Postures and Gestures: POLL on their meaning, importance, spiritual value


#1

OK, so what about posture and gesture? Give the answer that best refrects your POV (point of view) :slight_smile:


#2

I prefer the the very holy and pious gestures and positions that were common place before VII…not saying that VII in any way changed these postures…its just with the close of the 2nd Vat council and the emergence of the CCR…these new gestures and postures made their way into the Mass and I prefer the older ones.


#3

I did not see an option which would be in line with the instructions we are given.

Go with the community (unless of course it is an abusive situation) I personally do not have too much of a real preference–it does vary. I do feel that the Mass is a community celebration (as we are told), so I try to respect the community with which I am worshiping–I try to be inconspicuous, if I am a visitor.

[font=Arial]Girm—With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the deacon, lay minister, or priest gives according to whatever is indicated in the Missal.

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#4

[quote=dumspirospero]I prefer the the very holy and pious gestures and positions that were common place before VII…not saying that VII in any way changed these postures…its just with the close of the 2nd Vat council and the emergence of the CCR…these new gestures and postures made their way into the Mass and I prefer the older ones.
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I do fully agree with you!
The 70’s and 80’s produced an emergence of modernists and liberals running our liturgies. It quickly became an anything goes situation. Thank Our Holy Lord, they are cleaning up those innovations found to be illicit (i.e. Dancing Girls).
Other innovations, would be perfectly fine if balance was found in the Dioceses. If the some of our Vicariates were not huge bashions of modernism, and offered an EWTN type Holy Mass SOMEWHERE, it would be a balance.
However, what has happened is an innovation was started by a liturgical committee member or DRE. Those with less education in our faith, copied them, after a while the herd mentality causes the innovation to become the “norm"
Father Peter Stravinskas wrote in *Understanding the Sacraments, *(Ignatius Press, 1997), how abuses occur:”… with the excuse that the General Instruction does not specifically forbid such additions — even though we know that rubrics always and only tell us what to do, not what not to do."

Once those innovation come in, the people who are more vocal about the “old ways” are belittled and shunned as being Old Fashioned, and told to get used to it.

This would not be bad if they had an EWTN type Mass to go to, but most don’t. They watch as more and more inovations go in. “Why dismiss 1000 years of folding hands for a drawing in a cave? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Is commonly heard in my EWTN type parish.

If anyone would like to have a mass with any allowed (or not stated) gestures, be my guest, but be far and let the people who want to be in Mother Angelica’s church intead of telling them that there is something wrong with them and get used to it.

On another website, we were discussing holding hands at the Our Father. One of the guys wrote this…
"[font=Arial Black][size=2][size=1]At my Church we do a handstand and touch our feet together in the air during the Our Father, which is symbollic of our walk towards heaven, together, as a community."[/size]

I’m still not sure if he was kidding or not. It is not stated in the GIRM.
[/size][/font]


#5

…as long as what we do, we do universally, (catholic) i would be happy… :thumbsup:

it’s only when i walk into a catholic church in a different state, country, or town, and i think that i have walked into a protestant ceremony or a dance class that i become concerned:eek:
…interpretive dance, man that will be the death of me yet:whacky:


#6

[quote=space ghost]…as long as what we do, we do universally, (catholic) i would be happy… :thumbsup:

it’s only when i walk into a catholic church in a different state, country, or town, and i think that i have walked into a protestant ceremony or a dance class that i become concerned:eek:
…interpretive dance, man that will be the death of me yet:whacky:
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The problem is… What is universally Catholic?
Praying with hands folded or the Orans and hand holding?
A Teen Life mass or an EWTN Mass?
Stations led by a Priest or a Mime Group? (that happened at one of our parishes)
The list goes on and on…


#7

There was a very interesting show on EWTN today around 1:00 I think. It was a celebration of the cultural differences within the universal Church, how these expressions enriched the Body as a whole, rather than lessoned the universiality of it.

The choir in the South Pacific had on grass skirts. Wouldn’t that snap some girdles around here?

I guess our art and our gestures reflect our cultural idea of beauty and reverence and suplication. I am glad we have such beautiful diversity within the bounds of valid liturgical expression.

It’s kind of like how Mary always appears to someone as ‘their’ vision of loveliness. She is pure beauty, and look how many different images God has chosen to have her appear in.

The dancing going on at the mass in Africa didn’t seem irreverent at all when I saw it. I guess it seems so to us here because that is not a usually accepted expression of piety. So maybe it’s not valid here.

