Until it came to that portion of the Mass where the congregation kneels. It being the church basement, we had only the hard cement floor, covered with a thin layer of floor tiles, upon which to kneel. And this was a Latin High Mass (a very cool experience in and of itself), so the 'kneeling parts' were a fair bit longer than what I'm used to in my home parish, besides the fact that we were kneeling on concrete. So, when it was time to kneel, the 'locals' tossed their foam pads onto the floor, as a sort-of 'roll-your-own' kneeler, and saved themselves a half-hour's wear-and-tear on their kneecaps. For my part, when Mass was over, I hobbled down the aisle, and up the stairs, like a man much older than I already am.
The Catholic Mass, along with the Orthodox Liturgy, and a few other 'high church' liturgies, contains a series of shifting body positions, in the course of a normal worship service. Some clever types have referred to this as 'Catholic Calisthenics' - stand, kneel, sit, repeat as necessary. It can be a little bewildering the first time a visitor attends a Mass. My family is not Catholic (I converted when I was in college), and I once caused a minor scene at a cousin's Catholic wedding, by whispering 'Catholic Calisthenics' to my sister, during one of the stand-kneel-sit cycles, which caused her to burst out laughing. And generally speaking, there are no good times to burst out laughing during Mass. In case anyone was wondering.
So, last week, 6F graduated from 8th grade at Tiny Catholic School, and, as Catholics are wont to do, they celebrated the auspicious occasion with a Mass. The liturgy moved into the Eucharistic Prayers, which is where most of the kneeling happens.
Now, in 35 years of being Catholic, I've become fairly adept at flipping the kneeler down into position with my toe. Molly used to admonish me that that's a minor breach of Catholic etiquette, that the proper form is to sit, and put the kneeler down with one's hand, but I can always plead my convert status, that I was never properly taught the subtle fine points of Mass etiquette. So, I'm a shameless toe-flipper of the kneelers. And she has mostly given up on the admonishments.
I don't know what-all, exactly, I had distracting me during 6F's graduation Mass, but, having flipped the kneeler up during one of the 'standing parts', I forgot to flip it back down when the next 'kneeling part' came around. So that, when I went to kneel, expecting the kneeler to be in place, I continued downward with some degree of force, catching myself on the pew in front of me, with the bottom of my rib cage. Which hurt like
Not that any of this is really so terribly debilitating, or anything. But I do get a certain wry amusement from the fact that, twice in the past seven months, I've managed to mildly injure myself just from going to Mass. As Carla from Cheers once said (in one of the great bits of dialogue ever in a TV show), "Catholicism is not a religion for wusses."