Beware the Sajdah

May 2008By Shannon M. Jones

Shannon M. Jones is Chief Executive Officer of, which provides solid, authentic Catholic educational content for the 4Marks Daily Catechism Program.

American humorist Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) tapped into a fundamental human foible when he observed: "God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor." Mankind, it seems, can never leave what is, as is. As we see it, everything in God's good creation needs our creative input before it can be considered "good enough" for either God or man. Hence, there will never be a shortage of innovative solutions to problems that really don't exist.

The bulletin of a parish in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania, recently advertised a special children's eucharistic Holy Hour that included a new mysterious new component. The ad stated that children should come to "partake in songs and prostrations." Having taken part in eucharistic adoration for many years with my young children, always emphasizing the proper etiquette — double knee genuflection, kneeling with back straight in the pews, sitting properly, praying the mysteries of the Rosary — I was annoyed by yet another scheme from the commissars of the New Liturgical Order, and somewhat curious as to what the new wrinkle was all about.

On the way into the church with four small children in tow, I passed a college professor friend who was leaving the church in a huff. He was furious that there were "kids laying all over the floor carrying on with their butts up in the air, with the parents apparently encouraging and approving of this cutesy but grossly inappropriate behavior." Continuing with his invective, he pronounced this children's Holy Hour as a "Muslim copycat fest." He warned me not to take my children inside. Convincing myself that it simply could not be as bad as he suggested, I entered the church. As it turns out, it really was that bad. I was dumbfounded by row upon row of children's derrières staring me in the face.

The children were instructed to crouch, bend over, raise their buttocks in the air, rest their foreheads on the floor, and repeat. Dozens of children were flopping up and down in this strange fashion in a pattern emblematic of the worship style practiced by Muslims. Little girls were making desperate attempts at modesty, pulling down their shirts or skirts and smoothing them over their derrières to prevent unwanted attention. Some of the little boys took advantage of this opportunity to express themselves by vocalizing gross bodily sounds, invoking laughter and carrying on in the group, all in the sanctuary of the church and during the public eucharistic adoration session.

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Catholics worship the One True Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That is not the god that Muslims worship via their sajdah!

I could not agree more with the well researched astute comments of Shannon M. Jones in this outstanding article! Why in the name of Catholic sanity due Catholics have to emulate the posture of heretics in worshipping a false god, and in the process, encourage our children to become like little Muslims? This is the result of a false ecumenism-run-amok mentality where error is continuously accorded rights in the post-Vatican II Church. The REAL deal is uncompromisingly witnessing to the Eternal Truth of the Catholic Faith, Truth, Who is a Someone, not a something, per the Gospel of John!

“I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me”. For the love of God how is a missionary zeal supposed to be established for purposes of conversion for eternity's sake when the mythological beliefs of Buddhists and Hindus are given a pass as to their efficacy for advancing the spiritual, moral, and socio-economic values found in these false religions to the point of the blasphemous sacrilege of allowing Buddha to be incensed on the altar of a Catholic basilica (Assisi), which shortly thereafter was almost destroyed by an earthquake?

The Catholic Church is supposed to be in the business of converting lost souls to the one true faith, not confirming them in their error by offering congratulations to them on their false-god worshipping feasts. What kind of madness is this? What we are seeing here is a collective insanity under the mask of interreligious dialogue whereby non-Catholics are encouraged in their error, which is accorded equal rights in the Vatican II Church.

Instead of conversion to the one true faith per Christ's admonition to His disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew (28: 19-20). [ "Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" and Mark 16: 15-16, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned." ],we get the psycho-babble of dialogue ad nauseam via "interreligious expressions of solidarity" that have absolutely nothing to do with the only reason for the Church's existence, to get souls to Heaven instead of hell!

Thank you, Ms. Jones, for clearly showing the problems with the encouragement of more needless confusion in a Church already rife with it due to the allowance of dissent with impunity.

Catholicism does NOT need to emulate Islam. Rather, the reverse is true. Islam needs to be converted to Catholicism for salvation’s sake! That's what Jesus, whom we adore in the Blessed Sacrament, told us to do!
Posted by: stlouisix
May 08, 2008 09:22 AM EDT
The repetitious sadjah, especially the butt-in-the-air sort of course is not Catholic nor should this used in Catholic worship. BUT a form of bowing low and placing one's forehead upon the floor in reverence to the Allmighty is not to be anathema.

I've read in several saints lives and I'll paraphrase:

"If you want seek the Lord, bow down low in prayer, putting your face on the floor and ask God to give you humility" St. Pio to a spiritual child

"When I wish to make amends for sins of impurity, I pray the chaplet (of Divine Mercy) with my forehead on the floor." St. Faustina

"When I went to the sister's chapel to pray before the Tabernacle, I saw there Mother kneeling and folded over, with her forehead on the floor, unmoving for over an hour in prayer" A young American worker in Calcutta speaking of Mother Theresa.

These examples plus in the life of St. Bernadette when any sister was rebuked (as she often was) they would kiss the floor. Plus Fatima which someone already covered. These postures were not of the priestly prostration I'm quite sure. I think the trick is to keep your BUTT DOWN, and bend low in adoration, humility and reverence.
Posted by: elizabethirish
May 30, 2008 09:59 AM EDT
Actually, if you read the account of the apparitions at Fatima in the early 20th century, before our Lady appeared to the three children, an angel came and instructed them on how to pray to God. The angel knelt down and touched his forehead to the ground in worship and in this position he prayed and the children did likewise. Now, what I think is that the children were acting as children would act and needed to be corrected and disciplined and reminded of whom they are bowing down in front of. Of course, this apathy and ignorance on the part of the children can be pinned easily on a ridiculously lame and shallow religious education program at their school as well as in the home. Especially in the home. Not for nothing, but you don't see muslim children of the same age goofing off when they are at prayers. Why is that?

1. Because they dare not as they know what will happen to them at the hands of their parents or elders if they dare desecrate such a sacred duty.

2. Because, based on what I've seen and read, I can assure you that the majority of muslim children get a strict religious education in their fundamental beliefs, not like the majority of catholic children today who at home receive little to no real fundamental education in the faith and at catholic schools are subjected to ridiculous curriculums aimed at the worship of self and the denial of truth. Do not blame the posture, for the angel of the Lord assumed the same posture. Blame the parents, teachers, and priests who do not teach strict orthodoxy.
Posted by: gespin3549
May 09, 2008 02:09 PM EDT
Gespin makes a good point. The Sadjah seems to be of an ill conceived motivation and purpose that only adds confusion to the young. The liturgy should add to the reverence not detract from it. Posted by: awunsch
May 09, 2008 03:09 PM EDT
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