Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holding Hands During the Our Father

The gesture of reaching out laterally to hold hands during the Our Father never gelled with me.

Do you do that when you go for a haircut or pedicure?

The waiting room of a doctor's office?

You're only in Church for an hour and the moment comes to pray to the Father, why in Sam Hill do people distract that intimacy with the people sitting beside us?

Bishop Roger Foys has capitalized on the new translation to issued a decree of the proper gestures during the Liturgy.

Amen.

The priest holds his hands out. There is no gesture prescribed for lay people. Don't flap your arms like the wings of a bird. Don't do a cartwheel. Don't hold hands. You just pray. That's all.

29 comments:

Adrienne said...

I dislike it so much that I won't attend a church where the practice is prevalent. People look at you like you're some sort of ogre if you don't want to hold hands. I won't tolerate that anymore.

Veronica said...

How I had hoped and prayed that our parish priests would have taken the opportunity, when the new translations became mandatory, to correct this holding of hands and imitation of the gestures of the priest, as I know that they do not like it at all. One of them told me he keeps his eyes cast down during the Our Father just so he doesn't have to see it. It is the only way, he said, to keep his peace.

We were told years ago by a former pastor not to hold hands or imitate the priests' gestures, but, sad to say, that didn't make any impression. In fact, what happened was that less people held hands, and more people imitated the priests.

That's the scoop from Veronica-land!

Anonymous said...

Shame on the Priests for not correcting the peoples gestures, shane on them that do not explain to the people that the Mass is a Sacrifice and not a meal! Maybe after all the Holiday Catholics go away until Eastertime things will settle down the way they should. The Priest is the mediator between God & the Faithful when oh when will they understand, The Mass like the Church is not a democracy! Those who know better have to set an example even if we feel like ogres. I myself always wear a headcovering when I enter any Catholic Church, feel like a nut? YUP, sometimes, but the Angels demand it before God & He IS there.

Carol said...

Wow Adrienne - good for you! It's so lame.

It had it's heyday around here but the practice is gradually fading. It's all about the germs, but this may be the one and only case when germs are my friends!

Anon - good for you for wearing a headcovering. God Bless you.

V, the younger priests are churning out of the seminaries much more intolerant of this kind of stuff. We're making progress.

Maria said...

The "orans" position? It is what Fr. Hardon SJ refers to as the "secularization of the priesthood" and the "sacralization of the laity". The orans position? The height of hubris, in my book, indicative of diabolical disorientation.

The kiss of peace? Don't get me started. FoR those of you feeling depressed about this state of affairs, have your self a good laugh and watch this video about Mrs. Beamish and the Church of England. They suffer similarindignities...It is hysterical:

http://youtu.be/Uc80G6Yzu04

Percy said...

Um, Catholic teaching is that the Mass is both sacrifice *and* a meal. To say it is one and not the other is a serious error, at least in the Catholic tradition. Let's not our eagerness for correcting those who erroneously teach only the meal dimension cause us to lapse into the opposite error. It is proverbial that God permits the Evil One to send evil in opposite pairs, that we may flee from one to embrace the other.

Maria said...

I most appreciated his reference to silence as it is referenced in the GIRM:

Sacred Silence be observed in our churches prior to the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy to allow the clergy and the faithful to properly prepare and dispose themselves for the Sacred Mysteries to which they are about to participate. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal reminds us: “Sacred silence also, as part of the celebration, is to be observed at the designated times…. Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence is observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner.” (GIRM 45) Silence following the Mass is also encouraged for those who might want to remain in the church to pray.

I had to laugh last Sunday. As usual,our National Shrine in Washinton DC is more like Chuck E Cheese than the house of God. I couldn't even hear the changes in the Mass because becuase of screaming children. We shall leave the subject of non-existent silence in our churhces to another post, huh? Oh, the ushers who are the Knights of Columbus tell me that the priests say nothing about the noise level because they don't want to lose any cash contributions. Good to know, huh?

Veronica said...

Yeah, well, Percy, we all know where the Church got itself by emphasizing the Martin Luther meal aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass now, don't we?

Veronica said...

