Hand holding and Raising during the "Our Father"

Do people in your parish raise their hands or hold hands during the Our Father? We have about 5 or 6 that do. No one else does.
People in our church say that it is outside the rubrix and is a sign of disunity, and that people are mimicking gestures of the priest and that it is wrong.
Do people do this at your parish?

Archbishop Chaput recently came out with a statement that it is neither prohibited nor allowed by the rubrics, and if people want to hold hands, they should be allowed to, and if they don’t want to hold hands, they should also be allowed (to not hold hands), and either way, it should not cause a “holy commotion”…

There have been a number of threads on this matter. I haven’t done a nose count, but it seems to upset some people. :smiley:

It is my understanding that this is considered a “Protestant” thing to do. Personally, I don’t care for it.

At my church everyone holds hands during the Our Father, and some times go all across the aisles to hold the hands of sometimes unwilling people. I personally don’t like to hold hands with people during the Our Father, but you kinda have to when someone goes all down their aisle to hold you’re hand. So I have the opposite problem… the majority of people in my church hold and raise hands. I really don’t care for it, because it’s pretty distracting.

FONT=Verdana]otm…

, I’m sorry. I didn’t notice any previous posts on the matter and don’t intend to inflame anyone.
Its just that a couple of weeks ago someone insisted on grabbing my hand and I wouldn’t let them… They kind of glared at me. It was weird and made me feel very uncomfortable. Now I just fold my hands and close my eyes … :smiley:
I know my priest really dislikes it - the hand holding/raising thing.[/FONT]

[quote=ridesawhitehors]FONT=Verdana]otm…

, I’m sorry. I didn’t notice any previous posts on the matter and don’t intend to inflame anyone.
Its just that a couple of weeks ago someone insisted on grabbing my hand and I wouldn’t let them… They kind of glared at me. It was weird and made me feel very uncomfortable. Now I just fold my hands and close my eyes … :smiley:
I know my priest really dislikes it - the hand holding/raising thing.[/FONT]
[/quote]

I agree it is very uncomfortable, people at our church even try to hold your hand when you fold your hands, it’s very werid.

some families like doing it. we don’t. but we sit behind a family that does, so my two year wants to do it. we do it for her. anything to make it more participatory for her, is encouranged.

[quote=ridesawhitehors]Do people in your parish raise their hands or hold hands during the Our Father? We have about 5 or 6 that do. No one else does.
People in our church say that it is outside the rubrix and is a sign of disunity, and that people are mimicking gestures of the priest and that it is wrong.
Do people do this at your parish?
[/quote]

Almost everyone does it at my parish. I don’t, though. I don’t know anyone there and I find it uncomfortable to hold a stranger’s hand. Most of the time if the person near my makes a move to take my hand, I just keep looking straight ahead. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, last weekend, a cute little older lady reached for my hand and I couldn’t let her down!:o

Here’s the previous thread.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=7403

Here are just a few reasons why I don’t hold hands:

It is an innovation not found in the rubrics. Where we have not been instructed to observe a certain posture, we shouldn’t necessarily assume or invent one.

Inaesimabile Donum certainly instructs us:
The faithful have a right to a true Liturgy, which means the Liturgy desired and laid down by the Church, which has in fact indicated where adaptations may be made as called for by pastoral requirements in different places or by different groups of people. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful. The use of unauthorized texts means a loss of the necessary connection between the lex orandi and the lex credendi. The Second Vatican Council’s admonition in this regard must be remembered: “No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority.” And Paul VI of venerable memory stated that: “Anyone who takes advantage of the reform to indulge in arbitrary experiments is wasting energy and offending the ecclesial sense.”


Whether they are few or many, one thing generally holds true: the hand-holders are often aggressive.

If you close your eyes, or raise them to the heavens, folding your hands in prayer, you’re still likely to get backhand slapped on the arm by an aggressive liturgical innovator. How distracting, disruptive and invasive is that?!
"Pardon me, you’re talking with the Heavenly Father? So am I. Lemme grab your hand so we have a better connection."
What?!! You then recite the remainder of the prayer, completely distracted from God, to Whom the prayer is directed, as your limb is being lifted and lowered involuntarily.

Some of us can focus better on Him (to Whom we’re speaking) if we’re not being pulled from other directions.

The Our Father focuses on the Heavenly Father, not each other. It is a vertical prayer. The handholders inappropriately interject a horizontal gesture.

It would seem that if handholders genuinely cared about their neighbor, they would not want to impose their gesture upon the rest of us who do not desire it. If they understood the unity of the Body of Christ, rather than their own “feel good” perception of it, they’d not glare at a neighbor who’s trying to offer prayer to God, while themselves reciting, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those…"

Further, we offer each other a Sign of Peace shortly after the Our Father. Why shake someone’s hand, if we’ve already been holding it previously? Hand-holding is much more intimate than hand-shaking, so the innovative gesture of hand holding then trumps the liturgical gesture instructed in the Missal during the Sign of Peace.

I’d like to be able to attend a Mass where everyone just did what they were supposed to. :o

Thank you Panis! That was interesting to read. I couldn’t agree more and I keep learning! :nerd:

No, we don’t hold hands during the Our Father in the Eastern Churches. No do we have the “handshake of peace” (thank God).

The Saturday morning Mass I attended today is not the Church I usually go to on Saturday mornings. This parish, before Mass begins, gathers in the center of the pews, holds hands, and says the Our Father. I’d been there once before and didn’t participate.

Today, they were gathering, and someone stopped and asked me if I’d like to participate and I said no, and then asked “well how about your daughter” (she’s 6), and my daughter who is a bit shy around strangers just put her head down. I told the woman thank you but no, she’s shy.

