I was watching Edward Kennedy’s funeral, and I noticed that before the Lamb of God, people were crossing aisles and what not to give the sign of peace, and the celebrants moved forward to do so with the people in the frontal pews. I thought you weren’t supposed to do this? Or are funeral Masses the exception?
From the GIRM (#154):
The priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so as not to disturb the celebration. In the dioceses of the United States of America, for a good reason, on special occasions (for example, in the case of a funeral, a wedding, or when civic leaders are present) the priest may offer the sign of peace to a few of the faithful near the sanctuary. At the same time, in accord with the decisions of the Conference of Bishops, all offer one another a sign that expresses peace, communion, and charity.
Thank you for the clarification.
They do this all the time at my parish.
Actually in a funeral I think it shouldn’t be a problem. These are people in mourning (supposedly, anyway), and they are there to comfort each other. Of course, the Kennedy Mass yesterday was so scandalous in every other aspect that crossing aisles at the sign of peace was the least thing to get upset about. But that’s for another thread.
But other than a funeral situation, I think that crossing aisles is very distracting. I, for one, would actually like to see this part of Mass thrown out, and I’m always grateful when a priest foregoes it, which they are allowed to do.
I remember back in the 60’s when the sign of peace was first introduced. We were all still in Latin mode when you basically just shut up and didn’t really participate in the Mass, as such, at least not in an outward way. It was very awkward for all of us, even me as a kid, to turn to a total stranger and shake his hand.
I was gone from the church from 1969 to 2007, and when I came back I was blown away at people practically running down the aisles to shake people’s hands. It was like a culture shock from the peaceful, quiet Masses I had been use to as a kid!
Of course, the Kennedy Mass yesterday was so scandalous in every other aspect that crossing aisles at the sign of peace was the least thing to get upset about. But that’s for another thread.
**Remember a funeral mass is NOT an award, much less an act of canonization.
It’s the Church pleading for mery on the soul of a recently deceased member.
Don’t you think he needed it?**