Overcome idolatry in life by kneeling at during Mass

cosmatesqueFrom the gentlemanly Sandro Magister.

I love the opening salvo.

This splendid article reminds me of a story told by a priest friend about a very high American prelate.  On visiting his seminary, the prelate noted that no one was kneeling at the appropriate times.  He told the rector that he wanted the seminarians to kneel.  The rector expostulated that they had just spent a whole bunch of money to redo the chapel.  Putting kneelers in would be very expensive.   The prelate replied: "Who said anything about kneelers?"

My emphases and comments:

Why Kneel for Communion

Benedict XVI wants it that way, at the Masses he celebrates. But very few bishops and priests are imitating him. Yet this is one reason why churches were given ornate floors. [Interesting.] A guide to the discovery of their significance

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 13, 2010 – The image [right] is a partial panorama of the immense mosaic that covers the floor of the cathedral of Otranto, on the southeast coast of Italy.

Walking across it from the entrance to the sanctuary, the faithful have as a guide the tree of salvation history, a history that is sacred and profane at once, with episodes from the Old Testament, from the Gospels, from the chronicle of Alexander the Great and the cycle of King Arthur.

The mosaic is from the twelfth century, an era in which the churches had no chairs or pews, and the faithful were able to see the entire floor. Even when they were not adorned with figurative art, the floors of churches incorporated expensive materials and elaborate designs. They were walked upon. Prayed upon. Knelt upon in adoration.

Today kneeling – especially on a bare floor – has fallen into disuse. So much so that Benedict XVI’s desire to give communion to the faithful on the tongue, and kneeling, is cause for amazement. [horribile dictu]

Kneeling for communion is one of the innovations that pope Joseph Ratzinger has introduced when he celebrates the Eucharist.

But rather than an innovation, this is a return to tradition. The others are placing the crucifix at the center of the altar, "so that at the Mass we are all looking at Christ, and not at each other," and the frequent use of Latin "to emphasize the universality of the faith and the continuity of the Church."

In an interview with the English weekly "The Catholic Herald," master of pontifical ceremonies Guido Marini has confirmed that the pope will stick with this style of celebration during his upcoming trip to the United Kingdom.

In particular, Marini has announced that Benedict XVI will recite the entire preface and canon in Latin, while for the other texts of the Mass he will adopt the new English translation that will enter into use in the entire English-speaking world on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011: this because the new translation "is more faithful to the original Latin and of a more elevated style" compared with the current one.

The attraction that the Church of Rome exercised over many illustrious English converts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – from Newman to Chesterton to Benson – was in part the universalism of the Latin liturgy. An attraction to a solid and ancient faith that today is moving many Anglican communities to ask for admission to Catholicism.

The "reform of the reform" attributed to pope Ratzinger in the liturgical field is taking place partly in this way: simply, and with the example given by him when he celebrates.

But among the standard-setting practices of Benedict XVI, the one least understood – so far – is perhaps that of having the faithful kneel for communion.

This is almost never done, in any of the churches all over the world. In part because the communion rails at which one knelt to receive communion have been abandoned or dismantled almost everywhere.

But the sense of church flooring has also been lost. Traditionally, the floors were very ornate precisely in order to act as a foundation and guide to the greatness and profundity of the mysteries celebrated.  [Every element of a church should be considered for its potential content.  We must avoid merely utilitarian choices.]

Few today realize that these beautiful and expensive floors were also made for the knees of the faithful: a carpet of stones on which to prostrate oneself before the splendor of the divine epiphany.

The following text was written precisely to reawaken this sensibility.

Its author is Monsignor Marco Agostini, an official in the second section of the secretariat of state, assistant master of pontifical ceremonies and a scholar of liturgy and sacred art, already known to the readers of www.chiesa for his enlightening commentary on the "Transfiguration" by Raphael.

The article was published in "L’Osservatore Romano" on August 20, 2010.



by Marco Agostini

It is striking how much care ancient and modern architecture, until the middle of the twentieth century, devoted to the floors in churches. Not only mosaics and frescoes for the walls, but painting in stone, inlaid, marble tapestries for the floors as well.

