Gather Us In hymn


The Orans position is a specific position, while just raising the hands is not the Orans position. So I question whether most people are “copying the priest.”

According to Wikipedia (and according to Peeps’ memory) Orans, a loanword from Medieval Latin ōrāns translated as one who is praying or pleading, also orant or orante, is a posture or bodily attitude of prayer, usually standing, with the elbows close to the sides of the body and with the hands outstretched sideways, palms up.

I just don’t see the real “orans position” in most of the laypeople during the Our Father.

When you think about it, we imitate the priest through out the Mass. I stand when he stands, and sit when he sits. I’m not being snarky, I’m just pointing out that “following the worship leader” is not something bad.

Please, can you post the link the place in the documents where it states that people are not supposed to copy the priest’s gestures? Thanks!


That’s not the point. Sitting, standing, and kneeling are gestures for all to use. The Orans position is specifically reserved for the celebrant. Just like it would be inappropriate for a lay person to go up to the altar and pretend to be the priest at Mass, say the words of consecration, and hold the bread up like the host, it is also inappropriate to use gestures that only the priest is to use.

“In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers — e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology — or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to “quasi preside” at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity”


Thanks for the link.

When we went through RCIA in 2004, we were taught not to raise our hands, and I believe the reasons in your link were cited.

I don’t raise my hands in Mass because of past associations, mostly unpleasant, with Pentecostal worship services back in my Protestant days.

I believe that the Lord would not condemn those who DO raise their hands because there’s a good chance that somewhere along the way, perhaps back when the Ordinary Form was becoming established, these people were taught by a priest or religious to raise their hands during the Our Father.

The hand-raisers are not disregarding the rubrics or defying authority, but rather they are obeying authority as they understand it.

The Lord says that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” I think the Lord will honor the intent of their hearts to obey Him and honor their Church authority.

However, it makes sense to me that priests and people in teaching positions (e.g., Catholic Answers) should make efforts to teach people that they are obeying incorrect teaching. They would have to do this with care and gentleness, because no one likes to be told that the dear priest or sister who taught them to raise their hands was wrong and that the rubrics say that hand-raising is a grave abuse! That would raise the hackles of many people who would be offended that their beloved teacher is being accused of teaching “wrong”, and they might get defensive and deny what their current priest or teacher is saying. That’s the way we humans are–we will defend the ones we love.

Catholic Answers has at least two articles published here on the website (use the search), and they make it clear that hand-raising during the Lord’s Prayer isn’t supposed to happen. However, one of the articles said that priests often choose not to make an issue out of this. They don’t want to single individuals out and make everyone feel uncomfortable.

I myself don’t think that the Mass is the best time for this kind of teaching, however, since so few adult Catholics attend any kind of Bible study or discussion group, it kind of makes sense that the Mass is the best time. My feeling is that the priests should consider working this into a homily once in a while, surrounded with lots of loving teaching and explanations. What SHOULD NOT be done is an admonition at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer to “keep those hands at your sides or you’re guilty of grave abuse!” That would be awful, and it would also be an addition to the Mass, which is definitely against the rubrics!

Like I said, no skin off my back. I have too many negative memories of being judged in the Pentecostal church that my husband was raised in because I didn’t raise my hands (not in my church upbringing, so it felt uncomfortable).

One more thing–the Bible says that people everywhere should pray with holy hands uplifted. So outside of the Mass, there is nothing wrong with Catholics praying and praising God with uplifted hands. :slight_smile:


Sacred music/melody ‘catchy’? hmmm…not sure that should be a priority. For a toothpaste jingle, yes, for Divine Liturgy? no.

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