Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Hand holding during "Our Father"
Hand holding during Our Father QUESTION from Troy Martz June 10, 2001
Dear Mr. Slavek:
I have noticed a trend in various parishes of the people (and sometimes even the priest) holding hand during the Our Father. Is this licit? I have been told that it is not, but have no evidence either way.
Thank you for your help.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on June 15, 2001
Hello, Mr. Martz.
The evidence (proof, actually) that you need to show that holding hands during the Our Father, or any part of Holy Mass, is ILLICIT, is found in the journal Notitiae, Rome's official interpretation of the GIRM. Holding hands was addressed in 1975.
QUERY: In some places there is a current practice whereby those taking part in the Mass replace the giving of the sign of peace at the deacon's invitation by holding hands during the singing of the Lord's Prayer. Is this acceptable? REPLY: The prolonged holding of hands is of itself a sign of communion rather than of peace. Further, it is a liturgical gesture introduced spontaneously but on personal initiative; it is not in the rubrics. Nor is there any clear explanation of why the sign of peace at the invitation: Let us offer each other the sign of peace should be supplanted in order to bring a different gesture with less meaning into another part of the Mass: the sign of peace is filled with meaning, graciousness, and Christian inspiration. Any substitution for it must be repudiated.
It is clearly stated that holding hands is not in the rubrics. You don't need to be told that, just glance through the Sacramentary. But the fact that Rome clearly states that it is not there reaffirms the church's disapproval of the gesture.
Vatican II states that it is illicit to add anything to the rubrics.
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