!

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t feel worthy to STAND in the presence of the Lord Almighty!!!


14 posted on 12/12/2008 7:21:25 AM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( The Constitution needs No interpreting, only APPLICATION!)
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To: NYer
On the one hand, these changes are so infinitesimally small, one would have to be a complete lardhead to spend time objecting to them.

On the other hand, one has to really wonder about Church Fathers who spend even one second of their day pondering such things, while at the same time you look around the world and (pardon the expression) Rome is Burning!

15 posted on 12/12/2008 7:26:25 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: NYer
Prendergast had informed his priests of the change last August, and said “a number” were not happy about it. Some expressed concerns that the archdiocesan liturgical commission was not consulted.

The Church isn't a democracy. Get over it. I don't get why people have a problem with kneeling. My archdiocese never changed from it being the norm. Those who don't kneel are considered the oddballs.

16 posted on 12/12/2008 7:27:29 AM PST by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue (I choose virtue. Values change too often).)
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To: netmilsmom

These quotes are simply quotes for ignorant Catholics, and sadly there are tons of them out there these days who don’t know the very basics of their faith.

You kneel during the consecration and should be kneeling the entire time once it occurs until the Eucharists have been placed away. During that time you are in the presence of Jesus himself according to Catholic doctrine and do not be kneeling unless physically unable to do so is disrespectful.

Its really nothing more difficult than that.


17 posted on 12/12/2008 7:30:05 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: netmilsmom

These quotes are simply quotes for ignorant Catholics, and sadly there are tons of them out there these days who don’t know the very basics of their faith.

You kneel during the consecration and should be kneeling the entire time once it occurs until the Eucharists have been placed away. During that time you are in the presence of Jesus himself according to Catholic doctrine and to not be kneeling unless physically unable to do so is disrespectful.

Its really nothing more difficult than that.


18 posted on 12/12/2008 7:31:09 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: pgkdan

I think some of our Bishops are as wishy washy as our political head honcho in D.C.

Hoo-ray for the “radicals” among us!


19 posted on 12/12/2008 7:34:08 AM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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To: HamiltonJay

Spot on!


20 posted on 12/12/2008 7:39:03 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: QBFimi2

A better question would be, “What would you do in the presence of Jesus?”

I would be on my knees instantly!

Now, how about you?


21 posted on 12/12/2008 7:41:03 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Just a question for my Catholic friends on FR: When kneeling is ‘required’ as part of the mass, are those who have knee problems or problems getting back up from the a kneeling position exempted? (I assume so, but was just curious as to whether my assumption was correct.)


22 posted on 12/12/2008 8:00:12 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Salvation

>>I would be on my knees instantly! Now, how about you?

At age 64 with a severe knee injury in one leg, and two pins in the other foot - courtesy a Vietnam-era Air Force flight school parachute injury, I thank the Lord every day I can get up from my bed and walk. Frankly, if I had my ‘druthers, I’d be flat on the ground with my face in the dirt (check the Hebrew testament for references) in His presence. Sorry, can’t do that very well any more.

As the pendulum swings from the “Father Feelgood’s happy time” sermon days, we should be aware that it can also swing a bit too far in the opposite direction.


23 posted on 12/12/2008 8:00:16 AM PST by QBFimi2 (Ve are the New World Order; ve bring to the world dis-order. Spike Jones, 1943.)
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To: Salvation
I would be falling on my face out of sheer terror ---

. . . but I can't help thinking that would look pretty odd in the middle of Mass . . . . so kneeling is good. Our priests and deacons prostrate themselves in the center aisle every Good Friday.

Our rector passed the word awhile back that we would be standing from "Pray, brethren . . . " and would kneel after the Sanctus. And everybody does.

24 posted on 12/12/2008 8:01:29 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: Salvation
A better question would be, “What would you do in the presence of Jesus?” I would be on my knees instantly!

I'd probably be flat on my face. Now whether I could get back up or not is another story. ;)

25 posted on 12/12/2008 8:03:07 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: MEGoody
Absolutely.

Not only that, if you have trouble walking the Rector or one of his Vicars will bring the Sacrament to you in your pew. Just sit up front.

26 posted on 12/12/2008 8:03:07 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: QBFimi2

I know theoretically the pendulum could swing too far, but it hasn’t happened yet — even in our Latin Mass parish here.


27 posted on 12/12/2008 8:04:17 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: HamiltonJay

>> These quotes are simply quotes for ignorant Catholics, and sadly there are tons of them out there these days who don’t know the very basics of their faith.