I am reminded of the variegated "tessellatum" of the basilica of Saint Zeno, or of the floor of Santa Maria in Stelle in Verona, or of the vast, elaborate floors of the basilica of Theodorus in Aquileia, of Saint Mary in Grado, of Saint Mark in Venice, or the mysterious floor in the cathedral of Otranto. The shining, golden cosmatesque "opus tessulare" in the Roman basilicas of Saint Mary Major, Saint John Lateran, Saint Clement, Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Cosmedin, in Trastevere, or of the episcopal complex of Tuscania or of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

And then there is the inlaid marble in Santo Stefano Rotondo, San Giorgio al Velabro, Santa Costanza, and Saint Agnes in Rome, and of the basilica of Saint Mark in Venice, of the baptistry of Saint John and of the church of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, or the incomparable "opus sectile" of the cathedral in Siena, or the white, black, and red shield designs in Sant’Anastasia in Verona, or the floor of the grand chapel of Bishop Giberti or of the eighteenth-century chapels of the Madonna del Popolo and of the Sacrament, also in the cathedral of Verona, and, above all, the astonishing and sumptuous stone carpet of the Vatican basilica of Saint Peter.

[Does your church have carpet?]

In reality, careful attention to the floor is not only a Christian concern: there are striking mosaic pavements in the Greek villas of Olynthus or Pella in Macedonia, or in the imperial Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina in Sicily, or those of the villas of Ostia or of the Casa del Fauno in Pompei, or the ornate Nile mosaic of the shrine of Fortuna Primigenia in Palestrina. But also the pavement in "opus sectile" of the senatorial curia in the Roman Forum, the fragments from the basilica of Giunio Basso, also in Rome, or the marble inlays of the "domus" of Cupid and Psyche in Ostia.

Greek and Roman attention to flooring was not evident in the temples, but in the villas, the baths, and the other public places where the family or civil society gathered. The mosaic of Palestrina was also not in a place of worship in the strict sense. The cell of the pagan temple was inhabited only by the statue of the god, and worship took place outside, in front of the temple, around the sacrificial altar. For this reason, the interiors were almost never decorated.

Christian worship is, on the other hand, an interior worship. Instituted in the upper room of the cenacle, decorated with rugs on the second floor of the home of friends, and propagated at first in the intimacy of the domestic hearth, in the "domus ecclesiae," when Christian worship took on a public dimension it turned the home into a church. The basilica of San Martino ai Monti was built on top of a "domus ecclesiae," and it’s not the only one. The churches were never the place of a simulacrum, but the house of God among men, the tabernacle of the real presence of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament, the common home of the Christian family. Even the most humble of Christians, the most poor, as member of the mystical body of Christ which is the Church, in church was at home and was master: he walked on sumptuous flooring, enjoyed the mosaics and frescoes on the walls, the paintings around the altars, smelled the perfume of the incense, heard the joyful music and singing, saw the splendor of the vestments worn for the glory of God, savored the ineffable gift of the Eucharist that was administered to him from golden vessels, moved in procession and felt part of the order that is the soul of the world[Ineffable!]

The floors of the churches, far from being an ostentatious luxury, in addition to constituting the walking surface had other functions as well. They were certainly not made to be covered up by pews, which were introduced relatively recently with the intention of making the naves of the churches suitable for listening comfortably to long sermons. The floors of the churches were supposed to be fully visible: in their depictions, their geometrical designs, the symbolism of their colors they preserve Christian mystagogy, the processional directions of the liturgy. They are a monument to the foundation, to the roots.

These floors are primarily for those who live and move in the liturgy, they are for those who kneel before the epiphany of Christ. Kneeling is the response to the epiphany given by grace to a single person. The one who has been struck by the brilliance of the vision falls prostrate to the ground, and from there sees more than all around him who have remained standing. They, worshiping, or acknowledging that they are sinners, see reflected in the precious stones, in the golden tiles that were sometimes used in ancient floors, the light of the mystery that shines from the altar, and the greatness of the divine mercy.

To consider that those beautiful floors were made for the knees of the faithful is emotionally moving: a perennial carpet of stones for Christian prayer, for humility; a carpet for rich and poor without distinction, a carpet for pharisees and publicans, but which the latter can appreciate above all.