I think there is something to be said for a somewhat unified posture within each community.


#8

Dear PJR,
Maybe part of the confusion in a diverse place such as N America, is that we all come from such different cultural, ethnic backgrounds. My own heritage is English and Dutch, and I think it’s written in my DNA to be more reserved with my gestures and postures. I tend to be rather inhibited, don’t really like holding hands with strangers, feel funny with the orans position, etc and so forth.

Also, we all have different personalities. Some people are just bubbly innovative types that easily feel inspired by anything that’s new and different. Other people dislike leaving the comfort zone of what they grew up with.

What bothers me is the heavy judgements that people are casting on one another over outward expressions of worship. Also, I notice extreme defensiveness on the part of folks when other people dislike their own way of relating to God.


#9

[quote=WhiteDove]My own heritage is English and Dutch . . . .
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God help ya. Mine, too. I didn’t think anybody else on the planet shared this cultural liability (or privilege, depending on what mood I’m in). Talk about ORANGE! Gotta climb into a hole on St. Pat’s day, don’t we?


#10

[quote=mercygate]God help ya. Mine, too. I didn’t think anybody else on the planet shared this cultural liability (or privilege, depending on what mood I’m in). Talk about ORANGE! Gotta climb into a hole on St. Pat’s day, don’t we?
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LOL. :bounce: :wave: :tiphat:


#11

I’m saddened at the divisiveness in the Body of Christ over this. :frowning:

But, I do feel that pre-Vatican II postures and gestures are more reverant. :yup:


#12

(my kiddies love your posts because of the flying angel)

I truly think you have hit the nail on the head.
When an innovation is put into a parish, people need to understand that the average Pete in the Pew does not want to look out of place. They will do it to go along.
If we were offered an EWTN type mass in every Diocese, we could choose. If those who wanted it had a voice, we could actually find out if it’s just the herd mentality that causes the innovations to look like the “norm”

I really don’t care if someone walks on glass to praise God. Just please don’t do it in Holy Mass.

Just like the thread on the new translation of the missal. People started coming in stating that they weren’t used to it and didn’t like it. Ah Ha!

If people started laying prostrate on the floor to pray during the Holy Mass , how open would everyone be to it? It’s a proper prayer posture.

I (Thank YOU Holy Lord) had an option to go to a more EWTN type parish. If I felt the Orans posture in the Mass is wrong or the group Orans looks silly, I left. Many people don’t have that option. It’s very sad.


#13

[quote=WhiteDove]Also, we all have different personalities. Some people are just bubbly innovative types that easily feel inspired by anything that’s new and different. Other people dislike leaving the comfort zone of what they grew up with.

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Whenever we receive instruction on a liturgical change, our priest always takes the time to explain in detail the specifics of the change. This is to minimize the ill ease many feel about a change. There is nothing that makes people more comfortable than being properly instructed and on the same page as a hundred other people around you.


#14

My :twocents:

This is an individual matter. Each person interacts with God differently…
[list]
*]TRUE - I bet we can all find someone that is different than ourselves
[/list]Cultural differences strongly influence this aspect of our spirituality.
[list]
*]Culture & Regional area play a role in our Traditions - Perception – Actions
[/list]I prefer the post-Vatican revival of some of the ancient postures and gestures.
[list]
*]YES
[/list]The pre-Vatican II postures and gestures are more reverent.
[list]
*]From what my parents taught me…
[/list]One cannot at all judge a person’s heart by posture and gesture.
[list]
*]TRUE – It may give you a foresight but do not Judge a Book by its cover…
[/list]I’m saddened at the divisiveness in the Body of Christ over this.
[list]
*]It should not be an Issue… However, we have a poll to response to…
[/list]I like variety in this aspect of worship. We should be tolerant of each other
[list]
*]I like variety, God revels Himself to everyone in many ways through many things & people. Let us be open to the Holy Spirit with Humble & Contrite Hearts.
[/list]


#15

I absolutely agree with you. It is too bad we tend to judge others motives. I think we can all be guilty of it. And like you said, everyone will gravitate toward their own comfort zone, and will have different ways of expressing the same thing.

Since we are such a melting pot, it stands to reason that there would be many different expressions within our church. I am not comfortable with some forms of liturgy, and would feel weird because it is something unknown. And our postures are important, to go back to the poll. But there’s a huge difference between someone slouching and smirking and chewing gum and someone holding hands to pray. However they hold them. One is universally seen as a body language of indifference, and the other reverence to God.

