Hand Shake of Peace


#1

How do you manage the handshake of peace when the person next to you is obviously ill.


#2

Or shake hands in a down town Church filled with homeless street people who look infectious? I usually just wave.


#3

Shake hands, then avoid touching my face until I can get to a sink and wash my hands off after Mass.


#4

Those little bottles of antibacterial hand sanitizer are great. Especially when you shake hands with hundreds of people.

Deacon Tony


#5

JMJ

I think that would be terrible not to return a greeting during Mass. What about all of the Saints who helped the sick and ill?


#6

In like December, our priest announced a couple of times at mass that they were going to omit the shaking of hands due to it being flu season. This worked like twice and people started doing it anyway, even though he just says, “peace be with all of you” instead of “now let us offer another this sign of peace”.

Oh well, they tried.
Like another poster mentioned I would shake hands kind of gingerly and avoid touching my face until I can wash my hands.
I would feel like I was being rude if I just ignored someone, you know?


#7

Our parish rarely do the kiss of peace, but do on holidays. When we do do it, we only turn to the people NEXT to us. I am trying to teach my kids to not ever turn their back on the Blessed Sacrament. And, by also keeping it brief, we get right to Agnus Dei. The Sign of Peace is, in a way, a wierd interuption at such a high point in the Mass being right after the priest raises the host and chalice and says “Behold, the Lamb of God…” and all…There’s GOD transubstantiated before us!!!..then “hey let’s have a breif intermission/pow-wow, shall we??” Sorry, just an opinion.

But, all in all, if someone extends a hand, I take it–with a nod and a smile.


#8

[quote=Kevin Walker]Or shake hands in a down town Church filled with homeless street people who look infectious? I usually just wave.
[/quote]

Kevin Walker, you can always wash your hands

Matthew 25:40
40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’


#9

Put a small bottle of Purell in your pocket. After the Sign of Peace, reach into your pocket, pop the lid, squeeze out a few drops into your hand, and rub fingers together, and “presto!”, hand is now clean and germ-free and no one but you knows. No water needed. Purell dies very quickly and kills 99.99% of most common germs. It comes in various sizes including a mini-bottle that can be attached to your key ring.

http://media.gojo.com/feature_news/small_jellywrap.jpg

purell.com/

No, I do not own any stock in Pfizer. :smiley:


#10

On the other end…I went to Mass one Sunday morning feeling awful. By the time I was seated, I was beyond snotty and disgusting. (I grossed myself out) At the sign of peace, I just announced to all around me while clutching my hands under my arms, “peace be with you - sorry, I’m sick”. Amazingly, not one person tried to pry my hands out from under my arms to shake with me. :wink:


#11

What wrong with shaking hands? I don’t do that unless someone extends the hand to me or I am with friends or relatives, but what’s wrong about it?

However, kiss of peace looks like a far stretch. Nothing inherently wrong about that, but just why do that? And too much room for abuse.


#12

[quote=Jimmy B]Kevin Walker, you can always wash your hands
[/quote]

Sounds like famous last words to me - I don’t want that carved on my gravestone.

So why do the Priests, EMTs, police, social workers, nurses, doctors, firemen etc., wear those surgical gloves when dealing with all those homeless people?


#13

[quote=Kevin Walker]Sounds like famous last words to me - I don’t want that carved on my gravestone.

So why do the Priests, EMTs, police, social workers, nurses, doctors, firemen etc., wear those surgical gloves when dealing with all those homeless people?
[/quote]

Kevin,

I spent my entire adult life working in occupations (life-guard, Medic on a rescue ambulance, E.R. Tech, Policeman, boxing and martial arts instructor, football-team trainer) where I had to “touch” people. To answer your question, “So why do the Priests, EMTs, police, social workers, nurses, doctors, firemen etc., wear those surgical gloves when dealing with all those homeless people?” The short answer is, to prevent contracting a disease. I can sum it up in one word, “AIDS”.

