Rector's Column

Standing Together

August 31, 2014

As part of our transformation into Christ Cathedral Parish, we have had to learn how to carry on parish ministries and activities in both outdoor and indoor space that is different from where we were.  We are grateful for the patience, cooperative spirit and generosity that both staff and parishioners have shown during this transition.

Most of the parish Masses are being celebrated in the Arboretum until the renovation of the cathedral building is completed.  This has required a directive from Bishop Vann that we remain standing instead of kneeling during the Eucharistic Prayer.  As an act of reverence, at the time of the elevation of the host and chalice, everyone is asked to make a profound bow. We are grateful for the community’s understanding of this temporary condition.

By way of review, from a practical perspective the primary reason for standing is safety. The portable chairs are not designed to have kneelers attached to them nor are they designed to hold the weight of someone who might be leaning on their back while attempting to kneel.  This means that a chair could easily tip if leaned on from the back while one is attempting to kneel, kneeling, or attempting to stand up, potentially causing bodily injury.  Elderly people would be particularly at risk in this situation.

Worshipping as a community always involves some measure of sacrifice and surrender.  Imagine a Mass where everyone was singing a different hymn, or at various parts of the Mass some people stood, others sat and others knelt. The Mass would be chaotic and far from the expression of unity that it is supposed to be.

Sometimes we sing hymns we don’t like, we sit when we would rather stand and for the moment at Christ Cathedral, we stand when we would rather kneel.  Giving of ourselves in this way is how we express our unity as the Body of Christ.  Thank you for standing together.