Bingo!


28 posted on 12/12/2008 8:05:24 AM PST by QBFimi2 (Ve are the New World Order; ve bring to the world dis-order. Spike Jones, 1943.)
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To: kellynla; netmilsmom
No shorts, no flip-flops, no shaking hands, no kids running around and eating, no laypersons distributing Holy Communion.

Simply by eliminating communion in the hand, the attitude of the congregation improves immediately. And when it comes to attire, I often wonder how many of the people in shorts and flip-flops would attend a White House dinner in that attire. Whereas in Church, they meet the Lord of the Universe!

Like netmilsmom with her reverently worshiped NO liturgy, we have the same degree of reverence and respect in the Maronite Catholic Church. We have grown so accustomed to proper attire that when visitors show up wearing casual clothes, they become self conscious at how they stand out from the congregation.

29 posted on 12/12/2008 8:11:51 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: MEGoody
When kneeling is ‘required’ as part of the mass, are those who have knee problems or problems getting back up from the a kneeling position exempted? (I assume so, but was just curious as to whether my assumption was correct.)

Absolutely! Our parish is small enough that Father actually brings the consecrated and intincted hosts to two old ladies who both have walkers. God bless him!

30 posted on 12/12/2008 8:16:49 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: MEGoody
Most of the "rules" have mitigations for age or health. As has already been said, standing and kneeling are not required of those for whom it would be extraordinarily painful. For another example, fasting is not required of those who have passed their 59th birthday.

Our last pastor installed kneelers. Before then, as the rubric required, most people stood during the consecration, but a few insisted don kneeling. Now that the kneelers are there, everyone kneels, but I have heard a few extra-curricular rants about how kneeling hurts "community". Weird.

31 posted on 12/12/2008 8:25:16 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: NYer

I attended Mass at the Cathedral in the Sault Ste. Marie Diocese on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, and we knelt as the article describes, so I guess some dioceses in Canada are ahead of the others.

It was less kneeling than I am used to at my home parish in the Saginaw Diocese in Michigan, but it is the posture agreed upon by the Canadian bishops, so fine by me.


32 posted on 12/12/2008 8:59:15 AM PST by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: MEGoody

People with bad knees do not have to kneel, and many do not even though they want to, because their doctors have told them not to. My father has cartilage worn completely out of both knees after decades of hard work on top of old high school football injuries, so he falls into this category.


33 posted on 12/12/2008 9:01:18 AM PST by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: NYer
Simply by eliminating communion in the hand, the attitude of the congregation improves immediately.

Our parish allows communion in the hand (I don't think the pastor can forbid it, though we have no altar girls), but when I've been watching while waiting our pew's turn, I've noticed that the majority receive on the tongue. I'd estimate about two-thirds.

34 posted on 12/12/2008 11:17:21 AM PST by nina0113 (Hugh Akston is my hero.)
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To: NYer; pgkdan; AnAmericanMother; netmilsmom; Desdemona; Mad Dawg

Interesting controversy. For what its worth, which is likely plenty, the 20th Canon of the 1st Ecumenical Council at Nicea states:

“On the Lord’s Day and at Pentecost all must pray standing and not kneeling.”

Radical, left wing, disrespectful notion from 325 AD. :)


35 posted on 12/12/2008 11:59:29 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Another example of long-ago divergence of custom and tradition in the Two Lungs of the Church.

Believe me, the folks in the Roman churches who are standing for the entire Consecration are NOT the same as the Orthodox folks who are standing throughout.

I bet none of the Orthodox are doing the "field goal heave", imitating the priest's gestures, or holding hands and holding their hands above their heads during the Our Father . . . .

36 posted on 12/12/2008 12:05:52 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: Kolokotronis

In fact, the Church has recognized eight positions of prayer and worship: standing upright, sitting, inclining of the head and neck (what is called a “bow”), bowing at the waist (”deep bow”), touching our forehead to the floor (”bow to the earth” ­ popularly known as a “prostration”), bending one’s knees (”kneeling”), standing on one’s knees (also, improperly, called “kneeling”), and holding a bow to the earth (”full prostration”).

There is a ninth action that is seen in many churches today a bow with the addition of touching one’s hand to the floor. That is either a pietistic addition to a deep bow or a replacement of a prostration. In the latter case, I believe it was begun by people who could no longer make a prostration because of their health, but has been taken over as a “replacement” prostration.

