Sunday, November 16, 2014
Kneeling is now the norm - Alleluia!
One of my ongoing disputes at my parish has been over following (or in the case of my parish, not following) liturgical norms. It's been fought in stages.
A couple of years ago, the main issue was lay people preaching. After discussions with the pastor, I finally wrote to the bishop. The preaching did not completely end for a while, but the more blatant preaching did end, and the even the indirect preaching (Father saying something, then giving way to a lay person) was gradually phased out.
There were other minor issues that I didn't push - such as Eucharistic Ministers standing at the altar while the priest received Communion. The bishop put an end to that one across the diocese this fall.
But one area I did raise concerns about was standing at the Eucharistic Prayer, even though the national norms called for kneeling. I had spoken to the pastor, and when that didn't work, even wrote two years ago to the former bishop, who was, admittedly, less formal about norms. He backed Father, so I kept quiet and stood with the rest of the congregation.
This past summer during daily Mass when a few people knelt during the Eucharistic Prayer - including me, thinking I wasn't being confrontational as others were doing it - Father had even stopped Mass and instructed us all to stand. I was troubled by this, and attended daily Masses elsewhere from that point on.
But with the new bishop cleaning up liturgical practices, I had thought of writing again. I hadn't yet, but apparently no longer need to. Today at Mass we knelt. I'd been away from the parish for a couple of Sundays, so I asked someone who'd been there every week. He said the pastor had announced a couple of weeks ago that from now on we would kneel.
Did the Bishop say something? Did Father just realize what the norms called for, or perhaps sense that conformity to the norms was finally becoming standard practice in the diocese?
I don't know. I'm just happy to see it.
Now about liturgical dancing ...
Pax et bonum