Charismatic Postures

I’m not part of the Charismatic Movement but my friend, whom I often go to Mass with, kind of is. I’ve picked up some of her postures and am now wondering if these are Charismatic?

When the priest says “The Lord be with you” and we respond with “And with your Spirit.” When we say that we sort of thrust our hands forward, palms outward toward the priest.

Then when we say the Our Father we hold hands and raise our held hands and free hands when we say “for thine is the kingdom and the power and glory for ever and ever. Amen”

Are these Charasmatic postures?

They sound charismatic to me. Frankly, this sort of thing has always made me feel very uncomfortable. I can’t really explain why, but it just seems somewhat strange. But that’s just me. :slight_smile:

These just sound like the typical postures of laity in most parishes around here. There’s nothing particularly charismatic about them.

Don’t think of the postures in terms of being “charismatic” or “not charismatic.” They are praise postures. The Charismatic Renewal is an accepted and legitimate movement of the Holy Spirit, mentioned in the United States Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church for Adults. It is one of several movements of the Holy Spirit mentioned.
The postures mentioned are used by people of faith throughout the world.
Holding hands during the Our Father is now common practice in many Catholic churches, even where there is no Charismatic prayer group. When I lived in WI, the nearest Charismatic prayer group was at the retreat center in a city fifty miles away. Parishioners did hold hands during the Our Father.
Raising hands while still held during “And thine is the power and glory…” is something more commonly done at the retreat centers. It is more common among those who are part of the Charismatic Renewal than in parishes where there are no members of the Charismatic Renewal. Notice that it is done during those parts of prayer that give praise to God. It is never about bringing attention to the self. It about praising God whom we are called to "love with all our heart, strength, and mind."
Other than raising hands during the last part of the Our Father, I would not say that any of the movements to which you refer are used more by members of the Charismatic Renewal than by any other Catholic who wishes to participate more fully in the Mass.

Not really. i see them at almost every parish I have attended Mass at, and in my parish I know the people that do this are not necessarily in the charismatic renewal. The position most of the people in my parish use when saying Our Father is called the Orans position and is a very ancient prayer position where the arms are bent at the elbow and raised slightly and held in front of us and the hands are open. We were taught this as a parish many many years ago by our Pastor. Some hold hands, some don’t, but we don’t criticize others about their preferred position. And we are NOT imitating the priest. We are using an ancient prayer position.

The orans is indeed an ancient prayer position.

But I have a question for you.

Do you use this prayer position anywhere else?

Do you use it when you pray at home?

Do you use it at other parts of the Mass? Like when you are going up for communion? Or when you are saying the Responsorial Psalm, or the Creed?

When I see people using this position at Masses (over the last 20 some years and 6 or 7 states), the only time I ever see them using it is during the Our Father and the Oremus, not at other parts of the Mass when the priest himself is not using the Orans position, so I just wondered because wouldn’t you expect if people were using a gesture of prayer that it would be used at more than one point in the Mass?

This has been addressed by a couple of priest in another running thread. I suggest reading it. It actuality got a bit derailed, but the main answers are good to read.

Most people are NOT using the Orans position though. They are simply shoving their hands outward like they are giving or presenting something. Or raising their hands REALLY high during the Doxology. :confused:
The Orans posture is reserved for the priest during Mass and, historically, associated with someone in a priestly office. In fact, deacons are forbidden to even use the posture during Mass. So it seems weird that we are taking it upon ourselves to engage in a prayer poster that only the priest is allowed to do at the altar. That would be like us laying prostrate in prayer because priests are doing it during an ordination Mass or Good Friday service.

This all being said, the practice isn’t banned.

Some priests like it. I don’t. Obviously, it’s not Something the Church is seeking to correct anytime soon.

And yeah, I have had Deacon come to me and tell me I’m being mean to others when I don’t hold their hands during the Our Father.
Oh well.

On second though, Faith, just go to Mass. Pray, be thankful.
Given your OCD issues, just pray.
**Don’t allow something like “postures” cloud your thinking during Mass. **

As a matter of fact, I do sometimes use this prayer position at home, and I know people who do too. Also, many of the people in the Charismatic Renewal use it , but it is not exclusive to the Renewal. When we were taught this in my parish, by our former Pastor (may he RIP) it was during a teaching on prayer that he was giving at Mass. He explained the ancient tradition along with other prayer traditions, and he did encourage it’s use at the Our Father, but it was presented as an ancient posture that has been used for millennia, not as exclusively used for the Our Father, or as a position to be used exclusively by clergy. I have friends who are not charismatics who use this position in prayer also. My one friend says she thinks of herself as a child raising her arms to her father to pick her up and take her in his arms and will use the Orans position in praying. Occasionally I will see people using the position at other parts of the Mass, most often, I have noticed, at the Gloria for some reason.

