Friday, May 10, 2019

You Will Shake Hands

cathedral interior

As one rambles through modern life, it is interesting to take a few steps back and observe how often various events have a slant that appeals to extroverts. One that I find to be particularly irritating is when churches "ask" members of the congregation to turn around and greet the people seated around them.

You will be friendly.

To object, of course, invites being regarded as aloof and yet I suspect that I am not alone in disliking the coercive nature of the practice. Once I've gotten past the greeters at the door - and I have no problem with that welcoming ritual - if I want to shake hands with someone, I'll do so. Making it obligatory cheapens its meaning. 

Furthermore, the idea that one might attend a religious service in order to quietly contemplate God and the nature of one's obligations is now grafted to a practice which is more suitable for a cocktail party or a "networking" event.

What is also missed in that those of us who are shy simply don't follow the same ground rules as those who are not. That doesn't mean we are somehow afflicted. As you may have noticed at business meetings, often the quietest person in the room has the best things to say.

Some people talk in order to think. Some others think in order to talk. Both practices have advantages.

In the meantime, I'll be found in the back pew.

[Photo by Debby Hudson at Unsplash]


Eclecticity said...

Hi Michael. Did a little cursory homework on where "The Sign of Peace" came about from my own faith tradition. Thought worth sharing.

Hope you are well. Peace be to your spirit. E.

Michael Wade said...


Thanks. I will check it out.

Peace be to you as well.