Holding Hands at Mas
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Question:Hello,I understand that at mass it is not proper to raise or hold hands during the Our Father.What are the reasons?
Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM
Holding hands during the Our Father is a liturgical gesture introduced spontaneously but on personal initiative; it is not in the rubrics. In addition, it is quite rude to insist upon or to pressure the entire congregation to hold hands as this is also a cultural thing and some cultures do not do things like hold hands in this way. It is not part of my culture and I do not hold hands even if the rest of the congregation does.
. . .holding hands is a sign of intimacy and not reconciliation, and as such disrupts the flow of the Sacramental signs in the Mass which leads to the Sacramental sign of intimacy with Christ and our neighbor, Holy Communion. [Clarifications and Interpretations of the GIRM Notitiae Vol. XI (1975) p. 226]
The Holy See has declared that no one can add things to the rubrics on their own authority, not even a priest. Neither raising one's hand or holding hands is in the rubrics. That by itself is sufficient to not practice these gestures regardless of any theological reasons.
If and when these gestures are included in the official rubrics of the liturgy, they should not be done.
God bless,Bro. Ignatius Mary