Friday, May 16, 2008

More Signs and Symbols

While we're on the subject, I am also posting what my same friend in Don't Leave Home Without It had to say when asked if there were some reference work spelling out the various responsive crossings, genuflections, silent prayers, and so forth during the liturgy. My friend, retired Episcopal priest Fr Ken Peck, had the following to say, and it is almost identical to what I would have written. I have added in italics what, for me, he left out, and put in bold face things he includes that are new to me.

I don't recall ever seeing one. I think I learned by observation, so it was a non-verbal handing down of tradition.

On entering the nave, if there is a baptismal font with water, dip fingers in water and make the sign of the cross. If there is no font, look for a stoup with holy water, dip and sign. In either case recall one's baptism as one's entrance into Christ's Church. If there is neither, flee -- you are in a Baptist Church.

When arriving at the pew, genuflect if the sacrament is reserved; otherwise bow toward the altar. If the sacrament isn't reserved and there is no altar, flee -- you are in a Community Bible Church.

Kneel, sign and begin your pre-communion devotions. Sign again before sitting.

Bow as the cross passes in procession. (Also the bishop; sign if he is blessing. I was taught to genuflect on the left knee.

Sign at the opening salutation.

Strike breast at "have mercy on us" in the Kyries.

Bow at the words "worship" in the Gloria and sign at the end.

Bow as the Gospel Book passes you in procession.

As the gospel is announced, make small signs on the forehead, lips and chest. "May the gospel be in my mind, on my lips and in my heart."

Bow at the "Glory be" and "Praise be" before and after the gospel.

If the preacher begins by involving the Holy Trinity with the correct names, sign, giving thanks that there is hope for the sermon. If not, flee -- you are in a Unitarian Church.

Genuflect at the words "And was incarnate," bow at the words "worshipped and
glorified" and sign at the end of the creed.

Sign at the commemoration of the departed in the Prayers of the People.

Sign at the absolution.

Bow at the Sanctus, sign at the "Blessed is he who comes." Kneel as the prayer of consecration begins. (This violates a canon of Nicaea in Easter season.)

*If there are elevations at the words of institution* sign and pray, "My Lord and my God." Sign at the elevation at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer again praying, "My Lord and my God." If there is no elevation at this point, flee -- you are in a Presbyterian Church.

Sign at the words "Deliver us from evil" in the Lord's Prayer.

(I add here something I have recently picked up from my Roman friends, which is to hold the hands outward, palms raised, during the entire Lord's Prayer. Please don't nobody slap me.)

Strike breast at the words "Lamb of God."

Sign at the invitation, "The Gifts of God for the People of God."

Genuflect when approaching the sanctuary to receive Communion. Sign before receiving the Body of Christ and again before the precious Blood. The ancient way of receiving the Body is to make a "throne" with your right hand placed in your left hand, palms up and open. From there raise the host to your mouth. This is described by Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechetical Lectures.

After receiving the precious blood, touch fingers to lips and then sign.
(This is a somewhat simplified version of what Cyril describes.)

Sign at the final blessing.

Reverse the entry procedure when leaving.

31 comments:

poetreader said...

On entering the nave, if there is a baptismal font with water, dip fingers in water and make the sign of the cross. If there is no font, look for a stoup with holy water, dip and sign. In either case recall one's baptism as one's entrance into Christ's Church. If there is neither, flee -- you are in a Baptist Church.

Good custom, but the advice to flee is uncalled for. Many Anglican churches do make such provision. Many do not. Eastern Orthodox churches do not, and they are not Baptist. It may simply not be the local custom. Perhaps it should be. It's a recent addition to the practice of my parish, and a good one, but we were not Baptist before that.

When arriving at the pew, genuflect if the sacrament is reserved; otherwise bow toward the altar. If the sacrament isn't reserved and there is no altar, flee -- you are in a Community Bible Church.

Again, the instruction is good - the "flee" is not. Perhaps the Sacrament is reserved elsewhere, perhaps in the Chapel (or perhaps you are in the chapel and It is in the main church) -- or perhaps, like the majority of Continuing churches, Mass is happening in a temporary location.

Strike breast at "have mercy on us" in the Kyries.

Not a bad touch of oersonal piety, but not really very good liturgics. I don't/

If the preacher begins by involving the Holy Trinity with the correct names, sign, giving thanks that there is hope for the sermon. If not, flee -- you are in a Unitarian Church.

Not every sermon is begun that way. In fact most of the excellent and fully Catholic sermons I've heard have not been. That did not make them Unitarian.

If there are elevations at the words of institution* sign and pray, "My Lord and my God." Sign at the elevation at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer again praying, "My Lord and my God." If there is no elevation at this point, flee -- you are in a Presbyterian Church.

Are the Eastern Orthodox Presbyterians? They don't do this elevation. It ought to be done in the West, but some of those who don't have orthodox reasons that do not involve denial of the Presence.

