Monday, November 17, 2014

Ich bin bereit! Ich bin bereit! Ich bin bereit!

Having lived in a Jewish quarter of London for many years (but I am  not Jewish myself), I got to learn a few of the Jewish customs.


I got used to being 'waylaid', for example, on Friday evenings by a Jewish man or woman standing on the porch of their home and asking me to come in and turn on or off a light because it is not allowed for them to do any 'work' on the Sabbath (which begins on Friday evening).


I also got to know that if a non-Jew wants to convert to Judaism, they must be turned away three times by the Rabbi before they are finally allowed to start the process of conversion.


It seems we have our own version of this in Christianity :-)


As mentioned in the previous post, exciting times have hit the Swiss mountains!


We had a big event.
An ordination, or 'Priesterweihe' in German.
This one was special, because we hadn't had one in this parish for over a decade.


We the choir have been working on putting on a spectacular show for our brand new Father A_______ at his 'prima messa' or 'Primiz', his inaugural Mass, the day after his ordination.


But we weren't going to stop at just belting out high notes (or low notes as the case may be :-) for Father A_______ at his Primiz.


Heavens no.


We were all going to take the trip to the Big City to watch him take the (big) step from mere Deacon to esteemed Priest. (Hm, my hypergamy is showing, lol).


Why am I blogging about a priestly ordination on a website dedicated to the SMP?


Well, there are several reasons. The most important reason is that, an ordination is actually awfully similar to a wedding. It really is! In the former case, a man makes a commitment directly to God. In the latter, a man and a woman make a commitment to each other, with God as the chief witness, and they are actually also making a commitment to Him.




Come with me on a journey through an ordination....




I have been to an ordination or two before. When I was a child, it was customary in my parish for catechism to be taught by trainee priests. I went to their ordinations. One of these priests is now a Bishop.


As an adult, I have also been to at least one ordination before. I have also witnessed the profession of vows by nuns.


But all pale in comparison to the event I witnessed on Saturday.


It was a 2 hour bus-ride on a rainy/snowy morning to the Big City. Friends and family of A_________ dressed in our finest attire :-)


The cathedral in the Big City seemed grander than our little church in the mountains, of course. The ceremony itself was a very grand affair.


Other than our Father A__________, there were 2 other young men to be ordained. Here lies the first similarity with a wedding: at the apéro (light aperitif) afterwards, as all the guests mingled, a common question was, 'who are you here for'? invoking memories of wedding guests asking each other, 'are you here for the bride or groom'?


Second, I notice these three young men were aged 31-35. Our Father A_________ is 32.


I wondered, on hearing their life-stories read out by their chief 'trainers', is the age at ordination rising in much the same way as the age at marriage?
These guys had had careers before turning to the priesthood. Our regular priest, for example, had been a banker for many years before becoming a priest...
When I was a child, it was normal to see priests in their early twenties...


The entrance procession alone lasted about twenty minutes. With 70 priests and 3 Bishops in attendance (I counted them), we certainly weren't short of celebrants at that Mass, lol.


And the organist was suitably trigger-happy, to say the least. His (aherm) enthusiastic organ-playing certainly made this old Catholic Church joke spring sharply to mind:


From one bewildered church-goer to another: "Church is a dangerous place to be, you know...there was a canon in the pulpit, the choir murdered the hymns and the organist drowned the choir!"


LOL.




I had met the Bishop once before. Two years ago he had officiated at the confirmation of my then 12 year old future niece-in-law, but in Italian.
Now, the same Bishop was celebrating the ordination Mass in German.


Switzerland is a funny old country, lol.




His speech to the 3 soon-to-be priests before him was very moving. He spoke to them like a father would speak to his sons. He looked at them with pride, as though to say, 'my boys done good'.


I kind of liken it to a father who has been training his child to ride a bike for weeks, and it is finally time to take off the 'training wheels' and the child can now 'two-wheel' with confidence for the first time, similar to this:
(I am sure we can all imagine just how proud 'Goose's' father feels in this moment).