Today the kneelers have disappeared from many churches, and there is a tendency to remove the communion rails at which one could receive communion while kneeling. And yet in the New Testament, the act of kneeling is present every time the divinity of Christ appears to a man: one thinks of the Magi, of the man born blind, of the anointing in Bethany, of the Magdalene in the garden on the morning of Easter[Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

Jesus himself said to Satan, who wanted to make him kneel wrongfully, that it is only to God that one’s knees must bend. Satan is still forcing the choice between God and power, God and wealth, and is tempting even more profoundly. But in this way glory will not be given to God at all; knees will bend to those whom power has favored, to those to whom the heart has been bound through an act.

A good training exercise to overcome idolatry in life is to return to kneeling at Mass, [OORAH!] which is moreover one of the ways of "actuosa participatio" spoken of by the last council. The practice is also useful to realize the beauty of the floors (at least the older ones) in our churches. Some of them might even bring the urge to remove one’s shoes, as Moses did before God when he spoke to him from the burning bush.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jmgarciajr says:

    Scripture is filled to the rafters with instances of someone, upon recognizing himself to be in the presence of the Divine, falling to his knees. If we recognize the Divine Presence in the Eucharist…shouldn’t we do likewise? (As an aside, even at the Ordinary Form Masses in my parish, we are seeing an increase in people voluntarily genuflecting prior to receiving Communion and also of people kneeling — on a bare marble floor, mind you. Shock and horror, they all strike me as being rather young, too.

  2. doanli says:

    Great articles.

    I’m so thankful to God that we have a pastor at our parish who is more Orthodox and is giving a lot of our Catholic Tradition back to us. (For one thing, he has the Crucifix on the altar during his Masses.)

    If we don’t show God the honor due Him here, we will certainly be doing it in Life Eternal!

  3. scaron says:

    Interesting question “Does your church have a carpet?”

    We did have a ratty green carpet until we renovated a few years ago. Now we have beautiful Italian tile with an inlaid mosaic border around the sanctuary. A wonderful sense of “permanence”. As part of the renovation committee, my goal was that all changes should have three elements – *Permanence* – a quality no carpet can bring, *verticality* directing our eyes upward to heaven, and *beauty* as befits the house of God.

    the add benefit – it did wonders for the acoustics!

  4. DisturbedMary says:

    I think Pope Benedict ought to call 2011 a Year of Kneeling.

    Look at all the mileage the Muslims get for praying on their knees.

    Only the prayer of those kneeling outside an abortion mill is more powerful than the sight of people on their knees.

    Even when you say your evening prayers in the privacy of your bedroom, everything changes if you kneel.

  5. irishgirl says:

    Great articles!

    The small TLM chapel I attend has a bare wood floor-no marble there.

  6. JosephMary says:

    I laughed outloud at the prelate who said “I didn’t say anything about kneelers” when he was speaking of the need to kneel at Holy Mass.

    No we do not have carpet in the church. We have a marble floor, not ornate but simple.

    Have mentioned to my pastor about the ‘Benedictine arrangement’ of the altar with a Crucifix on it, etc. We shall see if that ever comes about. If our archbishop would do it, he would for sure. A lot depends on the local ordinary when it comes to obedient priests who will follow his example.

  7. Bornacatholic says:

    Reading Liturgical histories I learned that pews were a protestant innovation so I am delighted to see this post today.

  8. xgenerationcatholic says:

    If you can’t kneel on the bare floor you can bring your own cushion. They sell them.

    We’ve been told that “in the Early Church they didn’t kneel” so somehow taking out kneelers makes us more like the Early Church and therefore better. They also fasted a lot more but nobody suggests that.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Great post, as usual. Kneeling is not the problem, it is the “getting up” for many older ones, and myself, with two bad knees. There are not enough young’uns to help us all up again.:)

    I love visiting the ruins in England, like Tintern and Fountains, seeing how large the Churches were and realizing the cold, stone floors where people knelt were the norm.

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    Our church has a stone floor, laid in a simple pattern of pink granite squares and white marble inlays. Part of the choir loft is carpeted – but not all.

  11. Athelstan says:

    I saw this Chiesa missive in my mailbox this morning and thought: “Fr. Z will have this posted by noon, tops.” You didn’t disappoint.

