February 24, 2010

I Can See The String! (And Masked Men)

It's one of the lines you're supposed to yell out at some point when you go to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight. I couldn't resist.

But seriously, a parishioner related something fun to me the other day. She explained how she had brought a friend to Mass, a religious sister who had once been a teacher of transitional deacons in a seminary. Sister had remarked upon her observation that I was the first priest she had seen in a long time who seemed to have been trained to make the 'hands extended' or 'orans' gesture with a procedure involving a piece of string extended between the hands or the shoulders somehow. I didn't really understand what was meant, but I guess I really do, because I was doing whatever was supposed to be the outcome of the stringy pedagogy in question.

So if I say I don't understand what the piece of string does, do I commit the masked man fallacy, given that I seemed to have learned what it was supposed to teach me?

As is often observed, one can tell a lot about a priest from his orans or extended hands posture.


Kevin F said...

I think we went to all the same movies and listened to the same CDs when we were teenagers. Also, someone mentioned that Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper and touring together and I thought of you :-0

When during Rocky does the audience yell, "I can see the string?"

I wonder if some of the lines are regional, I live in CA and have never heard that line.

Kevin F said...

Never mind my last comment, I just remembered. When Scott circles Magenta and Columbia. Duh!

ben in denver said...

I hate to admit it, because I've know a few very notable exceptions. But I do make a lot of assumptions about the orthodoxy of a priest by his orans position. The general tendancy I've observed (with some exceptions) is the closer the hands, the more orthodox the priest, the farther apart the hands are, the greater likelihood the priest has some heterodox opinions.

Qualis Rex said...

Ben, an interesting observation. I have also noticed that when priests extend their arms out widely (like a hen spreading her chicks together as one priest explained) they tend to be on the...er..."spirit of Vatican II" side. Some priests (one particular offender comes to mind) pray in almost a showmanship manner; mugging, extending their arms then lifting them and raising their head towards the rafters etc.

Welcome to the "cult of personality".