In this case, this Bishop had good reason to be proud of 'his boys': (I was told later by a guest of one of the other two priests), there were originally ten men who registered at the seminary 7 years ago, and only 3 of them emerged as priests.


So the pre-ceremony failure rate is high.
But the post-ceremony failure rate?
What is this percentage? How many priests (and nuns and monks) 'drop out' after taking their vows?


Is it anywhere near 50%?
I doubt it, but I don't know for sure. Anyone know?


The Bishop laid his fatherly hands on the 3 young men shortly after they were instructed, no, commanded, military style! to 'step before the Bishop!' (I suppose it sounded like a command because it was said in German, lol).


These men knelt down as they were 'taken through their paces'. Kneeling, heads bowed, eyes closed, they were read a sort of litany, and at regular intervals, were asked, 'Are you ready?' several times. I counted six, but it could have been more times.


To each of these questions, they would reply out loud, 'Ich bin bereit!' ('I am ready!')


I thought long and hard about this.


At a (Catholic) wedding, you also say 'I do' six times, if proper protocol is followed. Every Easter, we also 'profess our faith' and say 'I do' six times.


God gives us free will when we are born. It seems that whatever path we choose in life, He really wants to make sure we mean it. Are we as committed as we say we are?
At one point in the Bible, Jesus asks Peter 'do you love me?' three times before he accepts that he does.


Is this aspect of God a sign of His beta neediness or is this a sign of His supreme Alphaness where he wants to establish that we mean what we say and say what we mean?
What do you all think?


All 70 priests and the other 2 Bishops in attendance laid their hands on the deacons one by one, each praying silently over them, as they knelt, eyes remaining closed. It was very moving to watch.


Once the deed was done, and these men had become priests, their clothes were instantly changed. They were brought 'priest clothes', by their trainers, and were dressed in their new clothes right there and then, whilst we all clapped proudly.


And then all 70 priests and the other 2 Bishops, again, one by one all came to the new priests to greet them in a manner I have now come to recognise as a 'priestly greeting'. I alluded to it in this post where I was greeted in this fashion by a priest, and I just thought it was because I was a woman which is why he avoided hugging me (because even though I see him as my 'brother', I am still a woman, and not his sister - and I understand his need to literally keep his distance from me and all other women, except his actual mother and sisters).


But it seems this is how priests greet each other too! I was wrong to perceive it as a kind of 'b*tch shield' for priests. Turns out I was projecting :-)


Fascinating to see this greeting done 72 times by each new priest.


They touch the sides of each other's heads with each other's heads or cheeks, starting on each other's right side. Sometimes they simply touch the other's shoulder with their forehead.
It kind of reminded me of this other way men greet each other, lol.

Not quite the same solemnity as one would expect in an ordination associated with this way of greeting, but still.... it's the 'brotherliness' of it all that counts...
:-)
In this case below, it went awry, but you get the picture...














Some of the priests ignored 'protocol' and went for a full-on hug and pat on the back when it was their turn to congratulate the new priests. I guess this is true 'brotherly' and 'fatherly' love being expressed right here. Quite emotional when one of the priests hugged one of the new priests so long, the next priest in line started looking at his watch and the audience burst out laughing.


:-)


As a sign that these men were now accepted into the 'club', they were transferred from the front row of the pews onto the altar to be with the other priests as the rest of the Mass was celebrated by the Bishop


At one point, ALL the Bishops and priests left the altar, leaving the 3 to say the final blessing. I thought that was lovely. It was as if they were saying: 'Now you are priests. We entrust the salvation of the flock to you. Go on and bless them. You will be doing this everyday for the rest of your lives so you might as well start now.' :-)






At the apéro, I bumped into the mother of our current regular priest. She is British :-) so let's just say she and I have a certain bond.


I asked her: 'So how did you feel watching the ordination?'
I could tell it would have been an emotional experience for her. Fifteen years ago, she had watched her own son take this step.


