Tuesday, 3 August 2010

An Expedition to the Pole

There is a singing group in the Catholic church today, a singing group which calls itself “Wildflowers”. (…) It all seems a pity at first, for I have overcome a fiercely anti-Catholic upbringing in order to attend Mass simply and solely to escape Protestant guitars. Why am I here? Who gave these nice Catholics guitars? Why are they not mumbling in Latin and performing superstitious rituals? What is the Pope thinking of? (…)


The new Episcopalian and Catholic liturgies include a segment called “passing the peace”. (…) passing peace requires that one shake hands with whoever is handy and say, “Peace be with you.” The other responds, “Peace be with you. ” Today I was sitting beside two teen-aged lugs with small mustaches. When it came time to pass the peace I shook hands with one of the lugs and said; “Peace be with you,” and he said, “Yeah.”

(Annie Dillard: “An Expedition to the Pole”, in Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982))

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