Friday, March 7, 2008

An Old-fashioned Church

I was amused to run across this article by Ingrid Schlueter posted on a protestant blog. It is full of nostalgia for an "Old-fashioned Church" and has a laundry list of items which would be found in true Scripture based worship. I was amused to see how the Catholic Church stacked up.

Catholic Mass:

Entire worship service founded on God's Word? Check.

Joining angels, archangels, and the church triumphant in heavenly worship? Check.

Entrance Psalm? Check.

Invoking God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the beginning, middle
and end? Check.

Corporate confession of sins? Check.

Corporate confession of faith? Check.

Singing of God's glory (the Gloria) and Holy, Holy, Holy? Check.

Reading of Scripture? Check.

More than three? Well, no.

Pastor with a deep prayer life? Check.

Elders with model marriages and children? Well, check with the
deacons, Eastern Rite priests, and Anglican option priests . . .

Time of serious prayer while kneeling? Check.

Benediction at the end of worship?

Evangelism and outreach? You bet!

Welcome to the Catholic Church, where old-fashioned began . . .

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Tracy said...

Excellent post Kelly!!!

Courtney said...

I would count the Psalm as a Scripture reading, bringing the count to four!

Loved this post. I always chuckle when I hear Protestants longing for "that old time religion."

Kelly said...

I corresponded with the author, and she's a conservative high church Lutheran, which explains the perspective of the article. I was surprised to find it on a Baptist site, though!

Nicole said...

You know what's kind of funny for me reading this? Those are the types of complaints my husband had after he became saved and started joining me at church. At the same time, I developed a longing for tradition and ritual with my worship with meaning rather then flavor of the month practices.(And I mean this is as humbly and nicely as possible. I found so many churches did nothing to celebrate or commemorate anything outside of Easter and Christmas. I found churches that had huge festivals for Halloween, but no special services leading into Christmas. For me, tradition and ritual have meaning, richness, and enhance my faith.)

At the husband's request and after serious consideration and study we visited our first EVER Catholic Mass today. We will be going back. He would like us to slowly begin the process of becoming Catholics. We felt home. There's no better way to say it.

Faithful Catholic said...


That's wonderful news! Welcome home!

Elena said...

Welcome home Nicole!

Kelly said...

Wow, nicole, thanks for sharing! Feel free to post any questions you have here, or read through the archives for some information on various Catholic beliefs.

Welcome home!

Anne-Marie said...

I was wondering what the situation with Catholic churches in the United States and other parts of the world is in relation to kneeling.

I live in New Zealand. I've recently gone back to the church after some years away, and I'm horrified to find no-one kneels. The congregation stands through the entire Eucharistic Prayer. I continue to kneel, because it seems more appropriate, more humble and worshipful - but often I'm the only one kneeling. In some of the churches I've been to recently, it's physically impossible to kneel!

This seems wrong. Interested to know what others' experiences are.

Unashamed said...

That describes the historic Lutheran service, which of course, is modelled after the Catholic mass.

Kelly said...

Hi Anne-Marie! I read your blog for awhile, and then I seem to have gotten out of the habit. I'll have to stop by again. :)

Kneeling is still the norm for the Catholic Church. After Vatican II, several groups of people began to experiment with standing rather than kneeling for consecration. In the Eastern churches, standing has always been the norm. The Western Church adopted kneeling because of the meaning of submission it has for us, if you think of a knight kneeling before his lord, etc.

At the same time, as you found, just because standing has a different meaning in the East, it does not mean that we feel the same way about it. It does seem disrespectful, and I think that part of the reason it was advocated is that people felt it was less humbling than kneeling, and could rationalize it based on the standing in the Eastern church.

At any rate, standing was a passing fad, and seems to be on the way out. In my area, there was one church which had their kneelers removed, and then had them put in again about 15 years later. Give it a few more decades (we always move slow in the Catholic Church) and things will probably be back to normal in your area, too.

You'd have to check with someone familiar with canon law, but I don't think you are required to kneel if the individual church has decided to stand as a group. At the same time, if you prefer to kneel, you should be able to do so. You can kneel on the floor, even if the kneelers have been removed. Churches with stadium seating are pretty impossible to kneel in, though.

Maggii said...

At our church we still kneel throut the eucharistic prayer...but I have been to a few different churches that do it church we went to recently, kneels for the first half but then stands for the second half( not sure why?) another church stands the whole time..the sanctuary is built like an auditorium in that the floor is at an angle so it's nearly impossible to kneel.