She told me that as she had 15 years ago, she had felt (with a pang of guilt) that it was 'such a waste' to see these handsome, wonderful young men take this step.


As she had felt about her own son, she was somewhat saddened by the realisation that their mothers and fathers would never get grandchildren from these sons (in her case, she had other children, so she does have grandchildren :-), that they would never know what it is like to have a wife, have a (secular) home, live a 'normal' life.


Interestingly, I had had those thoughts pass through my own mind, and I am not even related to any of these guys. I asked the father if he had had similar thoughts.
'Nope' was his reply :-)


Is this a woman thing?


Interestingly, I feel the same way when I see a nun take her vows. She will never be the wife of some man, bear his children, keep his home. I am at least fair to both sexes on this issue.
But am I wrong to think this way? Afterall, if a handsome young man or a beautiful young woman has been 'taken' by God, should I lament that an earthly woman or man is missing out? Is it not good that God takes the best of humanity for himself, so to speak?




I asked the mother if it was wrong of us to think this way. She said 'no, we are only human', but maybe that's just her hamster talking :-)




Each of the new priests had his 'Primiz' lined up for the next day (Sunday).
I discovered that 14 of those 70 priests had accompanied Father A_________ to the mountains in order to be at his Primiz. Again, very touching. Throughout this whole process, I got this strong impression of 'brotherhood' among these priests.
It is a truly mesmerising process for a woman to experience.
Are you men aware of this 'feature' or 'bug' of womanhood, I wonder?




Needless to say, Father A__________'s Primiz was the celestial highlight it was billed to be. Let's just say we the choir exceeded our own expectations and gave him the concert of his life. Hey, these are not my words, that's what he himself said in his 'thank you' speech at the end. No we didn't pay him to say that, lol.


We are so very proud of him and wish him immense success and all the Graces of our Heavenly Father in his life and mission as priest.




I would like to leave you with some of the music we sang for him at this very special of occasions.




Just to mention, we may be a Swiss mountain parish choir, but our choirmaster has a bit of a penchant for British composers, I have to say :-) Nothing to do with me :P


We had previously performed Karl Jenkins' 'Mass for Peace'.


This time, he picked Karl Jenkins' 'Te Deum' as our introduction for the very first Mass of Father A_____________.


Here is a taster:


http://www.boosey.com/cr/sample_detail/Karl-Jenkins-Te-Deum-2008/12968












I only vaguely knew of John Rutter prior to this choral preparation. But I had certainly never heard of his so very beautiful 'Für die Schönheit dieser Welt' before we started practising it.
It is simply stunning.


Here I have it in English and German: (We, of course, sang it in German).




































At the very end, we sang the 'Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel:
We brought the roof down, if I may say so myself :-) !!!













23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 'Hallelujah Chorus' was a great rendition of great celestial music.

Is Brother Metak still around?

Glissando

Spacetraveller said...

Absolutely, Glissando.
It is what I would call 'timeless' music.

Paging Brother Metak...paging Brother Metak...

:-)

metak said...

Hello to both of you! ;-) How are ya?

Khm, khm... you don't just "page" a pervert ST! ;-)

This post reminded me that there must be a higher power somewhere out there making sure that perverts like me never become priests. My mother always wanted for me to become a priest. God help me... and everyone else... ;-) Two of my classmates in Catholic high-school were preparing for priesthood and they both stayed at the seminary of sorts while attending school... high-school is over and one already has a girlfriend and the other one is also doing something else, I don't know... no priests. ;-) Then, when I was studying history at the university there was a former priest professor who 'dropped out', got married and had a family... one active priest... priests everywhere... ;-) gee...

Anonymous said...

ST and @Brother Metak

The only times I go to church is for is christenings (nephews, nieces etc) weddings and funerals. I can't help noticing there are so few men, especially young men, in the churches I've been to.

My sister-in-law is an Anglican priest. She is usually the one presiding over said christenings etc. She privately confirms the dearth of young men, and says she has noticed a big influx of young women on the days we are at church. The news has gone around the female underground telegraph, apparently. So there you go, ST, if you want young people, young men are the key!

