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genuflect

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genuflect

Postby eberntson » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:05 pm

To bend ones knee to the ground, most often in the context of worship.

I learned this word from Tom Lehrer's The Vatican Rag.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
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Re: genuflect

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:38 am

Tom Lehrer's The Vatican Rag sounds suspiciously like a Scott Joplin composition. The little song is catchy and, to my mind, not sacrilegious. Genuflect, which comes straight from the Latin, means to bend the knee. Devotional body positions are used by most religions. My grandpa was wont to kneel in the sandy cotton field, when the notion struck him, and pray for twenty or thirty minutes. He expected the other cotton pickers to kneel with him. They did, since it was his cotton field.
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Re: genuflect

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:27 pm

I always have thought the genuflecting refers to crossing oneself, making the sign of the cross, touching one's chest and then both sides of the chest.
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Re: genuflect

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:20 pm

The sign of the cross is made by Catholics every time someone says, "the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" in a prayer. It is done sitting at the table when saying Grace. It is done in the presence of a dead body. Perry, you can bone up on your Catholic theology by watching "Bluebloods" weekly on TV. It is just another cop story, but these cops are devout Catholic Christians. Genuflecting is done at the entrance of the sanctuary and at other times and it might be accompanied with the sign of the cross.
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Re: genuflect

Postby gailr » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:43 pm

I no longer have my copy of Growing Up Catholic* but it includes a passage on church entry procedures, including holy water font etiquette and correct genuflection and self-crossing techniques. To paraphrase, a casual, breezy dip of a knee is flippant and disrespectful. But to drop to both knees and beat one's chest repeatedly in a paroxysm of guilt is equally inappropriate. The authors point out that God is not impressed.


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* NB the confirmation names. :wink:
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Re: genuflect

Postby Slava » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:17 am

I have long loved much of Tom Lehrer's work, and I don't think I can see the word genuflect without thinking of the Vatican Rag.

There is, however, one nit I'd pick with it. The section that has this word starts off, "First you get down on your knees." The fourth line is "Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect." How does one genuflect when one is already on one's knees? :?

By the by, Mr. Lehrer is still alive at 85.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: genuflect

Postby eberntson » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:44 pm

My guess is one can do anything one wants Slava when one has either an artistic or a poetic license.

All kidding aside, I have been to a few Catholic Masses and it seems to me their is a lot of genuflecting going on. It my guess that is why all those little old good Catholics are so spry is my guess.

E
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns
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Re: genuflect

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:10 am

Gailr, a lot of pious things we do don't impress God. But a cup of cold water for a thirsty wayfarer, now that impresses Him.
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