07 December 2013

Advent Thoughs

I admit to being rather amused at what some folks think of as, "the only way" to do certain things. I for instance, am one who generally stands during the prayer of consecration, to receive communion, and for the prayers after the communion. From time to time, someone who kneels through these acts will challenge me about my posture. I respond by pointing out that the prayer book (Book of Common Prayer) calls on us to stand if we are able. I have actually found it necessary to show some folks the rubric. In one or two cases, the interrogator has sought to claim the second part of the rubric which permits kneeling is more appropriate. I have finally told those folks that I am a conservative, and that they are seeking to change the proper mode of conduct.

If they demand proof that the church calls us to stand, I offer them this.
Canon 20
Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.
"Canons of Nicea" circa 325 A.D. Church Fathers

Generally, that ends the discussion, if not the disagreement. In a sense that is a shame. I am always open to the possibility that I am wrong. I would welcome some serious conversation.

I have had a rather long Advent already. I helped edit the parish's Advent devotional, a booklet of essays on lessons for each day of Advent. As the essays began to come in, I found myself asking myself if I am ready for the coming of the incarnate Word. The answer was not comforting. I am not sure anyone is truly ready to see God. I know that when I consider the idea, my internal list of failings, evils and the like pops into my mind. Can anyone truly approach the incarnation without some fear? Am I, at 67, ready for a meeting with the risen Christ? I rather think not. So how ready am I, really, for a meeting with the incarnate baby Jesus? Not a question to be answered lightly!

This year, serving on the vestry, I find myself asking another question: Is the parish ready to hear, or discuss, issues like the et filoque or even the rubrics? I think the maturity exists, others do not seem to be as confident. I know I have been wrong before.

So I stand, nearly alone, most of the time. I guess coming from Eastern European families into this daughter of the Church In England, I am foredoomed to being an outlier. At least in this case (certainly not in all!) I am reasonably sure I have the weight of 1700 years of orthopraxis firmly in my corner.

Maybe there is such a thing as too much reading or thinking? Do not get me started on how and when to make the sign of the cross, or the ending of the, "Lord's Prayer!"

1 comment:

Stan Theman said...

Even for the religious, you are far too concerned with trivialities.

St Laika's

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