I just checked Fr. Z's blog and he has another poll up - I know! - asking about holding hands at Mass. He has almost 3000 responses already. I love his polls, BTW. I responded. My response is the 2nd highest category. The poll: Holding hands with anyone/everyone during the Our Father. I responded : No, I'd rather not and I avoid it if possible. (I am male) (29%, 695 Votes)
When I was younger I would have responded: No, I hate it and simply will not do it no matter what. (I am male) (38%, 917 Votes) However, I've mellowed out a lot since I just turned 30. So I'll put up with it if I have to. I never want to offend a little kid by appearing grumpy. One reason I hate it is because I focus too much on the touch aspect - I get uncomfortable - and if they squeeze my hand right before letting it go... well, I kind of want to follow them home - you know, "You like me! You really, really like me! Let's hug now!" So the best way I have found to avoid holding hands is to fold my own in prayer - no closed eyes though - far too 'affected'.
Yes. Orans position - no. I never went in for that - even at Charismatic prayer meetings. And I never did the outstretched hands in the giving gesture towards the priest when we respond, 'and also with you' (now being 'with your spirit') either. Which reminds me of all the touching that goes on at the sign of peace - that can get rather annoying as well. I do the handshake - but the 'ritual' could be toned down quite a bit - as far as I'm concerned. After all - we greet each other before Mass actually begins. Although, I have to admit those people who travel pew to pew to greet everyone sort of crack me up. There is one older woman who walks up and down the aisle greeting people at the end of the pews. I always wonder if she takes the 'priesthood of the laity' far too seriously. (Yes I try to shake her hand graciously when she gets to me.)
Speaking of lay priesthood, one of the CSJ's at my parish spoke before Mass last evening for the Retired Religious Fund Drive. Before I tell you about it, please be mindful I am not judging her in any way - I'm simply writing here of how she impresses me. She's a very nice, pleasant lady.
Anyway, her talk was really long - homily length, in fact it sounded like a homily - she covered a lot of the social activist bases before she launched into the retired religious deal. She read the entire speech - and to be honest - she made so many mistakes - I'm not sure she authored it. There were a couple of jokes she just monotoned right over. I got the feeling however - she wanted to be giving the homily. I got the impression she wasn't happy that religious were never highly paid years ago when they lived in community. I got the other distinct impression, that she wanted us to know that religious are people too - just like lay people - that we are all equal, and it seemed to me, that is why they no longer wear the habit. Whenever I see her, as well as last night, she strikes me as rather joyless and barren - monotoned, as it were. Fortunately for her she had a church filled with people who remember the 'good old days' when school sisters didn't have to worry about a living.
The new translation.
Yep - just a couple parts seem slightly awkward - perhaps it is just a matter of time needed to become accustomed to it. For instance, in Eucharistic Prayer II: "Make holy therefore these gifts we pray, by sending down your Holy Spirit like the dewfall..." Nevertheless, I'm happy and grateful for what we have.
In fact my pastor is making great use of the new translation for his homilies - not only explaining things that have changed, but by sharing his meditations on the elevated language. It's all good.