Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Glory to God in the Highest...

...and other rarely asked questions, or not

I got back from All Saints' Day mass a little while ago. While we were speaking "Glory to God..." I thought back to how the liturgy was when I was young. Back in the day, we sang this part of the mass. Now, no mass I attend has it sung, and I can't remember how long ago things seemed to change. Was there a memo or synod that I missed growing up? In fact, we used to sing a few other things, as I recall, but not so much anymore. I was a little disappointed--the church, while surrounded by many people, is one of the few places my singing voice sounds pleasant to me--but then we went and chanted the Our Father, which while common now, was a rarity in my childhood parish, and I rather enjoy it.

When the pope goes to confession, does he keep the anonymity screen (there must be a Latin term for this thing) in place if he's feeling particularly modest--or rather, immodest--or does he not bother, since everyone already knows who he is?

My parents taught me the standard Catholic Sign of the Cross, forehead breastbone left shoulder right shoulder, and everyone I ever saw (outside of the occasional Eastern Orthodox) did it the same way. When I got to college, I started meeting people who would kiss their thumb afterwards. Then, I started seeing that practice everywhere, even where I didn't used to. What's up with that?

For those of you playing at home, I'm currently struggling through the back half of an advanced degree. When I say "struggling" I merely mean it's arduous, not that I anticipate washing out before reaching an acceptable stopping point. I'm torn between completing my Masters and heading back out to work, which is the path I'm currently on, and coming back in the near future to put a few more letters behind my name so I can teach and put my creds toward making up for the dearth of comprehensive yet comprehensible textbooks in my field. If'n you are so inclined, I would ask that you please pray for me, for discernment and for better understanding. Some of it's like knowing baseball intimately and suddenly being expected to just pick up cricket.

What is it about female dogs that makes them cost or worth more than male dogs at the pet shop?

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