Quodlibet

Madness at the Poles

by S. M. Hutchens

I read today that kneeling at a ceremony at a place liturgists regard as improper, John Paul II refused to rise when his Master of Ceremonies instructed him to. It's reassuring to hear of JPII telling his professional nitpicker to bug off, for when is it improper for the pope or any man to kneel before God? What limits can the fabricators of liturgical systems admit to their proprietary rule? One of the great strengths of Prayer Book worship is that it discourages the madness one finds at the poles: that of the ceremonialists for whom no ornamentation is too much, for whom the significance of everything stifles that of the Principal Thing; and that of the liturgical antinomians whose theme is spontaneity, which always serves the degradation of corporate worship by the individualist impulse. One can die by starving on husks or choking on cake.

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone


more on Christianity from the online archives

33.3—May/June 2020

Deliberation, Inc.

Human & Divine Societies Require Careful Thought & Discourse by Anthony Esolen

31.1—January/February 2018

Beggars Before Christ

on Taking the Measure of the Deserving & the Undeserving Poor by Martin Bordelon

28.3—May/June 2015

Dumb Sheep

on the Truth About a Slanderous Accusation by James S. Spiegel

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.4—July/August 2019

Sojourner Knight

on Single-Mindedness in Durer's Ritter, Tod, und Teufel by Anthony Costello

33.2—March/April 2020

Christian Pro-Family Governments?

Old & New Lessons from Europe—from the 2019 Touchstone Conference by Allan C. Carlson

29.5—Sept/Oct 2016

Dying of Despair

on the Loss of True Community & Rising Political Desperation by Karl D. Stephan