When I see the Rabbis repeatedly bowing with hands slightly elevated before the wailing wall, I know they are making this gesture as a solemn petition to God to hear them. When I see people at Mass with hands folded in front of them, I know what it implies. Same goes for someone with face buried in hands, head bowed in submission, head back gazing upward, etc.

I just wish we could all find something to learn or appreciate from each other. That was the point I was making when I mentioned the show on EWTN.

I don’t know if you are a cradle catholic or a convert like me, but all the postures and gestures that seemed unfamiliar and foreign are scary to seekers. The first time you genuflect and cross yourself it feels like everyone is watching and critiquing whether you did it right. For the very reason we’ve mentioned. It takes us out of our comfort zone. Usually someone will do nothing rather than risk looking dumb. We should never want to make someone feel dumb or take delight in it. It isn’t very inviting or charitable.

I agree about the personality differences. My husband is not going to be overly outgoing at Mass. He is very reserved. It would be wrong to assume he is unfriendly.

If one expression feels right according to ones personality, cultural experience, etc., do others necessarily have to be bad? I know that’s what you were saying, I agree.

[quote=WhiteDove]Dear PJR,
Maybe part of the confusion in a diverse place such as N America, is that we all come from such different cultural, ethnic backgrounds. My own heritage is English and Dutch, and I think it’s written in my DNA to be more reserved with my gestures and postures. I tend to be rather inhibited, don’t really like holding hands with strangers, feel funny with the orans position, etc and so forth.

Also, we all have different personalities. Some people are just bubbly innovative types that easily feel inspired by anything that’s new and different. Other people dislike leaving the comfort zone of what they grew up with.

What bothers me is the heavy judgements that people are casting on one another over outward expressions of worship. Also, I notice extreme defensiveness on the part of folks when other people dislike their own way of relating to God.
[/quote]


#16

I was not raised Catholic and only converted a few years ago. Which “posture & gestures” are you referring to? What is the “orans” posture. I don’t understand the controversy over holding hands during the Our Father. I though is signified that we were all part of one Catholic Church. Please help me understand.


#17

[quote=azannette]I was not raised Catholic and only converted a few years ago. Which “posture & gestures” are you referring to? What is the “orans” posture. I don’t understand the controversy over holding hands during the Our Father. I though is signified that we were all part of one Catholic Church. Please help me understand.
[/quote]

The Orans position is what the priest does at the time of the Our Father.
Holding hands is inappropriate because it makes the focus horizontal instead of vertical to heaven and is just before the kiss of peace, where we greet our fellow Catholics.


#18

[quote=azannette]I was not raised Catholic and only converted a few years ago. Which “posture & gestures” are you referring to? What is the “orans” posture. I don’t understand the controversy over holding hands during the Our Father. I though is signified that we were all part of one Catholic Church. Please help me understand.
[/quote]

There are many different opinions on these gestures, as you will find out if you spend any time here. Handholding seems to be one thing that causes a lot of controversy and anger. Maybe it’s because of these different personal boundry issues that people have. That’s my theory, at least.

If you want to focus on Christ, I would advise you not to worry about it too much. Leave that stressful job to others and you will find more peace. :slight_smile:


#19

Only God truly knows what is in our heart. Gestures, postures are showing respect not what is in our hearts. Granted body language in everyday life can give us a glimpse inside a person, but in church gestures and postures are sometimes automatic.

In these cases we are only going through the motions of something that is taught. It is not the gestures and postures that make a mass it is what we feel and the moving of the holy spirit that makes the mass.

The Eucharist is focal point of mass not the postures. One on one with Christ. No matter Christ is in the Eucharist. A mass can be as unorthodox as they want it to be. As long as the priest says the words over the body and blood the Eucharist is valid. So I think it is an individual thing between us and God.

Love in Christ


#20

i think that the catholic church will have a general rule in gestures and postures (during the mass) regardless of race and culture because we have the same faith and the same doctrines and the same church.

I hope that “liturgical dancers” will be banned in all catholic churches during the prayer of the “Lord’s Prayer”… it distracts the faithful and i think no saint or pope ever said that dancing is thrice as praying (like St. Augustine’s Singing is twice as praying)… and i think Jesus Christ didn’t dance when He pray this prayer.

i saw some people in our local TV during a celebration in the mass that they raise their hands during the consecration (raising of the Body and Blood of Christ). I think kneeling is enough as a sign of reverence to the Body and Blood of Christ.


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