    I have always said that the most dramatic deformity introduced into the Latin rite mass – and the one whose removal would do most to restore reverence and tradition in thew liturgy – was the end to worship ad orientem by the celebrant. If I were to pick a second one, however, I think it would be the change in posture for reception of communion. (And for that matter, kneeling at all the traditional points in the mass.)

    If you fix these two things, so much else would follow. I wish there were a way for the Holy Father to move beyond mere teaching by example to give greater impetus to restoring these two ancient traditions.

  12. Elly says:

    Interesting. I am a little confused though about the concept of having a beautiful floor to kneel on. I thought that part of the significance of kneeling was that by throwing ourselves onto the ground we admit that we are but dust and ashes before the Almighty. But will kneeling on a beautiful and elaborate floor have that significance?

  13. Thanks Father Z!

    There are still many Catholic churches in the former Soviet Union, Latvia e.g., where all, young and old, simply kneel on the stone floor during Communion. (I am prepared to see a snarky comment pop up about the infirm not being able to kneel….isn’t it a tragedy that many who now complain that they no longer can kneel, never knealt when they could?!)

    Most readers of your blog have heard of Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. I believe this man with his humility and focus is God’s prophet! It was in response to Bishop Schneider’s scholarly booklet, Dominus Est,that the Holy Father re-instituted kneeling on the feast of Corpus Christi 2008.

    In the Billy Crystal movie, City Slickers, Jack Palance plays a weather-beaten cowboy who Crystal grows to admire and eventually asks Palance what the secret of happiness is. Palance holds up one finger and says ‘that’s it’. After Crystal presses him, Palance explains to him that he must choose one thing that he cares about more than anything else and live only for that….

    Our Holy Father and Bishop Schneider have chosen that One Thing. Why do so few of us follow their example? It is the Lord!


  14. A church, a house of God, is supposed to look like Heaven, where God lives, and/or like the New Jerusalem, where we hope to live. We are reliably informed by the Book of Revelation that Heaven has a very beautiful floor; and the City also.

    A church is also supposed to be a little model of the cosmos, as the Temple was in Jerusalem. The Temple had a beautiful floor; and the Earth and stars are a beautiful floor, also.

    But as to Elly’s question, about whether a beautiful floor that stretches out wide and far will make us feel small — I ask folks to think about the horrors of public speaking, when you get up and walk across a vast expanse of floor. I happen to have done this “in court” in a medieval recreation group, and I assure you that it is very awe-inspiring to do that, even when you know the King is really an insurance agent or an engineer the rest of the week. I’m sure that testifying or lawyering in a court case is similar; and I know darned well that the walk up to the ambo is scary and overwhelming always, and not at all because there’s a crowd behind me! It’s the presence of authority that makes these occasions awe-inspiring; the crowd of eyes is almost a relief. (And think of going to the principal’s office when you were a kid. The distance to the desk seemed enormous, and there was nobody else to help you except the teacher or secretary who’d brought you there. It’s not stage fright; it’s something very much else.)

    If the floor were itself a work of art, it would make you feel small and enthralled, just as the gorgeous ceiling and walls of a big church do (or even a small church can do – as in the overwhelming relic area at the Precious Blood place in Ohio). If the floor is not gorgeous when you cast your eyes downward (or your knees), there’s something detracting and distracting from the honor rightly given to the One before you. Nothing can diminish God’s majesty, but we can try to diminish people’s perception of it — and usually do.

    I’ll add that it’s pretty sad to lay down red carpet for the bride’s procession at a wedding, if you’re not going to have at least that much for God.

  15. Oh, and it’s pretty noticeable that when people spent all that money for carpets in church, they didn’t buy carpets from the Indies more precious than gold, or vast Arabian rugs, or even anything with a design to it. It’s beige for God, for the most part. (My parish has green, which at least is trying.)

  16. I’m afraid I butchered Palance’s quote
    it’s really much better than I remembered!

    I posted the utube



  17. susanna says:

    Knelt on marble once for communion. It hurt, but I’d do it again!

  18. MikeM says:

    We have many of our campus Masses in a non denominational chapel. There are no kneelers, but everyone kneels on the concrete floors.

