Sitting or Standing

Published on Fri 10 December 1999

A parish got a new priest. During his first service, when a certain prayer was said, half the congregation stood up and half remained sitting. The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up.

The new priest did not know what to do. His congregation suggested to consult a 98-year-old man, who was the oldest inhabitant of the village. The priest hoped the elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual tradition was, so he went to the old people's home with a representative of each fraction of the congregation.

The one whose followers stood during the prayer said to the old man, "Is the tradition to stand during this prayer?"

The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition."

The one whose followers sat said gladly, "Then the tradition is to sit during this prayer!"

The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition."

Then the priest said to the old man, "But the congregation fight all the time, yelling at each other about whether they should sit or stand..."

The old man interrupted, exclaiming, "That is the tradition!"

This joke was tagged #english