Short of calling others' attention to immediate threats of well-being - "Don't look now, but a free-range thurible is hurtling toward your head!" - cultivate the discipline of silence when not making the appropriate liturgical responses.
Even if the cleric is your lifelong best friend and you are still threatening to tell his mother about that childhood indiscretion involving his kid sister, the lizard, and the neighbor's vegetable garden, the dignity of his office should be honored when he is executing the functions of that office.
When making a simple genuflection, touch the right2 knee to the ground, close to the heel of the left foot (unless the genuflection is made on a step). Do not bow the head or prop a hand on the floor; we are not in the huddle before third-and-one on the ten-yard line at the Harvard-Yale Game.
A Final Word
While the foregoing may seem excessively fussy, particularly in an age when manners are out of fashion and seminaries are apparently intent on turning the Mass into a rock-'n'-roll show, remember that Divine Service is not a casual activity. The Lord's Supper is a heavenly banquet, not a drive-thru lunch from a fast food shop. Lack of attention to deportment at Mass is as inappropriate as wearing torn jeans to a formal dinner. Sloppiness of appearance, movement or behavior will not show forth "the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty," which is what we seek to present.
The Easter Vigil
THE FIRST MASS OF EASTER:
When the Litany of the Saints is ended, SMs go up to the footpace. AA, TH, and MC proceed to the credence. SMs reverence the altar. D and SD turn inward to face CEL as he turns to face the people and shouts the Easter Acclamation. ALL respond; be prepared for multiple shouts, molto con brio - the more so the better, especially if the Celebrant is feeling frisky and does not find the congregation's enthusiasm in responding adequate to the occasion.
SMs turn to face altar. ALL pick up their handbells as the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is intoned. The CHOIR ring their bells and are soon joined by ALL as the lights are turned on. The cacophony is tastefully exacerbated by an organ fanfare.
exceprts from the Liturgical Customary of Church of the Advent, Boston.
Labels: Jean Sibelius
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