Monday, August 13, 2007

Peace be with you...

For some reason, my mind conjured up this morning a memory of the portion of the Catholic mass where we would "offer one another the sign of Christ's peace." This would involve shaking hands with one another and saying "Peace be with you... and also with you." A very simple ritual, without compare in the evangelical realm.

I say this because in the evangelical realm it felt... so much more forced to me. Like a concerted effort to break the ice before the sermon. And they were never so forced as when you were supposed to "Turn to your neighbor and tell them 'x'!", x being something like "I'm glad you're here today!", or "Isn't it great to be in the house of the Lord!" or some such other exclamation-pointed pablum.

I must say, while I almost never think about the old Catholic mass, I sure miss that simple handshake.

Peace be with you.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger mark said...

Many evangelicals dislike liturgy because it represents dead ritual to them...the irony is that soooo much of the standard evangelical church service is jammed with dead ritual like the moment of friendship before the sermon. The evangelical effort to shun liturgy has produced its own soft, fuzzy, meaningless ritualistic liturgy.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

Quite true, Mark. I'll take real ritual over manufactured sincerity & spontaneity any day.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger dorsey said...

And also with you, Zeke.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger RC said...


i hate that "shakes hands with the person on the left and say x" especially when x is something i totally don't mean (which is almost anything x can be filled with). it's so insincere to me.

maybe that's why the blessing of peace makes more doesn't have an "I" in "i'm so glad you're here" etc.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger ninjanun said...

In the few Catholic services I've attended, the "peace be with you," part was mostly done with hugs, instead of handshakes.

Much more friendly and family-like, and much more desperately needed, in our woefully touch-deprived society.

Also, much more sanitary, given than hugging someone's neck or patting them on the back involves less germs than touching their hands. ;)

If there's one thing I miss about church services from my childhood and youth days, it was all the free hugs.

Peace (and hugs) be to you and yours, Zeke.


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