01 August 2018, The Tablet
I happily touch or kiss the pilgrim-worn statue of St James at Compostela
Villagers kiss statue of Virgin Mary during a ceremony in the village of Al-Qaa, a Christian stronghold in Lebanon, 2017. Pic by PA
I REMEMBER when I first saw someone touch a statue in a religious way. It was in 1971 in St Anselm’s church, Tooting Bec, a busy if at the time rather grubby house of God. I was a bit shocked, having been brought up in a genteel suburb where worshippers kept their distance from images.
It doesn’t shock me now. I certainly don’t think it is against the First Commandment to touch a statue of the Virgin Mary or of St Jude. My current practice seems to be culturally determined. I happily touch or kiss the pilgrim-worn statute of St James at Compostela. At home I tend to keep my lips to myself.
Get Instant Access
Register for free to read this article in full
Subscribe for unlimited access
From just £19.99 quarterly
The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.
Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login