The eight actions are performed by both the clergy and the laity at various times in the services. Though most eliminate as many as five of the actions, replacing them with just three standing upright, bowing the head, and sitting whether appropriately or inappropriately. Appropriate sitting is when it is called for, such as during the Kathisma, while inappropriate sitting is done by custom, such as when the Royal Doors are closed or during all litanies.

Each of these eight positions has its own distinct term in Greek (and in Slavonic). Only in English have we not established appropriate terminology as yet. Thus, we speak of “kneeling” which should mean bending a knee to the ground and manage to confuse all activities in which a knee touches the ground. We speak of “prostration” despite the fact that lying on the ground (being prostrate) is not one of the eight actions.

As a result, there is a lot of confusion, especially when reading the fathers or the Canons of the Church in translation. The same confusion often exists because the words for “prayer” and “worship” are also often confused and assumed to mean the same thing when they, also, are quite distinct in Greek and Slavonic.

So, when the Fathers speak of “standing,” we need to be very careful to know which term they are using because they can be referring to “standing on one’s knees” as well as “standing upright.”

At the same time, when they speak of not “kneeling during prayer,” we need to be very careful not to assume that they are categorically saying that no knee should touch the ground. Such things are simplifications due to the limitations of English terminology and not their intent at all.

From here...
http://www.dneoca.org/articles/responsekneel0795.html


37 posted on 12/12/2008 12:06:49 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: kellynla
Got to go to Latin Mass on the holy day last Monday. Awesome music, reverence and a candlelight procession around a couple of busy blocks - you should have seen the stares from the cars driving by.

Did I mention we live in Paganville?

38 posted on 12/12/2008 12:20:05 PM PST by pbear8 (I have plenty of credit, there is no crunch)
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To: Kolokotronis

Yep. I’ve viewed that as eschatological. Or, in my smartbutt way of thinking: He’s risen again, the least we can do is rise once.


39 posted on 12/12/2008 12:23:49 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: netmilsmom

Beware the OCA and its usually self serving opinions, netmilsmom.

BTW, the Greek Church kneels on Sundays (except between Pascha and Pentecost), the Canon notwithstanding. It drives most of the Slavs crazy!


40 posted on 12/12/2008 12:24:46 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“I bet none of the Orthodox are doing the “field goal heave”, imitating the priest’s gestures, or holding hands and holding their hands above their heads during the Our Father . . . .”

Oh, Gawd!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably just as good we don’t have intercommunion. I’d likely start gagging.


41 posted on 12/12/2008 12:26:54 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Make you a deal: we'll send all those goofy folks to the Episcopal Church (with BXVI's help and encouragement) in exchange for the few remaining orthodox and highly reverent Anglicans.

THEN we can move forward!

42 posted on 12/12/2008 12:29:53 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse (TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - recess appointment))
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To: Kolokotronis

>>Beware the OCA and its usually self serving opinions, netmilsmom.<<

Well then I’ll go with this.
Traditionally in the Latin Catholic Church we kneel.

I’ll go with the tradition!


43 posted on 12/12/2008 12:31:05 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: pbear8

>>Did I mention we live in Paganville? <<

LOLOL!
That must be near where I live. Innovation Central.


44 posted on 12/12/2008 12:32:15 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“Make you a deal: we’ll send all those goofy folks to the Episcopal Church (with BXVI’s help and encouragement) in exchange for the few remaining orthodox and highly reverent Anglicans.”

If you send their priests, bishops, monks and nuns with them, I’d say that was a great start! :)


45 posted on 12/12/2008 12:33:44 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: netmilsmom

“Traditionally in the Latin Catholic Church we kneel.

I’ll go with the tradition!”

Very good. Let the Slavs be upset!


46 posted on 12/12/2008 12:34:32 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

>>Very good. Let the Slavs be upset!<<

Define Slavs. Like Yugoslavs?


47 posted on 12/12/2008 12:37:59 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: netmilsmom

“Define Slavs. Like Yugoslavs?”

Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians, those types.


48 posted on 12/12/2008 12:42:03 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

>>Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians, those types<<

Thanks!


49 posted on 12/12/2008 12:46:24 PM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: NYer
Isn't there something rather symbolic about refusing to "bend the knee" before Jesus truly present?

Could we say this is something of a metaphor for the attitude of many to not only Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament but also His Church? A metaphor for the refusal to accept Catholic teaching and dogma?

A symbol of pride perhaps? Rebellion? Kneeling is the position of the supplicant......the humble man.

50 posted on 12/12/2008 1:08:52 PM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future"- Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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