Aunt Esther! You done got on my last nerve, you jive ole fool. Sometimes I think during the sign of peace, "Why do I have to acknowledge your presence here when you made your presence known to me out in the parking lot when you almost ran me over trying to get a parking space near the front of the church?"
The tilted head grimace-and-nod with no outstretched hand is the worst. Why even bother? When I'm sick, I turn to the person, hold up my hand, display a tissue, and say, "Peace be with you." No explanation needed.
I'm convinced that Catholics have some of the best handshakes in the world, because we practice at least once a week, and have since childhood.
I thought of Aunt Esther at Mass. I just politely told people 'you don't want to shake my hand' - most people could tell I was sick, but one really nice guy said, 'oh? Okay' and I could tell he didn't get it it so I said - I have a really bad cold. Then he smiled.I don't mind the sign of peace - people seem to like it and definitely expect it - even though we are told to stand and greet one another before Mass starts. I think maybe we should do high 5's after Mass and then the priest's blessing.
Maybe this is just a New York thing (we are all expert at ignoring one another because it's the only way to give each other personal space), but very few people actually shake hands at Mass. We do that "tilted head grimace-and-nod" (more smile than grimace) mentioned by Ann. If that bothers you, I would suggest never going to Mass in NYC.Interestingly, this is actually an optional part of the Mass, and priests like Father George Rutler never include it. My personal preference.
I love New York - my favorite place for Mass was St. Patrick's. When Cardinal O'Connor was alive he often had the early Mass. I can't recall the sign of peace. It's not a big thing for me either way. At a neighborhood parish it becomes a point of contact for the elderly and kids. I think I'm helped at Mass because I try to spend an hour praying in preparation and stay a long time in thanksgiving afterwards. It helps me to be recollected even amidst all the noise. Some of the novelties introduced for special occasions challenge that - but I try to take it in stride.
I really like the Sign of Peace when it is done in a manner that is not akin to a mere greeting. One of the things I also liked when in the US is the way people raise their hands in prayer during the Our Father; it's rarely done here in the UK. And before anyone says that it isn't proscribed...neither is it forbidden. Besides, the new Roman Missal would have been the perfect opportunity to have forbidden had the relevant authorities wished, which obviously was not the case. Guess I'm just a huggy, feely kind of guy :)
Yes - the orans position for the Lord's prayer is very popular - as is holding hands - I don't do it but many people I know - esp families - like doing it very much. I think it grew out of the Charismatic movement, not sure though.
That drives me nuts; orans position and hand-holding. I rarely stray from my own parish, but when I do, I've learned to immediately put my hands together in prayer, lest somebody overenthusiastic grab my hand.
Someday Nan, I'll be in the cathedral and sneak up behind you and put my hands around your neck during the Lord's prayer - and then knock your beret on the floor.What?
Speaking of peace...did you watch this video yet, Terry?Passing it along:http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/07/pope-francis-lives-with-mind-in-heaven-and-feet-on-earth-says-rabbi-friend/And as far as the sign of peace goes, handshaking, a smile and a nod, all are meaningful. If one has a cold, tis alright, just acknowledge your neighbor in peace. ^^
I did - it is very good - thanks.
I usually jump pews and cross the aisle and sometimes even vault the altar rail so I can shake the altar servers' hands, because they seem lonely up there by themselves. By the time the ushers catch me, I've shaken the hands of 15 or more people.Then the cops come, and it turns into the Sign of P'lice
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