Today Holy Week starts. In this week, particularly during the Triduum, we celebrate our redemption. These are our highest Holy Days - much more so than Christmas. On Facebook walls and blog posts everywhere I see the call to turn away from the muck of the world and focus solely on prayer, etc. They also include the fight against dissidence within the Church. Would that it were possible - but it isn't. That goes double when we may well find dissidence rubbed in our faces during Triduum liturgies.
This week's Catholic Standard has a picture similar to this that appeared in the Washington Times two years ago. I don't see that picture in the online version of the Standard, but I think a gauntlet has been tossed. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect parishes could well be put under pressure to admit women to the Holy Thursday foot-washing. If that happens, we cannot just politely sit there and pretend all is hunky-dorry with the world. So - what to do?
For some of us ladies, we may need to act beforehand, for that's when our participation in the foot-washing may be solicited. Of course we have to decline (for we cannot participate in dissidence) - and let them know why. Be polite and respectful, but be very firm, clear and complete in your explanation.
Now if we're at the service and we see men and women going up to the altar, what then? Here's what I'll do, should I be so unfortunate as to see that. I will immediately kneel (but lean back in the seat so as not to disturb the person in front of me), pull out my Rosary, bow my head and pray a prayer in reparation. I will not look up at the travesty happening on the altar.
It's a pity that we must consider these actions during Holy Week, but we must deal with reality as it presents itself, not as we'd ideally like it to be.