Orans Posture

Since my entrance into the Catholic Church I have spent my days and evenings reading the Canon (laws of the Church), the Rubrics, and documents of the Church.  I have many more to read and understand, but one thing has been pretty clear, what should be done in Mass and what should not be done.

There is a posture taken by Priest called the Orans Posture in which they place their hands out and up when praying singularly for the Congregation.

Orans Posture

Orans Posture

In reading the rubrics prior to 1950, this was a position that only Priest were to take that were celebrating or con-celebrating when they were praying on behalf of the Congregation, and while the Congregation was silent.  The rubrics stated that the hands of a Priest, when praying WITH the Congregation were to be together “in a prayerful manner”.

If you read the rubrics now, it still has the Priest in this position when praying on behalf of the the congregation and people of the world, but continues to have the Priest take this posture when praying the “Our Father”, which now shows the Congregation praying, where before they did not pray with the Priest during Mass.  The Deacon, if present is still to be in the “prayerful manner”, which was described in the past as hands together, fingers extended and thumbs cross or fingers interlaced and crossed.  (The Deacon or non-concelibrating but present Priest were not to take the Orans Posture…)

In the late 60s to early 70s the Charismatic groups and Nuns in the United States started holding hands with the advent of the text from Vatican II.  There was never a proclamation to do so, and there was no rubrics changes published by the Church to do so, they just started to do it to show togetherness.

However if you go back in history, the only time we see this posture being taken was when a LEADER/ELDER/PRIEST was praying for the people, it was never a posture taken by the lay or religious people unless they were the ones leading the prayer and praying on behalf of the people present.

It was a practice to hold hands at the dinner table when praying, but never was it so while in Church or at a Religious service!

We need to go away from the attempt to become like the Ordained and return to our roots in this case.  Don’t get me wrong!

I am all for change when change needs to happen, but this is not a change that makes since or needs to happen.  It is taking our actions to us and away from God and our love and need to be with Him and returning our focus on ourselves and not Him!

In Christ

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Prayer Life

Well, for the past month and a half, I have been a bit slack on my spiritual life.  I haven’t really been reading much in the way of theology or within my faith (although I have done some “recreational” reading), and I have missed more of my prayer hours that I would have liked.  That has started to change today though, I am going back to my prayer life, although on a different schedule than I had as a Hermit.

I will not be getting up at Midnight to do the Office of the Readings, but will be doing them right after getting up at 5AM.  The Church I go to now does the Morning Offices prior to Mass, so I will be doing this Hour with the Congregation present at Mass.  The rest of the hours will remain at or close to their normal times. 🙂

In Christ,

Don

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The Rant Continues, Holy Days of Obligation…

Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church.  What this means is you are “required” as part of being Catholic to go to Church every Sunday and “keep it Holy” by dedicating the day to the Lord.

Here in the US, because many people started taking jobs that required them to work Sundays, there was created a Saturday Vigil Mass, initially for those that worked the next day, to allow them to meet their Sunday obligation of going to Church.  Over time, more and more people started going to the Saturday Vigil Mass “to free up their Sunday mornings for “fun things””.  In general I am OK with the Vigil Mass, but it was (and still technically still is) intended for those that had to work on Sunday (don’t get me started on that, or the rant soap box will get REALLY worn out).

Over the last few years, it appears all of the Sunday Masses are having deteriorating attendance, which is not good.  If you are Catholic, be Catholic and meet your obligations, it is for your own good and the good of your Soul!

There use to be 10 (and more even earlier in the history of the Church) “High Holy Days of Obligation” throughout the year.  These would fall on the same numerical day of the year, such as “St Joseph’s Day” on March 9th, what ever day of the week that date would fall on, requiring you to go to Church on that day and attend Mass.  In the Old days, many people were allowed to take that day, or part of the day, off to attend Mass.

Here in the States we have reduced that number to 8 days, and 7 of those we “move” to a the closest Sunday after that date, leaving only Christmas on it’s set date.  All because too many people complained about “having to be at Church during the week”.  (At least that is what if feels like and looks like to me!)  Now, in partial defense of the Faithful, the local work forces do not allow their employees take the time to meet their spiritual needs anymore, or cause many problems if they do get asked to let their religious oriented people go to Mass and come back to work.

All that said, people are not even going to a “Sunday” Mass as they should be..  Especially on the “moved” Obligation days!  So what good was it moving them to a Sunday?  We should put them back on their set days, and EVERYONE in the Catholic Church should be going to Mass on those days, Sundays, AND WHEN they can, daily!

That is every day but Saturday morning.  Most Catholic Churches in the US have stopped having Saturday morning Masses.  Not sure why??  And no one I talk to knows why??  Historically if you go to Mass 7 days a week, you are listening to about 96% of the Bible and getting it explained to you over a three year period.  But without the Saturday Mass you are missing 104 readings (52 Gospels and 52 First Readings from the Old and New Testament) and having them explained to you in “today’s terms”.  Is this really acceptable to the Church?

Please bring back ALL the Days of Obligation ON THEIR TRUE DAYS, and Saturday Masses!

 

 

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