It's great to make contact with you both again. @BM, are you still aiming to live the dream or already doing so? I'd love to know.

Glissando

Anonymous said...

Edit: "My sister-in-law is an Anglican priest"

Should be "My aunt is an Anglican priest".

Was 5:30 A.M. foggy brains here Down Under!

Glissando

Spacetraveller said...

Welcome back, Brother Metak!

Or shall I say Father Metak, lol.

I think you would have made a good priest if you ask me :-)

I happen to know that priests are the most Red Pill of men...nothing like getting to understand female nature when you are a (distant) quiet observer :-).

I mentioned in the post that there was a high drop-out rate BEFORE the ordination. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The priesthood, like marriage, is for life. If one is not sure, it is a good move to drop out before vows are taken.
I think men who do this are conscientious, realistic and prudent.
Those who drop out AFTER taking their vows are another category. Those ones have broken a promise.

I am sure you know this, Metak, being Catholic: a piece of advice that most Catholic girls grow up with is...never get involved with an ex-(Catholic)priest. They have a reputation for being bad husbands. Have you heard this one? Anyone?

Interestingly, the divorce rate for ex-priests is quite high. But this should not be surprising: they already broke one promise. Why on Earth would they stop at one?
It is the same reason the divorce rate for divorcees is actually higher than that for first-time marrieds, for example. It is what is called the 'dominoes effect', and a concerted effort must be made to buck the trend...


Glissando,

Your aunt is right: there IS truly a shortage of young men in churches. But I understand why this is. Most churches are now a joke.

The Catholic Church is however one of the few churhes where ancient principles are maintained, so I don't really understand it if young men are staying away from it.

But hey, if young men are to be enticed back to Church by beautiful young women, whyever not? It's the fact that they are back in Church that counts, not WHY they are back :-)
I am sure God is not THAT fussy!

Funny story:
I called my mother to tell her of this ordination, and she wanted to know if the deacons had to prostrate themselves before the bishop. She was upset when I said they just knelt down. She reminded me that in the ordinations I had been to as a child, the deacons had to kiss the feet of the bishop!

The Church is getting progressive on this one! And the older generation ain't happy about it!

LOL.

metak said...

@BG

For as long as I can remember I never liked going to church. (out of respect for ST I shall refrain myself on this one... ;-)
My mother was the one forcing me to go and even then I would be looking for new ways to sneak out trough the back-door out or something. :-)

Church is definitely not a place for young men! ;-)

Dream? Well, I like to think that every day I wake up and first thing on my mind is "oh crap, I'm still alive... phew ;-)" is living the dream. My 'plan' is to have some more fun in the next decade or so. That's it. I seriously doubt that I'll even live that long. :-)

@ST

I couldn't agree more! Priests are the most Red Pill of men. Based on the stories I've heard, they get women/sex without marriage. ;-) They know what they're doing.

Nope, I don't remember hearing that one.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Brother Metak,

Hahahahahahaha!
No comment about the church-going thing :-)
I keep 'stumm' on this one.

About priests, well, to be honest, I have heard some stories too, but perhaps I should keep 'stumm' on that one as well!

A cousin-in-law, who is VERY anti-priests and nuns has all sorts of stories to tell about nuns and priests. He is hilarious when he regales me with horror stories straight out of the Vatican. Would make your hair curl. I am sure he is making some of these stories up, but he swears blind they are true. He is Italian, so perhaps I should believe him. When the nun 'Suor Cristina' won 'The Voice of Italy' he called me to say, 'now tell me, ST, do you think it is normal for a NUN to be competing in a show like this? I tell you, these nuns, they all got boyfriends hidden away in the convent!'

LOL. I think he exaggerates just a little...

Anonymous said...

My father once told me, "I wish only that you don't grow up to be a boxer or a priest." Half of his wish came true. I did not become a priest.

BY the dream, @BM, I mean the secluded cabin! The mgtow one! I still have my paradise, although I'm not there at the moment.