Carol, I agree.

In fact, one of our priests told me that I would be able to have a Requiem Mass when I depart from this vale of tears.

Veronica said...

Maria,

Money seems to be the bottom line for most. I am positive that if our pastor didn't fear losing the much needed weekly contributions in our parish, he would lay down the law. Unfortunately, the people that have the most money in our parish are the most liberal.

God bless you, Maria!

Percy said...

Veronica,

That's an insufficient rationalization for allowing outright error to go uncorrected.

Veronica said...

Percy,

Huh?

Maria said...

Veronica:

Money make the world go around, the world go around, it makes the world go round...

Veronica said...

I see over at Fr. Z's place that this is causing a big ruckus.

These liberals have been using the same tactic since the sixties - and it got most all of what they were up in arms about through.

It is time that we just ignored them and plowed right through them. Sooner rather than later, their tantrum throwing will stop and they will quiet down. Eventually, they will stop doing it all together because they will know it no longer is effective.

I've had it with these people. They have all but destroyed every diocese in this country.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Veronica! While We're at it may God Bless & Protect US!

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Percy, here's a little Baltimore Catechism regarding Mass.
Q: What is the Mass?
A: The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

In other words, it's about Christ and Christ alone.

For several years now, I've avoided the kumbaya exercise by clasping my hands behind my back. So what if others think me anti-social? Mass is not the time for socializing anyway.

Liam said...

Restore DCC

Not, however, that the BC - which does not even pretend to be a complete statement of the faith - does not deny the Eucharist is also a meal. A very important difference.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Liam, the BC also does not deny that the Eucharist is a political convention. However, we know that it is not a convention. We know that from common sense - and the fact that such isn't mentioned.

If the Mass were a meal, the BC would have made mention of it in order to present a complete and accurate definition of the Mass.

But take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church, released under Blessed John Paul II, where the Mass is treated in greater detail. The notion of "sacrfice" is mentioned over and over. Only briefly do we see mention of "banquet" and then it is in the context of the faithful entering into communion with Our Lord's sacrifice. Absent is this weird "horizontal" notion that came into vogue along with other distortions and caricatures of Vatican II.

No holding hands for me! Nor will I assume the "orans" position reserved only for the ordained.

Liam said...

I should explain why I think correcting this error is important: the error undermines the eschatological dimension of the Eucharist. Here, I am not talking about a re-presentation of the Last Supper, but the dimension wherein it is a foretaste, within time and space, of the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb beyond time and space. The reductionism in the error is all well and good for literalists like fundamentalist Protestants, but flattens the much more textured set of reference points that enrich the Catholic tradition.

Maria said...

MASS defined, in part:

The Mass is, moreover, a sacred banquet or paschal meal. The banquet aspect of the Mass is the reception of Holy Communion by the celebrant and the people, when the same Christ who offers himself to the Father as a sacrifice then gives himself to the faithful as their heavenly food. It was this fact that inspired the Holy See, after the Second Vatican Council, to restore the practice of receiving Communion under both kinds for all the faithful: "The entire tradition of the Church teaches that the faithful participate more perfectly in the Eucharistic celebration through sacramental Communion. By Communion, in fact, the faithful share more fully in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In this way they are not limited to sharing in the sacrifice by faith and prayer, nor to merely spiritual communion with Christ offered on the altar, but receive Christ himself sacramentally, so as to receive more fully the fruits of this most holy sacrifice. In order that the fullness of the sign in the Eucharistic banquet may be seen more clearly by the faithful, the Second Vatican Council prescribed that in certain cases, to be decided by the Holy See, the faithful could receive Holy Communion under both species" (Sacramentali Communione, June 29, 1970).

Finally the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually since Calvary and mainly through the Mass. Their measure of conferral is in proportion to the faith and loving response of the faithful who unite themselves in spirit with the Mass.

