Sunday, February 18, 2007

Well God forbid ...

... that one be thought a Hindu!

At the announcements at Mass this morning at Sacred Heart Cathedral, the priest said, "And people, please remember that when you come up to receive Holy Communion, the proper response is 'Amen'. If you don't say that, the priest will think you are a [pause, fumble] ... um ... Hindu, and not give you communion."

Do the people have to be told what the proper response is? What does this say about the level of catechesis, or the level of participation during Mass of the faithful?

And, come on, surely there is a better way of phrasing this? It came across as, "Well, if you don't want to be thought a Hindu, [gasp, shock, horror!], then do say 'Amen!'" I perceived that as quite insulting. If a member of my family where present, I would have been mortified!

A really neat way to evangelize! Put down people of other faiths!

I doubt that this was the intention the good Father wanted to convey. But, perception is everything!

Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating open Communion (in fact, in the comments to a post below, I am having a discussion with one of the readers of this blog, on this point precisely). And yes, the Church's discipline does come across as exclusive and haughty and arrogant. This, however, is not the way to counter that perception!


Kevin said...

Well, I say Amen, but I have been stopped once before. Remember to shave also, or you might look like a Jihadi or something.

Gashwin said...

Heh. I have a full beard. And I get quizzical looks because I follow the US custom of bowing before receiving, but, apparently, my Amen is loud enough, so I haven't any problems yet :)

I also receive on the tongue generally, which can be a problem, since I loom at least a foot above most Indians. :)