Me, I am mgtow through and through.

@BM I just had a thought - you're not married are you? Oh no, not you too! ;) How are the mighty fallen! I have church and wedding bells crashing around my ears...

Glissando

Spacetraveller said...

Glissando,

"My father once told me, "I wish only that you don't grow up to be a boxer or a priest.""

What is it with parents being so anti-priest/nun?

My grandfather sent my mother to a convent school, even though he wasn't even Catholic himself, his only warning to her being, 'DON'T ever come back home to tell me you want to be a nun!'

Luckily for her, she didn't become a nun. I think he would have disowned her.

"@BM I just had a thought - you're not married are you? Oh no, not you too!"

Hahahahahha, very funny! Good one ;-)

Have you seen the (medical) horror film '28 days later'? There is a fatal viral infection going round, and you could be talking to someone you never suspected could be infected one minute and the very next minute you suddenly see the signs of the viral infection all over their face and body...
Scary movie.

You make marriage sound like a fatal, uncontrollable infectious disease...

Wait...actually, it can be like this...

You lost a couple of friends as a direct result of bad divorces, didn't you, Glissando?

My condolences once again.



metak said...

@BG

That dream! Well that's not really a dream, it's more like one of my plans. ;-)
Although, I still don't know what was it that I said that made you think the worst of me brother? ;-) You got me... I may as well confess... yes, I'm married. In fact she's right here on the table and she smells and tastes great... doesn't nag... I still think it's too good to be true, but I've known her for so long and I just had to put a ring on it, you know... oh my little cup of coffee... ;-)

@ST

I heard those stories from that friend of mine I mention earlier. Don't know how accurate they are and I don't really care since it's none of my business.

Here's a funny fact for ya ST. Did you know that 'our' small archdiocese has managed to produce a debt of nearly one billion euros? ;-) LoL

Anonymous said...

"Did you know that 'our' small archdiocese has managed to produce a debt of nearly one billion euros? ;-) LoL"


Brother... that's worth more than a Lol

Anonymous said...

"What is it with parents being so anti-priest/nun?"

coz they were both Irish

Glissando

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine, a handsome priest, once told me he was delivered into temptation by the women of his church. Any stories on that one?

ST: The unprecedented presence of righteous young men (such as yours truly) brought the young women to church! It was not the other way around, ST you rascal!

On a more serious note, yes, two friends died because of the impact of fembots on their lives. I will never marry.

@BM, are you sure it's coffee you're married to there, and not some of that moonshine of your'n? Such wives have been known to have a dulling effect on the senses.

metak said...

@BG

It's complicated... ;-) what can I do? That's open marriage for ya I guess... ;-)
You need to learn to compromise. ;-) (unfortunately I'm sober right now ;-)

My uncle makes really high quality Rakia, too bad he lives far away.
Home-produced rakia like the one he makes, contains up to 80% alcohol. ;-) ;-)
Definitely not a marriage material! ;-) => theotherwoman...

Not to worry... as long as theotherwoman is far away. ;-)

Spacetraveller said...

Brother Metak,

"Did you know that 'our' small archdiocese has managed to produce a debt of nearly one billion euros?"

Quoi? What it mean, your archdiocese has a debt of 1 million euros? How is it possible?
Could you elaborate??



Glissando,

"A friend of mine, a handsome priest, once told me he was delivered into temptation by the women of his church. Any stories on that one? Any stories on that one?"

There is a story currently running on italiain TV about a married woman from a Catholic parish who disappeared a few months ago. The rumour is that she was having an affiar with the local priest, Padre Graziano, who is also the friend of her husband. The priest is also accused of having pics of naked nuns on his computer, and of having something to do with the missing woman's disappearance.

Let's just say, this is one of the most sordid stories about a Catholic priest I have ever heard...Google Padre Graziano Guerrina Piscaglia.

"The unprecedented presence of righteous young men (such as yours truly) brought the young women to church!"