So I’m sitting there and thinking (I’m not a touchy-feely person and feel kind of strange holding peoples hands in a circle) maybe I should have out of respect for that parish tradition…I don’t know. Hand holding just makes me uncomfortable. It reminds me of how Protestants pray and I’m Catholic.

JELane

Panis, Thank you for that post. It was just what the doctor ordered.

In my parish, I seldom see people hold hands (the few times I have seen it was when it was imposed by the (visiting) priest. A lot of people hold their hands out (in a modified orans position) - Maybe that’s why their is no hand-holding. (Personally, I use the “palms together” posture (so as to avoid doing either one of the others). I figure if anybody ever asks why, I can make up an amswer about it being cultural.

John

I can count on one hand how many do at my church :slight_smile:

When my husband and I are at Mass together, we hold hands, placing both of our hands with the other. When I attend weekly Mass, I bring my hands together in prayer and close my eyes. All others hold hands and since we are in a small chapel, other folks are quite near each other.

Last week the associate pastor sat next to me at weekday Mass. I did my usual during the Lord’s Prayer. When it came time for the sign of peace, the priest would not shake my hand. Instead, he said to me, “I thought it was against your rule to shake hands?” Obviously, he was being scarcastic. When I smiled and told him that it wasn’t, he then shook my hand. After Mass I got a talk as to why I should hold hands. After all it is “Our” Father not “My” Father so therefore you should not isolate yourself from others. I responded kindly using magesterial teaching as a defense, particulary stating that it is Communion that unites us to each other. Basically, I concluded that I DON"T have to hold someones hand. He lightened up at this point and agreed that I don’t have to do so.

As one who is currently at odds with the pastor because of liturgical abuses in our parish, it is no surprise that now the associate pastor is joining in. As I told my husband, this criticism just goes with the territory!!

Micki

[quote=Micki]When my husband and I are at Mass together, we hold hands, placing both of our hands with the other. When I attend weekly Mass, I bring my hands together in prayer and close my eyes. All others hold hands and since we are in a small chapel, other folks are quite near each other.

Last week the associate pastor sat next to me at weekday Mass. I did my usual during the Lord’s Prayer. When it came time for the sign of peace, the priest would not shake my hand. Instead, he said to me, “I thought it was against your rule to shake hands?” Obviously, he was being scarcastic. When I smiled and told him that it wasn’t, he then shook my hand. After Mass I got a talk as to why I should hold hands. After all it is “Our” Father not “My” Father so therefore you should not isolate yourself from others. I responded kindly using magesterial teaching as a defense, particulary stating that it is Communion that unites us to each other. Basically, I concluded that I DON"T have to hold someones hand. He lightened up at this point and agreed that I don’t have to do so.

As one who is currently at odds with the pastor because of liturgical abuses in our parish, it is no surprise that now the associate pastor is joining in. As I told my husband, this criticism just goes with the territory!!

Micki
[/quote]

Way to stand your ground, girl! :thumbsup:

Thanks for the vote of confidence!!

Micki

[quote=Panis Angelicas]Here are just a few reasons why I don’t hold hands:

It is an innovation not found in the rubrics. Where we have not been instructed to observe a certain posture, we shouldn’t necessarily assume or invent one.

Inaesimabile Donum certainly instructs us:
The faithful have a right to a true Liturgy, which means the Liturgy desired and laid down by the Church, which has in fact indicated where adaptations may be made as called for by pastoral requirements in different places or by different groups of people. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful. The use of unauthorized texts means a loss of the necessary connection between the lex orandi and the lex credendi. The Second Vatican Council’s admonition in this regard must be remembered: “No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority.” And Paul VI of venerable memory stated that: “Anyone who takes advantage of the reform to indulge in arbitrary experiments is wasting energy and offending the ecclesial sense.”


Whether they are few or many, one thing generally holds true: the hand-holders are often aggressive.

If you close your eyes, or raise them to the heavens, folding your hands in prayer, you’re still likely to get backhand slapped on the arm by an aggressive liturgical innovator. How distracting, disruptive and invasive is that?!
"Pardon me, you’re talking with the Heavenly Father? So am I. Lemme grab your hand so we have a better connection."
What?!! You then recite the remainder of the prayer, completely distracted from God, to Whom the prayer is directed, as your limb is being lifted and lowered involuntarily.

Some of us can focus better on Him (to Whom we’re speaking) if we’re not being pulled from other directions.

The Our Father focuses on the Heavenly Father, not each other. It is a vertical prayer. The handholders inappropriately interject a horizontal gesture.

It would seem that if handholders genuinely cared about their neighbor, they would not want to impose their gesture upon the rest of us who do not desire it. If they understood the unity of the Body of Christ, rather than their own “feel good” perception of it, they’d not glare at a neighbor who’s trying to offer prayer to God, while themselves reciting, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those…"

Further, we offer each other a Sign of Peace shortly after the Our Father. Why shake someone’s hand, if we’ve already been holding it previously? Hand-holding is much more intimate than hand-shaking, so the innovative gesture of hand holding then trumps the liturgical gesture instructed in the Missal during the Sign of Peace.

I’d like to be able to attend a Mass where everyone just did what they were supposed to. :o
[/quote]

:amen: :blessyou:

I agree and confirm every single word you said, Panis.

I have had EVERY one of those invasive hand-holding actions perpetrated upon me at Mass (of all places).

I appreciate that some folks THINK that they’re SUPPOSED to even backslap me if I don’t reach out for their hand… but, for golly gosh, gimme a break!

[quote=JElane] Hand holding just makes me uncomfortable. It reminds me of how Protestants pray and I’m Catholic.

JELane
[/quote]

You and me, both, sister!

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