A Retraction

I have finally been convinced.  Pews are the most practical way to worship God.

Pews establish a clear hierarchy among the faithful, with the laity whose wisdom directs the priest in the front where everyone can witness their serene holiness.
Pews allow the faithful to sit uniformly, which gives the ever-wise priest the ability to give longer sermons.
Pews point the entire faithful in one direction at all times, and prevents someone from visiting a side altar, a shrine, or any other such devotional practice when the all important homily occurs.
Pews also force those vile people who wish to skip the homily and forego the wisdom of the priest to make a great scene when they leave this most important piece the the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Pews give ushers a job, so they can direct people to pews (even when there are silly people do not wish to sit) and then regulate when it is time for people to approach for Communion.
Pews make it more difficult for one who wishes not to commune, and forces him through peer pressure the loving wisdom of his brethren to approach the sacrament with an open heart.
Pews also make it difficult for the presumptuous man who wishes to commune when he sits among those holy and humble enough to know they are not worthy.
Pews prevent he who would pridefully kneel without the aid of kneelers to do as everyone else does the moment the wise churchlady forcefully drops the kneeler on his leg.
Pews force larger families to undergo extra effort to find a place in the church when seats are scarce, which should encourage arriving early and fostering family discipline.
Pews do away with the silly notion that seats should be given to those who need them and sacrificed by those who do not need them by creating the illusion that there are enough seats for everyone.
Pews allow full grown and able bodied men to sit and deny pregnant and child-bearing mothers seats. That extra pain those mothers suffer can be offered up to Our Lady of Mount Carmel to help save souls in Purgatory!
Pews prevent a toddler from walking about the church freely and forces the mother to take her sinful little brat to the cryroom where the child belongs, away from Christ.
Pews distance us from the decadence of the pew-less Middle Ages and prevent the Church from staying stuck in one place.
Pews allow us to carry on better ecumenical dialogue with the Protestants, for it shows that we understand them and can adopt their practices when they are correct.
Finally, pews encourage a more rigorous and respectable worship free from excessive ritualism, non-uniform postures of the faithful, any sense of ridiculous “beautiful chaos” in the worship, or fussy liturgicalism. The faithful attend to witness the Mass as witnesses, receive Communion if they are worthy of it, and most importantly listen to the wisdom of the Father from the pulpit.

“What pleased me most about a Greek Orthodox Mass I once attended was that there seemed to be no prescribed behavior for the congregation. Some stood, some knelt, some sat, some walked; one crawled about the floor like a caterpillar. And the beauty of it was that nobody took the slightest notice of what anyone else was doing. I wish we Anglicans would follow their example. One meets people who are perturbed because someone in the next pew does, or does not, cross himself. They oughn’t even to have seen, let alone censured. “Who art thou that judgest Another’s Servant?” – CS Lewis

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