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#412754 08/26/15 07:01 PM
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By. Fr George Rutler

Definitely one not expected, but written in the excellence of his preaching

Pews wink [crisismagazine.com]

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As one who has patiently stood, mostly in awe, for 2.5-3 hour stretches during Divine Liturgy, I agree with Father. We don't need the pews.

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I hate pews. As a parent of small children I think the Church functions better when children are allowed to roam quietly during Liturgy.

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I agree, pews must go. They are an abomination.

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I do have a question on the subject. Perhaps Orthodox Catholic or someone else might be able to answer. I know pews are not part the Latin Church. How did the people kneel during Mass? Also, did they separate women on one side and men on the other side like the East does?

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I can tell you how they do it in the Cathedral at Sucre, Bolivia - there are a few movable seats for elderly, pregnant women, whoever comes really early and sits (expected to move for any elderly or pregnant women, or disabled), etc. The rest of the people kneel on the floor, including those without kneelers attached to the movable seats.

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Kneeling on the floor is good for the soul, especially if it is concrete. If it had not been for an experience at Pentecost in which I needed help getting up I would have never got into shape. I was only 66 then. I started power lifting with solid tutelage and can lift things I could never lift before. Now at 68 I have no such trouble.

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Kneeling is for Latins. We should stand with the risen Christ - didn't Nicea say something similar?

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I did ask a specific question as it relates to Latin's and kneeling.

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What about seperating men and women. Do the Latin's do that?

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Originally Posted by Ray S.
What about seperating men and women. Do the Latin's do that?

No, they don't. I play organ for multiple masses at one of their parishes each week. The men and women have not been separated in my lifetime.

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
Originally Posted by Ray S.
What about seperating men and women. Do the Latin's do that?

No, they don't. I play organ for multiple masses at one of their parishes each week. The men and women have not been separated in my lifetime.

Curiously, a number of Protestant sects had separate seating for men and women--Amish and some conservative Menonnites still do. In the 19th century there were many Protestant church buildings constructed with separate entrances for men and women.

Part of the reason for the separation is that "Sunday School" was often held in the Nave, with classes segregated by age and sex "young men"; "young women", "old men", etc...and sometimes folks just stayed in the same pew for worship (Sunday School usually was first).

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
Originally Posted by Ray S.
What about seperating men and women. Do the Latin's do that?

No, they don't. I play organ for multiple masses at one of their parishes each week. The men and women have not been separated in my lifetime.


I don't know how old you are, but the practice didn't fall out of Latin canon law until the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law. It was included in the 1917 code. While it has never been common in Latin parishes in the United States (except perhaps among school children), the practice was known in parts of rural Ireland well into the 20th century.

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I don't know how old you are, but the practice didn't fall out of Latin canon law until the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law. It was included in the 1917 code. While it has never been common in Latin parishes in the United States (except perhaps among school children), the practice was known in parts of rural Ireland well into the 20th century.

I am 67 and have never seen this in the U.S. I also never heard any of my older relatives mention this, either.

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Let me rephrase the question. In Churches that were designed with out pews. What WAS the Liturgical Norm for the Latin Church with regards to the position of the laity in the Church. The second question was how did they kneel. For the second question I believe we answered that by saying the knelled on the floor.

Edited: Upon reading the later posts I think we answered this. The correct answer is the Liturgical Norms were the same between East and West for Churches to be built with out pews. Men on one side and women and children on the other. The only difference was knelling was done for the west.

Last edited by Ray S.; 09/09/15 06:16 AM.
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