It is in this sense that the Mass is an oblation of the whole Mystical Body, head and members. Yet, among the faithful, some have been ordained priests and their role in the Mass is essentially different from that of the laity. The priest is indispensable, since he alone by his powers can change the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Nevertheless the role of the participants is of great importance; not as though there would be no Mass without a congregation but because the people's "full, active and conscious participation will involve them in both body and soul and will inspire them with faith, hope and charity." The more active this participation, the more glory is given to God and the more grace is bestowed not only on the Church but on all the members of the human race. (Etym. Latin missa, from mittere, to send; so called from the words of dismissal at the end of the service: Ite, missa est, "Go, [the congregation] is dismissed.")

Modern Catholic Dictionary
John Hardson SJ

So, Liam, you are correct. Unfortunately, the concept of the sacred banquet or paschal meal has dengenerated into a kind of will-you-be-having-fries-with-that-kind-of-a-meal, don't you think?

Maria said...

MASS defined, in part:

The Mass is, moreover, a sacred banquet or paschal meal. The banquet aspect of the Mass is the reception of Holy Communion by the celebrant and the people, when the same Christ who offers himself to the Father as a sacrifice then gives himself to the faithful as their heavenly food. It was this fact that inspired the Holy See, after the Second Vatican Council, to restore the practice of receiving Communion under both kinds for all the faithful: "The entire tradition of the Church teaches that the faithful participate more perfectly in the Eucharistic celebration through sacramental Communion. By Communion, in fact, the faithful share more fully in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In this way they are not limited to sharing in the sacrifice by faith and prayer, nor to merely spiritual communion with Christ offered on the altar, but receive Christ himself sacramentally, so as to receive more fully the fruits of this most holy sacrifice. In order that the fullness of the sign in the Eucharistic banquet may be seen more clearly by the faithful, the Second Vatican Council prescribed that in certain cases, to be decided by the Holy See, the faithful could receive Holy Communion under both species" (Sacramentali Communione, June 29, 1970).

Finally the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually since Calvary and mainly through the Mass. Their measure of conferral is in proportion to the faith and loving response of the faithful who unite themselves in spirit with the Mass.

It is in this sense that the Mass is an oblation of the whole Mystical Body, head and members. Yet, among the faithful, some have been ordained priests and their role in the Mass is essentially different from that of the laity. The priest is indispensable, since he alone by his powers can change the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Nevertheless the role of the participants is of great importance; not as though there would be no Mass without a congregation but because the people's "full, active and conscious participation will involve them in both body and soul and will inspire them with faith, hope and charity." The more active this participation, the more glory is given to God and the more grace is bestowed not only on the Church but on all the members of the human race. (Etym. Latin missa, from mittere, to send; so called from the words of dismissal at the end of the service: Ite, missa est, "Go, [the congregation] is dismissed.")

Modern Catholic Dictionary
John Hardson SJ

So, Liam, you are correct. Unfortunately, the concept of the sacred banquet or paschal meal has dengenerated into a kind of will-you-be-having-fries-with-that-kind-of-a-meal, don't you think?

Maria said...

Sorry for the double posting, Carol!

Maria said...

Restore DC Catholicism:

You are so right. It is the vertical dimesion that so many have lost sight of...

Jefe' said...

Are you being serious with this? We're not getting together unless we hold hands...

Father E said...

It's been my experience that in the Parishes I've been assigned, when the congregation held hands, during the Lord's Prayer, it was the priest that vocally invited/implored/commanded them to do it. So I simply don't say to do it and I rarely see folks holding hands, outside of some particular families that have made it a part of their own family's prayer.
I think the practice is a dumb, forced visual image of what that particular priest, or a small group of parishioners want to see in the Church, a lovey-dovey image that isn't real. Like most bad ideas, it'll some day disappear.

Jefe' said...

McKinley, one question...WWJD?

Carol said...

Darling, It just so happens that the moment the Author of the prayer educated us about it is recorded in Scripture. I regret to inform you, He didn't hold their hands.

Jefe' said...

That's because He was too busy washing their feet

Carol said...

You do realize this gesture was an ordination and the formal institution of the Catholic Church?

Everything has its place and meaning and those of us who know what is mystically going on are perplexed and distracted at the moonbattery of the poor lambs robbed of faith and the misfeasance and malfeasance of the priests watching them make a circus out of mystical moments.