Do you think we should shake hands after praying the Our Father at Mass?





No, because of two reasons: 1) The Sign of Peace can get chaotic, as there are people shouting, mothers kissing their children, and conversations.

  1. The Sign of Peace is a Novus Ordo innovation. Before the Novus Ordo, the Sign of Peace was strictly for the celebrants, and was only done at High Mass. I would support returning to the practice of the Sign of Peace only among the celebrants.


I think we should sincerely share a sign of peace (and recognition of those who around us and with us) in whatever form that is appropriate to the situation and cultural customs. That could be a handshake, a smile, eye contact and a wave of the hand or nod, or a verbal “sign”. In some situations, such as a wedding or a funeral, it seems fairly common to see people hug one another at the Sign of Peace. I don’t think it is necessary or helpful to set limits or restrictions on it, or make it into a specific and rigid ritual, since it then becomes just a formula to follow without any real meaning or sincerity.

From what I recall, the instructions for the Mass don’t specify what the Sign of Peace should exactly entail, but is more general. Leave it to the congregation, the culture, families and individuals to determine what form that sign should take.

Unlike the prior poster, I don’ see any “chaos” at all, nor any “conversations”, and mothers kissing babies is perfectly wonderful (and fathers and grandparents kissing their babies as a sign of asking God’s peace and blessings for them is even more wonderful). Returning to the former practice would only remove the congregation (for whom the Mass is supposed to be for, right?) from what little participation they have. I think it is important to emphasize the faith community and the communal aspect of what Catholic worship should be.


The poll and thread titles are different, so clarification may be necessary with posts.
May God bless all who come to the poll/thread.


Thanks for pointing that out. Perhaps the OP meant to start two threads, one on each question, and mixed them up. My answer to the holding hands question is, for the most part, yes. It seems to occur in some parishes more than others, and seems more prevalent among families. My reasoning for it is similar to my response in my prior post, in that it reinforces a sense of community and faith sharing, and that we care about our brothers and sisters.

If someone does not wish to hold anyone’s hand at the Our Father, that is their choice. I don’t think it should be either required or prohibited, but should be more of a spontaneous and personal expression of our unity.


I agree 100% with you.

I also do not hold hands when praying the Our Father. It isn’t comfortable for me and it reminds me of AA meetings, which I didn’t attend, but I watched a clip on them, and they hold hands at one point. I like to fold my hands and pray.



I don’t hold hands during the Our Father, either. I must be looked-up to in my parish, because I used to be the only one not holding hands, but now, people are starting to follow my example.

Just to note, the Sign of Peace is prescribed, while the holding hands at the Our Father is not. Also, my post had to do with the Sign of Peace, not the holding hands.


my parish withholds the sign of peace when its cold and flu season.

As for holding hands during the Our Father…my parish does not do that (I don’t think my Diocese does either). My sister’s parish in another diocese does…and I don’t like it. I prefer to fold my hands in prayer at that time.


We don’t hold hands this side of the World England/Ireland , we consider it Liturgical abuse, was never sanctioned, invented by who ?


Well I brought up the hand holding because the Poll above reads:

View Poll Results: Do you think we should hold hands with someone while praying the Our Father at Mass?

Sort of different than what the post asks.


Yes. The innovation of holding hands is contrary to the rubrics.
Shaking a hand as a sign of peace is acceptable.
I am VERY opposed to the holding of hands. It think it’s corny and silly. The notion that we aren’t praying together in Mass without holding hands is really absurd if anyone thought about it for more than 2 seconds. Every pastor I’ve brought it up to says that they realize it’s not to be done…but they fear that people will be so angry of they put a stop to it that they just let it go.

But the actual sign of peace vary from culture to culture.


No, it is a complete disruption of the Mass. Some people go up and down the aisles to shake hands.::o

I also object to the people who insist on hugging and kissing each other - keep that behavior outside the church - and especially the Mass.:frowning:


Good luck un-ringing that bell :rolleyes:


It’s not sanctioned, you are correct.
It started as a local custom that literally caught fire in the US. Started in small rural parishes and went viral. Although they tell me that the more traditional parishes in the north don’t do it. They do in the South and the Southwest…
I’m not a fan. At all.


i’ll take handshakes any day over the kiss of peace that used to be the custom in the early church. i’ve never seen the sign of peace get chaotic and i’ve been to a lot of parishes.

also, i’ve never seen a parish hold hands during the our father in Canada, the only time it did happen was when i was visiting in las vegas. it seems a little strange to me since no one here does it but it’s not really a big thing in my opinion


Actually, I think we should look at the traditional Maronite practice, which extends this sign from the celebrant(s) to the congregation. It is first passed to each aisle member, who in turn extends it to people in his/her aisle. And it’s not really a handshake but a “cupping” of the hands in a pleasant greeting style.


Let the individual parish decide.


No, and no.

We shouldn’t shake hands (among other things that need to be excised out of the Novus Ordo, for another time) after the Our Father. The Sign of Peace is unnecessary, and in some ways, distracting. The Mass is about Christ, not the people. There are times after Mass to do that.

Holding hands during the Our Father is a thing that I guess Americans just started doing because the 9,430,403,0302^2 Protestant denominations in the US started doing it, and a fair percentage of American Catholics are in mixed marriages, so I guess it stuck.


I think it a great sign of how good the liturgy has become that people can concern themselves with petty things.

The Catholic Mass is a beautiful liturgy. I know it will never please everyone though.


Agree, I find it distracting. We have just knelt down to pray, get up to pray and the shaking of hands and greeting of others seems to disrupt the solitude. I’ve seen shaking of hands before mass like a greeting to fellow worshippers, that seems to work better.

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