Lifting Holy Hands - Is it okay to be "that guy?"
Growing up in the catholic church is intense to say the least. You can't really grasp what is going on at the altar because it is hard enough to see over the pew in front of you. The only participation you might experience in a Mass as a little one is, gumming the missal or standing on the pew itself and starring at the person in back of you...
If you were fortunate enough to be brought to the church as a child every single Sunday, along with memorizing your colors and ABC's, we learned to kneel, clasp our hands, bow our heads and learn the prayers that we had no idea what they meant. We also start to mimic our parents gestures and stances, perfectly. If we are raised in a very cultural family, we might make special gestures with our hands that other parishioners wouldn't. When it comes to the "Our Father" we might find ourselves turning around and fishing for hands to hold and when someone doesn't want to hold our hand (because they are being "liturgically correct") we take offense and stare at them like "DON"T YOU KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD BE HOLDING MY HAND RIGHT NOW?" We might find ourselves mirroring the priest while he is in the Orans Posture with our arms extended and reaching for the heavens. With all of this variety one might think that we are a free for all and to each their own type of faith. We are in America.
While we are BLESSED to live in a country with religious freedom, thanks be to God, we are even more blessed to CHOOSE a religion that is rich in tradition and teachings. Our name alone Catholic means
In case it takes you a minute - it means UNIVERSAL. Not only because we are the largest charitable organization on the planet, or because we span the globe, it means that :::brace yourself:::: we are all celebrating and united in the same Mass! Same readings, same gospel and same prayers. This makes billions of voices in various languages unite together to create one crisp, clean and clear voice to our precious, loving, forgiving, loyal and true God.
How does this relate to "holy hands guy?" Well, simple. If we are trying our hardest to unite ourselves with one another and God, how can this be achieved if everyone is doing something different?
Does the church ban this kind of practice? Absolutely not! You won't ever have the priest, or at least shouldn't have the priest drop what he is doing in the sanctuary to tap you on the shoulder and tell you to put your hands down. They want you to enjoy God in his glory and are more than likely just plain thankful you came to church. We just need to always check our postures and stances in church and ask ourselves the following:
1. Am I here to participate as a community, or by myself as a Back Row Joe doing my own thing, saying my own prayers, showing up when I feel like showing up?
2. Am I standing in a position that is representing the church as a whole, or once again am I doing my own thing?
3. Am I being judgmental of the "holy hands guy?" He is better off.. trust me.
Still scratching your head thinking, "What is the ORANS Posture?"
Check it out
-What a great cup of Joe!
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