I am not going to argue about it. What we do, we do, and it is for the glory of God. It is how we pray the Our Father (if we choose), it is how I choose to pray it. It is not an issue for us. I see no reason to make it one. People pray as they need to.

There are not “postures” that I am aware of that are associated with the Charismatic Renewal. What you mention (and others) slowly make their way into the Mass from either the laity trying to imitate the priest, Catholic “postures” outside of the Mass or from non-Catholic worship.

I just keep my eyes closed.

Personally I cross the Gospel reading in my missalette with my thumb before I cross my forehead/lips/heart. I also adopt the “5-on-5” posture while praying the Lord’s Prayer during Mass. I place my left hand over my heart while shaking hands with my right hand during the kiss of peace, etc.

I’m sure that’s what has spurred their use on in recent times.

Well, at our former Parish, the Charismatic group is distinct and separate form every one else and every other prayer group. They do employ and encourage these postures.
They have a chaplain that is SUPER strict about what they do and don’t do. He’s from Haiti and fluent in many languages. I think that’s why they made him the Diocesan Chaplain for the movement. It has much appeal to immigrants in our area.

My biggest concern is that some prefer to go to the prayer gatherings, but think it’s fine to skip Mass. :confused: It’s kind of taken on a life of its own. It’s one thing for parents to have some thoughts on this, but the teens fall under their influence of course, and the teens don’t particularly want to participate in anything else, because they think the movement is sufficient. Makes it hard for the catechists.
Probably just a local oddity here though. Who knows. :shrug:

Correctly stated.
It amazes me that people use the Orans position so freely but at the part of the Creed in which we are required to bow, people rarely do so.

Hand holding has never been “authorized”, is not in the rubrics, but has never been prohibited. It contributes nothing to the reverence of the mass, but pegs the needle on the touchy-feely meter. Knowing the transmissibility of various diseases, why hold the hands of someone who has coughed or sneezed into them?

I am immune compromised and have decided not to compromise my health for the sake of a 1970s innovation.

I’m more concerned with listening to the Scriptures as they are proclaimed and participating in the Mass than what other people may or may not be doing.
I like the Hispanic tradition of forming a cross with the thumb and forefinger at the end of the Sign of the Cross. I too end the Sign of the Cross by what looks to others unfamiliar with the custom by kissing my thumb.
I recently spent 5 years in the Middle East where most of the congregation was from India and the Philippines. While we did hold hands during the Our Father, the Sign of Peace was a simple bow to your neighbor, hands in folded prayer position. The altar servers would come down from the altar and bow to the congregation. Much of that had to with culture, and the enormous size of the church. While a new cathedral, with land donated by the king is being built, it was at the time the only Catholic church in the country. I don’t flash the peace sign, or wave to my neighbor. If a person is not close enough to shake hands, I bow to him or her with my hands in the folded prayer position. The Holy Spirit dwells within each of us.

I once read that the custom of praying on our knees with hands folded actually comes historically from the days of persecution. There was no choice as Christians were chained. The Jewish tradition, from which we come was to pray with hands uplifted. As one person already posted, the uplifted position can be viewed as that of a child reaching for the Father’s loving embrace.
Of course, the prostrated position, in supplication and humility can also be shown in scripture.

Unless it’s the person doing the proclaiming, what other people may or may not be doing during Mass has no impact on my ability to absorb the proclamation of the Gospel. That’s a red herring.

I do that too without thinking. Because I have also attended an Eastern Catholic church I also cross myself as they do from time to time without thinking.


I would agree that kneeling is largely a sign of supplication and not necessarily one of reverence.

As long as people are not looking for “postures” to be upset about during the Mass, they should do just fine.

I agree.Just this past winter I San next to a man who coughed into his hand several times.When it came time for the Our Father he reached out to hold my hand.I told him it appeared as though he had a cold and I would rather not take his hand.He was a little put off by my comment but oh well
I also apply sanitizer right after the hand holding as a rule.:wink:

The forming of a cross is because in their youth, they were always holding the crucifix of a rosary. The children are taught this from a young age, it is nice.

As usual on CAF, cultural differences are always looked upon with great skepticism.
There are some things that are norms that should not be perpetuated. It appears that ship has sailed in many locales
As I said earlier (maybe on the sister thread…I wish they would combine the two) that once you permit something to happen, it’s nearly impossible to cease. It becomes “customary” and people feel resentful when something they were permitted to do appears to “taken from them”.

That’s really the only thing for me…don’t start something that the next pastor will want to prohibit.

I only hold the hands of those I know fairly well. I don’t want to catch anything. But what gets me is when someone’s been coughing or sneezing then offers their hand to shake during the sign of peace.

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