Monday, 24 August 2009
I really hate the Sign of Peace at Mass. It's not that I'm being unfriendly or snobbish, it's simply that, at the time of the Mass when the Sign of Peace is offered, I'm trying to recollect my thoughts before receiving the Sacred Body and Blood of my Lord and God... I'm easily distracted at the best of times, and the general hubbub which ensues after the deacon's (or priest's) instruction to offer the sign of peace means that this is not the best of times!
Even when people try to be reverent, and only shake hands with those closest to them, it results in a lot of movement and noise. But, in reality, people seem to try to greet as many others as possible; there is the desire not to "leave anyone out" because you might appear to be unfriendly... And often, especially at weekday Masses, people aren't sitting close to each other, so you get some people all on their own, so others walk across the church in order to make sure they don't feel excluded. People mean well... they want to be kind.
I've learned to keep my head down and my eyes firmly closed... I used to look around and smile at those nearest to me, but that would often encourage someone to "be neighbourly" because I was standing all on my own, and they would walk up to me, hand outstretched. On the odd occasion, I've opened my eyes to find a hand still being proffered, and then it would be rude to refuse to shake hands, but this is rare in my own parish, since I normally sit near the front and don't turn around.
Such behaviour is often misconstrued, so this song made me laugh out loud... apart from the "C of E" bit, I can see me there in a couple of decades (assuming that all the "trendy" priests haven't died out by then!)
Twitch of the mantilla to Catholic With Attitude.