Sunday, February 27, 2005

Liturgical High Fives...

Years ago I went with my cousin to a Christian concert held at a Catholic church. Prior to the actual concert the parish priest came out and spoke a bit. As he concluded his talk he explained the meaning of the sign of the cross gesture that Catholics do. He invited those who wished, regardless of whether or not they were Catholic, to follow him as he led the audience in the sign of the cross. I felt uneasy about following his lead and opted out of performing the gesture. During our worship service today, one of the associate pastors, in an apparent attempt to get the congregation to connect with one another, asked everyone to turn and give someone close by a "high five." Stadium liturgy at its best. As the high fives resounded throughout the church, I suddenly found myself yearning for the reverence found when one acknowledges the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

5 comments:

welcometotheplanet said...

all I can say is wow! I don't know whether to mock or to just shake my head. I think I would seriously walk out if that was ever said in my church.

Wendy said...

You didn't even mention the latest gesture resembling the "E.T. phone home" finger touch we were all supposed to walk out doing. Sigh.

Sciolist said...

"During our worship service today, one of the associate pastors, in an apparent attempt..."

As I was reading the above I was thinking you were going to say something like "the associate pastor...had the congregation make the sign of the cross"! My heart stopped for a second at the thought (I grew up in your denomination) but then I read the rest of the sentence.

It's amazing to me that "clap offerings", dancing in the pew, kneeling at the altar call, and hand raising are okay but making the sign of the cross isn't.

Of course, I wouldn't expect a denomination that has no history of using the gesture to suddenly encourage it, but Lutherans who have a rich history of signing the cross have virtually abandoned the practice (thanks to Pietism).

"Oh, but *GASP* that's Catholic!"

I enjoy your posts on worship (and I.D., and photography, and.....)

Anonymous said...

One of the key differences between these two situations is, of course, that in the Catholic church it was explained.

What do high-fives actually mean? Does the associate pastor know?

Maybe if you'd given three high fives...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to sign.

John Dekker