Sign at the words "Deliver us from evil" in the Lord's Prayer.

This seems to come from a Victorian misconception of the priest's action in crossing himself with the paten during libera nos, the prayer right after the Lord's Prayer in Mass. It's OK devotionally, but not good liturgics.

(I add here something I have recently picked up from my Roman friends, which is to hold the hands outward, palms raised, during the entire Lord's Prayer. Please don't nobody slap me.)

My custom also. I learned it from attending Orthodox Liturgy.

Instruction like this is helpful, but your friend's advice is a bit overly rigid. There is room for a great deal of variation in personal actions. I've taken the liberty to make some specific comments reflecting my own bias.

Sign at the invitation, "The Gifts of God for the People of God."

Most of our churches don't say this, but, "Behold the Lamb of God. One should sign oneself for that, and beat one's breast at "Lord, I am not worthy..."

ed

poetreader said...

I had prefaced the abone with a paragraph that vanished:

Instruction like this is valuable, but your friend's advice is a bit overly specific and rigid. There is room for variation in personal acts. I've taken the liberty to make some specific comments reflecting my own practice and bias

ed

Albion Land said...

Ed,

Chill, my friend. As Fr Peck said, there really are no hard-and-fast rules and these things are just sort of picked up.

Also, the reference to other churches was a shot at humour along the lines of "Die, heretic scum." Not to be taken seriously.

Albion Land said...

A regular over on the other side, also a retired priest, has added:

Signing at the words "be filled with thy grace and heavenly
benediction" (or their equivalent) in the prayer of consecration.

Anonymous said...

"I add here something I have recently picked up from my Roman friends, which is to hold the hands outward, palms raised, during the entire Lord's Prayer."

So the persons standing to either side of you can clasp them, or. . .?

poetreader said...

Actually, I detected the humor in the comments. Only problem is that I've heard similar things said so dead seriously, and I have seen godly priests shouted at for missing one of these details. I'm cool with what he said. Mostly good advice, but there needed to be a clear voice for the legitimacy of the freedom that does exist, and also to mention some of the differences that do exist. Sorry if I sounded grumpy. Guess I do that inadvertently more than I'd like.

And, yep, my personal practice is actually a bit more elaborate, rather than simpler. I do make that cross at +heavenly benediction. There are also a number of other additions I make, because they have become part of my expression of those words and action.

The major point is that worship is an act of body, mind, and spirit, and the body should be actively involved in the worship.

ed

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, your "Roman friends" (you have friends in Rome? neat!) may be committing an abuse..

(beats the hand-holding nonsense, I suppose)

http://www.adoremus.org/1103OransPosture.html

-Chris M

Sandra McColl said...

I have read where the 'right knee for God', 'left knee for everyone else' distinction is actually a fond thing. The correct view is, if it's worth genuflecting to, it's worth the right knee. (That said, I also read where the Roman Pope got a lot of bent left knees recently in the USA.)

John A. Hollister said...

"Bow as the cross passes in procession. (Also the bishop; sign if he is blessing."

I was taught also to bow when the celebrant passes in procession, be he priest or bishop, because he stands, for this service, in an important way in the place of Christ.

"[S]omething I ecently picked up from my Roman friends ... is to hold the hands outward, palms raised, during the entire Lord's Prayer."

If you see this in a Western church -- flee, because Christians do not need to raise antennae to receive radio waves from the Holy Spirit. Next they'll be dancing in the aisles, and that is a pagan practice.

"Sign at the invitation, 'The Gifts of God for the People of God.'"

If you hear this "invitation" in a Western church -- flee, you are in the presence of some new and suspect rite. There is probably also a Mistress of Ceremonies, in street clothes rather than vestments, standing in the chancel and telling the altar party where to go and what to do when they get there.

John A. Hollister+

"Rzamaxpe", as the verification software saith.

Albion Land said...

"So the persons standing to either side of you can clasp them, or. . .?"

Cute, whoever you are.

Despite your not having either the skill or the courage to sign your name, I have published your comment as a lesson: do not EVER publicly ridicule someone's particular devotional habits; millstones and deep blue seas come to mind when I think about such thoroughly cruel behaviour. Be thankful I have a thick skin.

Albion Land said...

Hi Chris,

Yes, I have a friend or two in Rome, but am not at liberty to name them until such time as I am canonized.

Actually, I first encountered the practice in Spain, where I find it is fairly commonplace. Never thought about it being the customary practice of priests, but looked further back to what I understood to be the stance of all people praying in OT times. I like it, and when it is used, I generally "join in."

Anonymous said...

Striking breast during Kyries is quite new to me. But I encourage it by example at "have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father"

Also, sign of the cross at "departed this life in thy faith and fear."

