Sunday, 17 May 2009

Shrine time, 2009

It's that month again, and the ladies of Zamienie are at their devotions. Two fewer in number than this time last year, reds and pale blues are the colour of the season (last year was muted browns and greys). Once again, the shriners are all female. The scene reminds me of a conversation with Ziggy in deepest rural Mamrotowo. Ziggy states that religious observance is the one and only regular communal activity in the Polish village, and is, in his words, 'a waste of time'. The hours could be better put to use gathering petitions for proper drains, amateur dramatics or communal jam-making. A Women's Institute in other words, like in rural, post-religious England.

But rural Poland is not post-religious - yet. I wonder how many ladies will still be at this Marian shrine in Zamienie in May 2019? The pace of decline in Polish Catholicism has been very noticeable to me over the past decade or so.

Listening to the ladies at their devotions, I would surmise that two or three of them probably do obtain some deep spiritual satisfaction from repeating the Hail Mary mantra-style. The rest do it, I suspect, because it's the done thing. I noted a significant omission in the Polish. "Święta Maria, Matko Boska, módl się za nami teraz i w gódzinie śmierci..." whereas in English it's "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death..." Now, I wonder what theological acrobatics were employed to leave the word 'sinners' out of their version?


jan said...

You are mistaken when you say that "za nami grzesznikami" is omitted in Polish version of the prayer. As I recollect vaguely from my childhood [i]katecheza[/i] this part is officially there, and wikipedia confirms that
Perhaps the ladies are just feeling self-conident ?

Michael Dembinski said...

Jan - that's what I thought; the Wikipedia quote brings it all back (I did katecheza in both languages). Which is why I was puzzled as I stopped to watch the ladies in prayer. Perhaps they no longer considered themselves sinners? I was struck while listening to them that something doesn't sound right... Maybe this is a new breakway sect, the Zamienie-ites, editing the prayer book? I shall have to return!

Rubeus said...

Michael - i think, that they indid no longer considered what they sinners.