Who guessed the Pope would turn out to be Mrs Beamish?

It has been wonderful seeing the enthusiasm of Roman Catholic friends for the refreshing breeze that Pope Francis has been bringing to their church over the last few months.

Lots of Anglicans are hugely admiring of what he has managed to achieve.

But what’s this coming from the Vatican now?

No less than an injunction to calm it down during the Peace in the mass.

A document has emerged which suggests several different ways in which to ensure that things don’t get over exuberant. As well as discouraging people from moving from their place, it also suggests:

“changing the way in which the exchange of peace is made.” In particular it notes that “familiar and worldly gestures of greeting” should be substituted with “other, more appropriate gestures.”

Well, there’s a whole load of other Anglicans are going to be impressed by this developement, I guess.

But who guessed that the Pope would turn out to be Mrs Beamish?



  1. Richard says

    Excellent. Good old Mrs Beamish- I’d all but forgotten her song. How refreshing to be reminded.

  2. Emlyn Williams says

    As with so many things in life, it boils down to “how far, how far”. Surely it must be a positive thing for the physical manifestation of friendship, yea affection, between fellows of a congregation should be applauded; and yet one should also hear the thoughts of those who haven’t reached the level of display where some might go. It’s about awareness of one’s fellows and the ability to read body language so as not to go too far.

  3. With his recent moves against the Mafia, I would have thought public displays of peaceful affection at Mass would be reassuring.

  4. I did hear a conversation on radio the other day about the bacteriological implications of shaking hands …

  5. Worth it for the you tube alone

  6. Whit Johnstone says

    The best solution to the RCs problem would be to move the peace from the climax of the liturgy to the Ambrosian position immediately before the Offertory. This ensures that if the peace is a bit over-long and over-enthusiastic it does not disrupt the liturgy too much, since it occurs during a natural pause in the “action”. Unfortunately the Vatican appears to have rejected this solution in favor of trying to limit the duration and content of the peace, which will really be determined by the culture of a parish.

  7. Yes the Peace before the Offertory does fit the scriptural origin better although I can also see the value in reconciliation just before communion to emphasise the latter as a community act. I’m conscious always that the Vatican tends to react to its Latin context, where the demonstration of warmth is not lacking. The same cannot be said for all Northern European parishes (although thankfully St Marys isn’t one of them). Some years ago, in severe pain, with limited mobility and not yet having acquired the use of a wheelchair, I returned from France due to injury and attended a wedding in a certain university RC parish the next day. Sitting on a chair at the back clearly reserved for people of limited mobility, I was not offered the Sign of Peace by anyone (someone waved) and not offered communion. Had the present Pope been in attendance, I feel he would not have sought to restrain any wild exuberance of affection but rather reminded the pious parishioners and now promoted priest of Christian charity.

Speak Your Mind