Monday, November 05, 2012

Posture & Carriage




The Handbook on the Social Behaviour of Seminarians doesn't have much time for those who confuse contortion with piety...

"Slumped, crooked, or slovenly posture in church could easily be interpreted as an indication of your mental attitude towards the recitation of prayers... A man with any degree of self-control kneels squarely on both knees. The position is not a natural one and is not meant for comfort, but it looks very disedifying to see a seminarian or cleric continually squirming during divine services to obtain a more comfortable position.  Letting the head roll to one side during prayer gives a pietistic or idiotic appearance, and letting the entire weight of the body rest on the elbows which are dropped on the pew in front is very slovenly".

Oh dear, I'm not sure what they would have said about me using a cushion to support my arm...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A cushion, did St Theresa rest her head on a cushion or St Columba kneel on such an object? Was a cushion ever in a martyrs cell? Was a cushion part of the furnishings of the cell of the early Jesuit, was it an adornment at Citeaux, or Clairveaux or part of the furnishings La Grande Chatreuse? A cushion indeed!

I suppose you think the solitaries of the desert fled the cities carrying cushions. Next you will be suggesting St Francis of Assisi lived on a diet of petit fours in a suite of rooms with flock wallpaper and a spray of delphiniums. A cushion indeed,
Well I hope you are getting better, even if is gradually.

Lynda said...

It's all perfectly true but so obvious as to seem strange when written down and addressed to adults who ought to have learned this stuff as young children.

Fr Stephen said...

I am so grateful for your comments. I was beginning to think I could never provoke someone into saying something :0)

If by St Theresa we mean she who dwelt in Avila, I've seen her cushion many times. Admittedly it was a block of wood...

I am a lot better thank you. I no longer need the sling, except at night, and have started physiotherapy. I do look like a liturgical schizophrenic celebrating Mass with one arm extending and the other refusing to budge more than a few centimetres at the Dominus Vobiscum.

MRI scan on Thursday will determine whether I will progress quickly or need a further operation. Please say a prayer I don't - I caoudln't cope with another period of convalescence: my vocation is neither to the Grand Charteuse nor to the desert!

Anonymous said...

I'll say a few prayers for your recovery,
Yes, I was thinking of that very block, very uncomfortable.