  19. Andy Milam says:


    That is all.

  20. Rachel says:

    I assisted at a catechism class for fifth-graders once. They knelt on the tile floor for half an hour to say the entire Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I’m on the fence about whether it’s good to have 10-year-olds do that every week… but it sure was impressive.

  21. helgothjb says:

    When I attended World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, I was privileged to attend a large gathering of teens, over a thousand. There were performances by christian singers and the like, but then a priest came out and explained Eucharistic Adoration to all present. Then he left briefly, only to return with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He placed Him in a huge monstrance and all in that place instantly knelt, although not a word had been said about kneeling. The floor was hard concrete and adoration lasted well over an hour. No-one stood or sat the entire time. One could have heard a pin drop a mile away beacuse of the reverent silnce that enveloped the room (I think it was a warehouse, or something like that). It is a memory that will remain with me all my days.

    One other memory I have regarding kneeling is from my travels to Fatima where it is constumary the first time you visit, to process for a very long way up to the bacillica on your knees. Elderly women do this as well. It is very moving and time itself seems to be transformed when you are doing it.

    -on a humorous note, there are also old ladies there that cruise all around the place on their knees at great speed because they are wearing knee pads! I kid you not. It is really quite impressive that they can move so fast. Weird piety to be be sure, but piety notheless!

  22. muckemdanno says:

    If the Pope is using the new translation on the grounds that it is more faithful to the original, then it is not necessary to wait until the end of 2011. The new translation is allowed now.

  23. Dave N. says:

    Reminds me of Canterbury Cathedral where you can see (and kneel in) the indentations in the stone made by millions of people kneeling at the shrine of St. Thomas Becket.

    I’d go for a Year of Kneeling. We are not worthy.

    Every element of a church should be considered for its potential content. We must avoid merely utilitarian choices.

    Bravo. In space that is truly sacred, everything bears both a meaning and a function. To strip things down to their functionality alone (down to a sort of modern utilitarianism) is to strip them of their sacrality and place them in the world of the everday/profane. Given some elements of church architecture and design that attempt such a mixing of sacred and everyday, it is no wonder at all that people no longer feel called to kneel.

  24. Gulielmus says:

    Of all people, George Bernard Shaw (vilified now almost daily by Glenn Beck, who doesn’t seem to have understood a word he wrote) addressed this very issue in his odd but insightful play, Too True To be Good. The play is a bitter look at the “advances” in society after WWI, and at the end, a burglar/preacher (I said it was odd) decries the modern outlook on religion, using kneeling as a specific example–

    The fatal word NOT has been miraculously inserted into all our creeds: in the desecrated temples where we knelt murmuring “I believe” we stand with stiff knees and stiffer necks shouting “Up, all! the erect posture is the mark of the man: let lesser creatures kneel and crawl: we will not kneel and we do not believe.” But what next? Is NO enough? For a boy, yes: for a man, never. Are we any the less obsessed with a belief when we are denying it than when we were affirming it? No: I must have affirmations to preach. Without them the young will not listen to me; for even the young grow tired of denials. The negativemonger falls before the soldiers, the men of action, the fighters, strong in the old uncompromising affirmations which give them status, duties, certainty of consequences; so that the pugnacious spirit of man in them can reach out and strike deathblows with steadfastly closed minds. Their way is straight and sure; but it is the way of death; and the preacher must preach the way of life. Oh, if I could only find it!”

  25. edwardo3 says:

    I’ll start off with saying that I’m not old, not quite middle aged yet, but I have bad knees due to injuries which occured in my teens as a competative athlete for years. For the past three years or so I have been kneeling on the bare floor because trying to balance my weight on those thin little kneelers they have in most churches has become intensely painful. Getting up from a kneeling position isn’t always easy or the most graceful thing I’ve ever done, but I can live with that.

  26. Mike says:

    I must say, “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” The last thing I want to do at the Mass is draw attention to myself. We customarily receive standing at my school and my parish (neither related to each other). I understand how some want to knee, that’s fine. I would RATHER kneel, but I generally just go with the flow, remembering St. Benedict’s injuction to bend the heart before the knee.

