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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Weapon Of Mass Distraction

Matthew Archbold of Creative Minority Report posts about the Mass he attended this past Sunday where the Sign of Peace became, as he described it, "the 7th inning stretch for Mass."

I've attended Masses where the Sign of Peace descended into events similar to what Matthew described - a group hug, where people stretch and contort across pew and aisle to reach everyone just beyond touching distance. Where the priest leaves the sanctuary to shake hands with as many congregants as possible, even after the choir starts The Lamb Of God, resembling a politician at a voter's rally. All the while, I'm asking myself: Is this proper behavior, while standing at the foot of the Cross?

He quotes our Holy Father as having asked "the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place (in the Mass), such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar. To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord's insistence that we be reconciled with others before presenting our gifts to God."

As everyone knows, Pope Benedict XVI has been active in 'reforming the reform' throughout his pontificate; while still Cardinal Ratzinger, he penned "The Spirit of the Liturgy", a brilliant book that, without so much stating it, shows how important it is to restore reverence to the Mass.

I wonder if hand holding during the Our Father is next on Pope Benedict's list.