But to keep things in perspective, all of this, and much more, is practiced preciously in every "Affirming Catholic" parish. Ceremonial was once a sign of faithful catholic doctrine. But that was a very long time ago.
Perhaps it is time for the doctrinally orthodox to identify ourselves with a chaste "John Henry Hobart/Old General Seminary" style of worship.
Laurence K. Wells

Anonymous said...

"Despite your not having either the skill or the courage to sign your name, I have published your comment as a lesson: do not EVER publicly ridicule someone's particular devotional habits; millstones and deep blue seas come to mind when I think about such thoroughly cruel behaviour. Be thankful I have a thick skin."

Consider it a lack of skill. It is I, Caedmon, and I simply forget to append my user name half the time. And I see I'm not the only one who has ridiculed the hand-holding here. Many Roman Catholics of a traditionalist bent ridicule it as well, and for good reason. So I guess I'm in good company, eh?

Am I close to getting banned now?

Albion Land said...

Caedmon,

We don't ban people here, though from the tenor of a number of your posts, I get the impression you would get some sort of perverse pleasure out of being banned.

You are right when you say you are not the only to have ridiculed me here. I also meant to take issue with Canon Hollister, and this note will suffice. I know Canon Hollister, whom I consider as a friend, and did not find his remark either charitable or theologically helpful.

Albion Land said...

Sorry, I forgot to state my final point: ridiculing people here is banned; it gets comments rejected.

Canon Tallis said...

It is plain that much of this comes from the missal of Pius V rather than from traditional Anglican practise derived from the old rite of Sarum. I think it is time that the lot of you read your way through the Hierurgia Anglicana of Vernon Staley or that good book of St John Hope's on the liturgical practises of the Anglican Church from the Restoration to the beginning of the Tractarian Movement.
There is, of course, nothing really wrong with doing any of the recommended practises with the possible exception of the genuflections, but it is always just a bit distressing to see the otherwise very knowledgeable bending to the winds of the Vatican and knowing little or nothing of authentic and historic Anglican practise. It is a bit like folks wandering through English cathedrals and thinking that the monuments they see are pre-Reformation and never looking at the dates which would tell them that they are from the 17th and 18th centuries. Or, and worse, of going to church on Pentecost and finding the clergy wearing red vestments when the prayer book plainly labels it Whitsunday, White Sunday.

Albion Land said...

The following is from Ian, who hasn't quite managed to sort out the technology.

"When arriving at the pew, genuflect if the sacrament is reserved; otherwise bow toward the altar. If the sacrament isn't reserved and there is no altar, flee -- you are in a Community Bible Church."

I have questions regarding reservation:

The CC often speaks to the Vincentian Canon as a foundational principal, that said,
I would like to know if the practices of Adoration, Benediction, and Exposition are being inferred here as requisite to being a proper Anglican observance?

I would like to know if these practices are not observed in a Continuing Church do you believe that church to be other than Catholic?

Also, I would like to know if you believe these practices meet the test of the Vincentian Canon?

Ian

poetreader said...

To reserve the Sacrament, primarily with a view toward Communion of the sick and others who could not be at Eucharist, is indeed an ancient and well attested practice -- thoroughly Vincentian.

To adore Christ present in the elements is enshrined in all liturgies, both East and West. The Catholic Faith does affirm that This is He, and that worship is therefore due.

The practices of the West regarding Benediction and other formalized forms of Eucharistic adoration outside Mass are local customs, not universal, and, though meeting all standards of orthodox theology, should not be taken as signs that faith is orthodox or otherwise. When such a practice is not enshrined in local custom, then it is not done -- and nothing is necessarily inferred by that absence regarding faith in Christ's real Eucharistic Presence. Neither does such practice, when done with a true knowledge of Eucharistic theology, involve one in anything resembling idolatry.

ed

Anonymous said...

I want to be clear.

I am not questioning Real Presence and seek no verification on reservation as practiced in the early church.



What I am asking is are the practices of Adoration, Benediction, and Exposition of the elements as center of worship, whether outside or during Mass, really Anglican (Catholic)? Do the Orthodox practice Exposition such as the use of a monstrance or other adoration in the western manner.

I understand these practices to be 'medieval and latin in origin and opposed by Anglicans including Pusey and Gore' is this wrong?

If there are Anglican defense of these practices when do they originate and by whom?

If in fact these three practices date to medieval time and are latin in origin I would like to know how they meet the test of the VC?

Whose theology is implied regarding local presence?

No trick questions here just looking for clarity.

Ian

Anonymous said...

Ed said: "Neither does such practice, when done with a true knowledge of Eucharistic theology, involve one in anything resembling idolatry."


What do you mean by "true"? What theologians are you drawing from?

How does your explanation work with the Anglican view that "latria" given to an "eidolan" is forbidden in Scripture (1 Cor. x. 14; etc.)?