    That being said, I would be overjoyed if B16 mandated kneeing for the entire Church.

  27. q7swallows says:

    When I was on my freshmen orientation retreat with the (original REAL) St. Ignatius Institute about 25 years ago, Mass was to be held at the rustic Valley of the Moon campsite (where there was only a make-shift altar and a clearing in the forest where it had recently rained). I overheard one of my fellow students ask Fr. Fessio if we should kneel on the ground during the Mass. I will never forget his response. He said, *“Well, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fell on His knees for me in the mud and muck. Why should I not kneel for Him?”*

    That WAY of thinking about things formed the critical backbone of so many of my responses to situations (liturgical and otherwise) ever since and I have been able to kneel maybe not comfortably but happily for Him from that day on whatever surface presents itself: mud, gravel, stones, tiles, carpets, kneelers, cushions, whatever. It simply did not matter anymore.

    Now that I, too, find it difficult to rise after each evening family rosary, although I’ve never asked, even the youngest children rush to compete with the others to be the one that Mama leans on to rise again. It’s marvelous (and humbling) to think that that one comment helped to inspire the formation of Simon of Cyrene in ones so young . . . .

  28. Making slightly wider kneeling cushions for the infirm or heavy in our church families would be a kindly craft. Make a good service project for Scouts, too. Maybe have a bunch of them around for distribution. (Think about anti-bedbug precautions, though.)

  29. AnAmericanMother says:

    I have known altar servers with gardening kneepads on under their cassocks! (the older ones kneel on the hard floor in the sanctuary. The younger ones get the kneelers on the steps.)

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The reference by AnAmericanMother to kneepads suddenly reminded me of what Eusebius quotes from Hegesippus about “the Lord’s brother James […] the Righteous”: “He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camel’s from his continually bending them in worship of God and beseeching forgiveness for the people” (Ecclesiastical History II, 23 [trans. Williamson]).

  31. jrobinson says:

    This also reminds me of a FOCUS conference that I attended several years ago in Denver. It was held in January at a hotel downtown at the same time as the stock show was in town. Our hotel was about half college students and half cattlemen. The main conference room was in the basement and the Eucharist was reserved in a chapel that was set up in a room two floors up. I still remember standing by the lobby bar full of cattlemen and cowboys as the preist processed through with the Eucharist in a monstrance on the way down to the conference room for adoration. All of the college students stopped talking and kneeled down as he passed. I am sure that it was quite suprising to everyone else there but it was a great witness to the faith of the young people in the Church today.

  32. RichardT says:


    Let’s get rid of pews (nasty modern protestant invention).

  33. RichardT says:

    I occasionally have to go to Mass in a Cathedral (yes, a Cathedral, but fortunately not my own) here in England where it is impossible to kneel because there physically isn’t enough room between the rows of seats for the lower part of my legs to fit (and I’m only average height). Nor could I push the seat behind back to make room, because they are all fastened together in rows.

    Since I have never seen more than about a third of the seats occupied, the spacing does not seem to be necessary to fit everyone in.

    When I pointed out this problem to the Dean after Mass, he said that as children of God we should stand before Him, not kneel, and then said that historically people never used to kneel because they didn’t have kneelers! I corrected his historical inaccuracy, but not his theological point.

    They seem to have a new Dean now, so I may see whether things have improved.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    I love cosmati paving. Beautiful.

  35. momravet says:

    We used to have well worn red carpet and during the last series of renovations it was replaced with oak floors and an altar rail was added. Father also added an altar rail in our adoration chapel.

  36. Jayna says:

    “In particular, Marini has announced that Benedict XVI will recite the entire preface and canon in Latin, while for the other texts of the Mass he will adopt the new English translation that will enter into use in the entire English-speaking world on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011: this because the new translation “is more faithful to the original Latin and of a more elevated style” compared with the current one.”

    Well, that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing the translation in action.

    My former parish had ugly carpet (it was…orange) and my current parish has red carpet in the aisles and tile under the pews. At least it’s prettier? Though I will give my former parish a break because my pastor wants to get new carpet, has already picked it out, but he just doesn’t have the funds to do it. The newest church in the archdiocese has a gorgeous marble center aisle. At least they’re learning.

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