Monday, May 29, 2006

Kneeling at Mass Banned in the OC

Now they don't even have to kneel at Mass, the spoilt pack of hoorsIn Huntington Beach, California, the local Catholic Diocese of Orange County has banned kneeling during the Mass, according to the Los Angeles Times. If they banned the their parishioners from having anything to do with that rotten TV show, wouldn’t it serve them better? Banning kneeling – they’ll ban the Rosary next.

Here in benighted Ireland, this information is difficult to swallow, as kneeling remains a very popular pursuit during the liturgy. It is a poor reflection on An Spailpín that the most fun he derives during the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony comes from watching the bride and groom trying to discreetly twist their heads through 120 degrees or so, in order to get a goo at Mammy and see whether she’s seated, standing or down on her knees during specific parts of the liturgy. It’s grand at the back, when you have the whole congregation on whom to base your decision, but you have wing it up at the front on those little kneelers. And when yourself and herself are standing while all the boys are kneeling, and kneeling during one of the take-five bits, it’s fairly clear that you’re only in God’s house today because it’ll look good in the photos or else Mammy will bate the head right off you, as she used to do in days of yore, if you weren't.

An Spailpín knows one man who wouldn’t be too impressed with this not kneeling malarkey – one Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, who was elevated to the Papacy on February 20th, 1878, taking the name Leo XIII. His Holiness Pope XIII didn’t cash out for another 25 years, making him the third longest serving Pope – he was second for a long time until JP II just edged him last year.

As Pope, Leo XIII knew what he liked. And one of the things he liked best was kneeling. Audiences with His Holiness Pope Leo XIII were conducted with His Holiness seated on his Papal Throne, Cathedra Petri, and ever other person in the room on their two knees with the head down. Suppose His Holiness were to use that new fangled telephone – Pope Leo XIII, in fairness to the man, was fully in favour of new technology – then you had to hit the knees as soon as you recognised his voice coming down the line, and stay down there until he finished talking, and not before. There were right Popes one time, and long before the age of the beardy priests and the banjo Masses. And An Spailpín isn’t making this up either – he read it in this book here.

Of course, there are some rebels in Orange County, CA, who refuse to stay standing, and get down on their knees just like they always used to. They’ve been threatened with excommunication. Excommunicated for kneeling at Mass – the world is just gone plumb crazy.

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