Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shepherd Me O Lord: Wherein Fr. Joe Reveals How Order is Maintained at Episcopal Ordinations

For those of us tech-savvy hipster priests who know how to work the internet machine and check the electronic mails that you crazy kids send all the time when your dorm phone is all tied up (guh...I hate that!) we got a communique from the Chancery on how to behave at the ordination of our new bishop.

Bishop-elect Joseph Kopacz

 Among the instructions are:

Please walk two by two and keep up with each other. Bow at the foot of the steps and then go to side pews were a server will direct you into the pews. Please do not bunch while processing up and down the aisle so that you will flow into pews more easily. 

Imma stand next to a priest and then like walk just a little faster than he does so he'll have to keep up with me. Unless they make us hold hands like you have when you go to the zoo or museum on a field trip. Or men's room. You know, right?

Also, I'm intrigued with this bunching. I know we can cluster but I'll be interested in seeing a bunching...or not seeing one.

 Deacons will bring ciboria with consecrated hosts to you during the fraction rite. After Bishop Kopacz gives communion to deacons, the deacons will stand at the foot of the sanctuary steps near each side aisle. Please come forward row by row and receive the Precious Blood from the cup. Return to your pew by using the center aisle. Once all priests have received from the chalice, then communion will be distributed to the people. Please try to refrain from speaking to people as you return to your seat.

Refrain from speaking to THE PEOPLE??? WHAT? Oh...the instructions say "please". So it's not like an expectation. During communion, it's usually time for the clergy to sit and talk about golf scores and recent heart procedures. Sometimes they shake hands with communicants as they walk by in hopes a hundred dollar bill will fall in it.

After the final blessing and Salve Regina, when the final hymn begins, please bow in unison toward the altar. This way you can process out smoothly without wondering if you need to stop and bow. You will process out behind the deacons. A server will direct you

Clergy wonder about many things. We wonder what the poor would think. We wonder if THE PEOPLE can understand the Roman Missal. We wonder if we'll go to Rome or Spain for vacation. We wonder what's for lunch. But wonder about stopping and bowing? That's a new one.

Anyway, if Bishop-elect Kopacz wants to know the state of his clergy is, then all he has to do is read the instructions.

But then again, there's a strong wave of independent JUSTICE oriented priest who'll not take anyone's word because they're for the PEOPLE! And SOMETHING!

And some don't know how to work the internets...