This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Catholic Dilemmas

Is it wrong to use an iPad in church? When I took it out to catch up on the cricket score during the sermon, someone behind me tutted loudly.

Cook batting

He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others. Job 34:26.

Nowadays it is considered permissible to use an iPad to read the scriptures or the liturgy, provided that you don't annoy your neighbours with bright lights, etc. (Try not to use a Tablet, as it isn't considered to be very Catholic.) We understand that the sermon you missed was a fascinating meditation on the sixteen sacred documents of Vatican II, together with a recently-discovered 17th document Decree concerning the sacred pastoral dogmatic constitution on the apostolate of the renewal of priestly mission through the divine ministry of the ecumenical activity of social communication with the laity. It beats anything you'll find in the Bible, you must agree.

David Shepherd

The Good David Shepherd.

That aside, lifting one leg up into the air when the score reaches 111 (Nelson) is a mere cricketers' superstition, and you should have known better than to do it when the priest said "Lift up your hearts."

I asked Father Christmas for an iPad, but instead he brought me three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. Are any of these permissible accessories in church?

iPart

The iPart in a pear tree.

Well, not really, although they might supplement the choir, which is having some trouble with that latest Paul Inwood chant, "Alleluia, cluck, cluck!" However, we do try to discourage worshippers from bringing their presents along to Mass. Our own deacon managed to disgrace himself this week, taking out his new electric razor for a quick shave during a moment when we were supposed to be praying silently. "Jeshush shaves," he said, and then fell over. I think he's been overworking.

Are you shaved?

The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Psalm 52:2.

When the priest said "Let us offer each other the sign of peace," my neighbour pinched me on the bottom. Is this what they mean by "some other appropriate gesture?"

Well, it's very much the done thing in Italy and Spain, and indeed, you might be offended if they didn't offer you such a courtesy. However, the further north you go, the less acceptable such gestures become. In Brighton, they kiss each other and go "Mwah! Darling!" In Croydon, they rub noses.

Brontë sisters

The Brontë sisters - too far north for inappropriate gestures.

But by the time you get to northern wastelands such as Lancashire and Yorkshire, folding the arms and saying "Aye, lass!" is considered to be the limit to which intimacy can go.

16 comments:

  1. You should mention that the correct response to "Aye, lass!" is "'Appen".

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  2. PP in t'North27 December 2012 at 16:11

    Wonderful! Just the tonic after my afternoon snooze was disturbed by a traveller woman seeking half a gallon of Holy Water "to wash the tombs" - obviously a St John's Day tradition - and discovering, when I went to make sufficient quantity of said Holy Water, that the wretched Christmas tree in the church had fallen down.

    Appen I might distribute this instead of the dreadfully irrelevant and nauseatingly PC pastoral letter decreed for this weekend..

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    Replies
    1. Not a Shrewsbury priest then.

      By the way, mwahing is the appropriate gesture in Wilmslow as well, though during flu epidemics we just rattle our jewellery.

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    2. PP in t'north27 December 2012 at 23:23

      No, not a Shrewsbury priest.
      +MD has given more sound episcopal teaching in the last month than we have had in over a decade.

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    3. Never mind. It is a comfort to know that at least one good priest is toiling away, and will no doubt become a friend and guide to others.

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  3. And if “some appropriate gesture” of the kind described were encountered a bit further North, the response might well be: “Ootside!”

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  4. My kids stick 2 fingers up at each other (palms outwards)and say "may the force be with you." Is this stretching "some other gesture" too far?

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    Replies
    1. That's certainly the appropriate gesture when attacking Eccleston Square in your star fighter, especially when Darth Nichols and Maul Barber are drinking fair trade coffee on the balcony as you fly past.

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  5. Yeh,Northers are just so uptight, downright unlovin. I read in a book that the farther north you go bein gay is less acceptable. It was an old booook. I don't know if it's still thataway.

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  6. Yes indeedy. There are no gay penguins at the north pole. It's a fact.

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  7. Yes Jadis, but there are bi' polar bears.

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  8. In the northern wastelands of the USA, the seasonal appropriate greeting is "Lutefisk". This will protect you from all bears, bipolar or grizzly, but seems to attract Lutherans.

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  9. I loved the story of the holy water for the washing of tombs. It reminded me of the funeral service I conducted here in Benidorm earlier this year. I needed some holy water for the committal and phoned the parish priest. He said he was busy but helpfully advised, "Use tap water because nobody will know the difference anyway".

    I did not use any water at all in the end. How far Catholicism has sunk in Spain will one day be recorded in a very good book, but not written by me.

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  10. Happy Innocents' Day!
    Eccles, you're my favourite & Holiest (sav'd) Innocent!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liusa. There are plenty who would like to massacre me...

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  11. 'ooh you makes oi larf' rolling rs!

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