Does the practice of adoration in these manners justify the charge of "...neglect of the Holy Ghost (which is notorious in the Roman Communion...)"?

Ian

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...and, though meeting all standards of orthodox theology, should not be taken as signs that faith is orthodox or otherwise.

Very important. Being a life long Anglican, and Anglican through and through, I see all such things as optional, useful only if they aid someone's worship as expressions of love to God. They must never become a measure for who is or who is not orthodox, either by those who practice them or by those who shun them. In Anglicanism, when properly taught, Low Church and High Church practices NEVER signify theological disagreement.

Anonymous said...

"We don't ban people here, though from the tenor of a number of your posts, I get the impression you would get some sort of perverse pleasure out of being banned."

Actually not, no. From some places yes. Here, no.

Although the last few days here have been difficult for me.

Rest assured I will never again ridicule the schmaltzy Protestantizations that have infected Rome's liturgy, which have caused so much grief among Rome's traditionalist faithful.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart wrote:

"In Anglicanism, when properly taught, Low Church and High Church practices NEVER signify theological disagreement."

Then why is it that Low Church Anglicans continue to disobey the Ornaments Rubric? Or the prayer book rubrics - I am thinking of 1662 - which indicate the order and importance of services? On the other hand, why do some High Church Anglicans neglect the offices and some other things to the point of not knowing all than is in the Book of Common Prayer?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canon Tallis:
I said, "when properly taught."

Albion Land said...

Caedmon,

"Rest assured I will never again ridicule the schmaltzy Protestantizations that have infected Rome's liturgy, which have caused so much grief among Rome's traditionalist faithful."

Is there some particular reason why you persist in being offensive?

Had this comment come in on my watch, it would have been deleted.

SWR said...

Anonymous said...

"...What do you mean by "true"? What theologians are you drawing from?..."

St. Thomas Aquinas might be a great start and 250+ years before the so called English Reformation.

Faithfully,

Sean W. Reed a/SSM

Alice C. Linsley said...

"to hold the hands outward, palms raised, during the entire Lord's Prayer"

This is quite common among the Orthodox.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Here is a fine list of references:
http://prayerbookanglican.blogspot.com/2008/05/liturgical-book-list-for-would-be.html

Anonymous said...

Sean W. Reed a/SSM said...

"...What do you mean by "true"? What theologians are you drawing from?..."

St. Thomas Aquinas might be a great start and 250+ years before the so called English Reformation.
"

Thank you for your answer, could you please be more specific. I am not looking for a ambiguous "start" but a clear finish to the question.

I am glad to search Aquinas if I knew where to look but I "might" not find an answer if I do not know where to look, could you please site chapter and verse?

Since you raise Aquinas, can it be said if he actually used a Monstrance, etc? or did certain of his writings prompt latter day people to read into said writing and embellish the nature of Reservation?

Did Aquinas believe there is a 'permanence' to the nature of elements and locality being reserved in a monstrance or tabernacle?

Does the fact you are a member of the SSM give you a bias here?

I note that Albion asked questions that went unanswered elsewhere on this blog especially concerning SSM complete accord with the CCC. Would that acceptance of the CCC explain your comment regarding the "so called English Reformation"? I really need the truth not a subjective devotional testimony or personal preference that as far as I am able to ascertain do not meet the Vincentian test.

If there is no satisfactory answer here am I to assume there is none and the practices are truly medieval and Latin in origin and therefor not Catholic in the universal sense at all?

Respectfully

Ian

poetreader said...

Actually, Sean, I would rech much further back than that. Aquinas is wonderful, but not always 100% right, and very, very Western. If one goes back some centuries further, to a time before the Great Schism, and reads the writing of the Fathers, one finds a solid faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Elements themselves, and a frequent advice that what is consecrated in the Eucharist be carried to those not able to be present, and received as Christ Himself. All the ancient liturgies of the Eucharist incorporate actual adoration of Christ in the Elements, with wording that would be idolatrous if this were not His True Presence. There was no notable disagreement evident over this until, in the West only, not too long before Aquinas, a few began to present more representationalist views. Aquinas thus spoke to a strictly Western problem in very Western terms, important to consult, but not necessarily representing the thinking of the whole Church.

ed

Paul Goings said...

Then why is it that Low Church Anglicans continue to disobey the Ornaments Rubric? Or the prayer book rubrics - I am thinking of 1662 - which indicate the order and importance of services? On the other hand, why do some High Church Anglicans neglect the offices and some other things to the point of not knowing all than is in the Book of Common Prayer?

Indeed. Can someone answer this: In terms of the English 1662 B.C.P. (and/or others) is a celebration of the Lord's Supper on Good Friday and Holy Saturday appropriate or not? Why? Is there a regulative principle of public worship that can be inferred, or is the Prayerbook just a collection of resources to be used as desired?