Posted by: littletoe | April 15, 2007

Reverence a Function of Education?

A few days ago, I decided to jump in to the Catholic Spitfire Grill after having lurked a few days. I have so much respect for the home school Moms at Sonlight that many times I’ve felt intimidated because of my ignorance on a subject or because someone there expresses an opinion I have SO much better than I think I ever could. So I asked a seemingly innocent question (by way of introduction) about the tradition of veiling. That thread went down a number of rabbit holes, but one thing that has come out of the conversation is how a number of the CSG members feel about the different worship styles on can find in the Catholic Church.

I read a post today where the writer (who seemed a bit miffed) pointed out that we can sometimes have a bizarre attachment to the language used for Mass. She observed that if we wanted to be truly traditional, we should all learn Aramaic. Or Greek. She pointed out that perhaps it wasn’t the language being used that lent a reverent feeling to the Mass, but rather the people who chose to worship in a Mass celebrated in Latin tended to be more reverent worshipers.

**Stray note to Anglicans/Former Anglicans: Are you having a BTDT moment with the 1928 vs. 1979 prayer book or women’s ordination?***

Which Mass is best? Where do the DEVOUT go? These questions caused me to ponder my own past and I’ve come to the conclusion that reverence is a function of education. My early church experience was one of me “playing church” and enjoying the social time when the service was over. I went on Sundays where I didn’t feel like sleeping in. I had the mistaken attitude that somehow the Church was graced by my presence rather than it being an honor to come into Christ’s presence *cringe*. At the liberal Episcopal Church in California my education was neglected. I wish I could really remember the content of my confirmation class. My recollection was that it was some combination of Christianity and new age drivel—nothing about sin, redemption and eternal life—I probably would remember that!

When we moved to Colorado I was lucky (blessed) to find a more conservative Episcopal Church. I think some of the reverence of the worshipers here wore off a little, but I still didn’t have a problem essentially rolling out of bed, grabbing the kids and going to church. I wore jeans a lot back then.

I am ashamed to admit that the idea that worship was about Jesus and not me didn’t really sink in until about 3 years ago. I think that’s when our church went through Rick Warren’s “40 Days of Purpose”. I complained often about “not being fed” and freely shared my opinion about the music.  *another cringe*

As I learn more about the Object of my worship, things are changing. I make a point to dress at least as nicely as I would if I expected to meet the President of the United States there (and it could still probably use some improvement). I may use a veil someday when just attending a Catholic Mass isn’t already a stretch. I am really looking forward to beginning RCIA because I think that my ability to be reverent will only increase the more I learn.



  1. I’m with ‘ya about the Prayer Book thing!! 😉


  2. If I’m remembering correctly who posted the thing about Greek and Aramaic, she wasn’t miffed–she was amused.

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