Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bidding Prayers

Am I alone in getting increasingly pigged off with bidding prayers? Most of the time they read like the headlines from the News at Ten:

Let’s pray for peace in the Middle East (Oh, and it’s all the fault of America – and us)

Let’s pray for the United Nations (that’s right an organisation that has Iran and Libya lecturing the world about human rights)

Let’s pray for our Muslim brethren who are so angry about something or other

Let’s pray for the victims of the latest earthquake/crash/bomb/hurricane

And finally – a skateboarding duck!!!!!

A friend told me of a relatively recent event at Mass where the congregation put together the bidding prayers. Now we all know what that means: a coterie of hippies get together and put together a bunch of prayers about wimyns’ isshoos/gay and lesbian isshoos/Third World isshoos/anti-war isshoos etc etc

The basic subtext is to ensure that the white, male heterosexual members of the congregation are made to feel responsible for all the wrongs in the world from global warming to domestic abuse (and this is especially true of the priest who being a member of the clergy ticks all the wrong boxes).

So in this case some months ago a long, rambling, ill-informed bidding prayer began by having a pop a the Pope for his instructions to seminaries about the admission of men with strong homosexual tendencies to the priesthood. When the invective became clear the priest interrupted saying “No! No! You are quite wrong” and an unseemly argument between priest and reader began across the sanctuary. An extreme example I know, but two lessons become clear:

(1) Don’t let a caucus of the laity take over the writing of bidding prayers;

(2) God, being omniscient, sees the 10 O’Clock News and doesn’t need a précis on national and international affairs.


Blogger Joee Blogs said...

haha yeah this is true. At the Brompton Oratory on Sunday the priest read out the bidding prayers. And guess what ... I didn't feel disenfranchised or as though i wasn't participating etc etc.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm laughing out loud again. So true.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Pelicanus said...

We had this problem at University with our new chaplains.

Suggestions to quickly end the practice included, "Let us pray for the suppression of the Jesuit order..." or "pro perfidiis Iudeis"...

7:24 PM  

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