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Aherm, good on you for spotting my reframe, and well done maintianing your orignal frame, Glissando!

LOL. I really thought I'd got away with it, but now I stand corrected. :-(

OK, OK, I grudgingly relent. You righteous young men: good. Salacious young women who have no shame and follow you to Church for lustful reasons: bad.
Happy now?

Hahahahahahahaha!
(Cor blimey, you guys are going 'full military' on us chicks. What happened?)

:-)


Again, sorry for your loss, Glissando. It must have been a horrible time for you. And yes, I can imagine that under circumstances like this, you would be put off marriage.
In all seriousness, I get it.


Anonymous said...

"you guys are going 'full military' on us chicks"

It's a thankless job, but someone's gotta do it, don't we, @BM? (He and I know this full well.)

Thank you for your supportive words, ST. Did I ever thank you and @BM directly for the huge help you gave me re "M"? It would be just like me to assume I had when in fact I hadn't. So let me say it now: Thank You.

Glissando

Spacetraveller said...

Glissando,

"It's a thankless job, but someone's gotta do it..."

For sure. But women actually like it when you men do this (display of dominance, maintaining your frame). I know you (and Metak of course) already know this.
We ladies will huff and puff and blow the house down, but deep down we like it. ;)

You are most welcome, but honestly, no need for thanks. I hope you and M are still cool.
I hope she knows that I care deeply about her life, which is why I piped up when I heard about her plans with you.

She MUST know she is a better woman than that.
I wish both you and her well.

metak said...

Sorry ST, I meant the American English billion - milliard.
According to various sources their debt was roughly 800 million euros a few years ago... in 2007 I think...

Some shadyyyyyyy business going on in there... ;-)

p.s. 'Dominance'? 'Frame'? Hmmmm... Metak is also into BDSM... naughty, naughty... ;-)

@BG

How in the world was I helpful in anyway? ;-)

Nah... I'm just goffing off with ST and coz she's such a 'Game' addict she mistakens that as me having a 'Game'... ;-) heheheh ...comedy right there...

I'm just glad you're both fine...

Spacetraveller said...

Metak,

Very shady indeed...!

Glissando,

Irish parents?
Ah, I see. Then I can see why they might be anti-priest/nun.

If you have seen the film 'The Magdalene Sisters' and similar films about nuns in Ireland in the 60s you would know that the nuns were very harsh (some might say downright unethical and cruel) with the young women under their care.
There was a recent discovery of the bodies of several babies killed in a 'fallen women's home'. It is believed that some of these babies were starved to death/neglected simply for being the bastard children of 'fallen girls'. Some of these 'fallen girls' were actually molested or raped, some by their own relatives, but no-one believed them, so they were treated as though they were immoral girls when they were discovered to be pregnant.
Very sad.
Many Irish people of subsequent generations have become anti-Catholic for this reason, as well as of course the priest abuse scandal...

Of the 4 most Catholic countries of the world (Poland, The Philippines, Ireland and Italy - strange that they are the 2Ps and 2 Is), Ireland is the one that is falling away from the group the most rapidly...


Anonymous said...

ST "Irish parents?"
Ah! I see why you'd think that. My quip further up:
"What is it with parents being so anti-priest/nun?
coz they were both Irish"
... I meant the priest and the nun were Irish. Slack wording on my part!

As far as I know, there's not a skerret of Irish in my ancestry. Mum was Norman. Dad was a mix, mostly Anglo.

Yeah Catholic Ireland must have been pretty bad.

@BM,Could you give me some advice how to get started on the BDSM? (heh heh... just joking)

Anonymous said...

Strewth! I'm having a bad time with the way I word my sentences. This time I've managed to make it seem like my parents are deceased! "Mum was Norman. Dad was a mix, mostly Anglo."

Let me assure everybody, my parents are both very much in the land of the living. I can confirm this, having seen both of them yesterday!

Spacetraveller said...

Glissando,

Whoa! Relieved :-)

Here's to Ma and Pa! Long may they live!