I was working on a rescue ambulance, when HIV & AIDS were first discovered. At that time nobody knew how the disease could be transmitted. You should have seen the EMS workers back then. When they thought they were dealing with an AIDS patient, they would dress like they were on the “HAZ-MAT” team. Initially people thought you could get AIDS by an infected person, simply by that patient breathing on you. Since then, EMS workers have learned how AIDS is transmitted. It is a “blood borne” disease. Medics and policemen are more concerned with being “stuck” by an infected needle then they are in touching someone. Rubber gloves are not going to protect you from getting “stuck!”

In the 70’s prior to AIDS, EMS workers wore gloves to protect the patient and when cleaning-up a nasty mess, if you know what I mean. It is impractical to wear rubber gloves all the time. I would just wash my hands often. When is the last time you saw a policman, wearing rubber gloves? It’s just not practical.

Unless you have a gapping wound on your hand, or plan on exchanging bodily fluids, it’s probably OK for you to return the greeting by shaking hands, just wash your hands afterwards. I am not going to tell you who to touch or not to touch. You don’t have to touch anyone if you don’t want to. Personally, it doesn’t bother me. God bless!


#14

As of now I’m the lonely one posting “I don’t shake at all”. . .because our bishop told us back at the beginning of Advent NOT to exchange handshakes etc. at the Rite of Peace until after this Easter. . .just under 3 weeks from now.

Of course, 90% of the people still shake, hug, kiss, etc. any old hoo, it’s not like they’re going to listen to some moldy old bishop and stop THEIR Rite of Peace done THEIR way. . .

One of the reasons I’m in the last pew on the aisle most of the time.
P.S. I always smile and say --and MEAN-- “Peace be with you” to people.

When Easter is over and we are told to resume physical contact at the Rite of Peace, I will do so. I have begun to have symptoms esp. in winter of rheumatoid arthritis, so shaking hands (mostly, being shaken) is painful for me. I try to offer it up. Our parish is pretty touchy-feely compared to some, and I’ll admit that my HANDS were happier, so to speak, in less “shaky” parishes, but then again, there are always “bones of contention” and there are always “miracles of grace” in every parish. The trick is to concentrate more on the latter and less on the former, I guess.

So I tend to have sympathy for the people who for whatever reason don’t like to glad-hand a couple of dozen people every Sunday. Maybe that able-bodied looking person isn’t a germaphobe but an arthritis sufferer, like me. Things aren’t always as simple as they might seem. I also have sympathy for the gregarious souls who are so overcome by the Spirit that they do want to “reach out and touch” everyone; it is a gift of love and acceptance for them.

It does seem kind of a shame that the Rite is where it is, though. I’d a heck of a sight rather have it right at the very beginning, or at the very end, of Mass, rather than right after the Lamb of God and right before Communion. It IS a distraction from the sacrifice of the Mass, no two ways about it. Whether an individual views it as positive or negative, it is distracting. But it’s what we choose to do about that distraction that counts, IMO. Grumbles and complaints (from EITHER perspective) turn us into Pharisees, martyrdom and pious resignation do the same. And it’s fatally easy to slip into those attitudes. I pray for the kind of change of heart in me that will make me honestly and sincerely take joy (instead of taking sides) with every member of the congregation; to be focused on God and God in us rather than on just plain “us”.

Deo volente.
(God willing).


#15

We should still be giving the kiss of peace.


#16

[quote=A.Pelliccio]We should still be giving the kiss of peace.
[/quote]

If I won’t shake hands with a bum or a wino, I certainly ain’t gonna kiss 'em! :nope:


#17

[quote=Jimmy B]Kevin,

I spent my entire adult life working in occupations (life-guard, Medic on a rescue ambulance, E.R. Tech, Policeman, boxing and martial arts instructor, football-team trainer) where I had to “touch” people. To answer your question, “So why do the Priests, EMTs, police, social workers, nurses, doctors, firemen etc., wear those surgical gloves when dealing with all those homeless people?” The short answer is, to prevent contracting a disease. I can sum it up in one word, “AIDS”.
[/quote]

I have some similar experience to your background. In Judo we now worry about the blood we find on the tatami’s for example that wasn’t such a concern in the 60s. Also as an EMT, life guard, bouncer, sailor, fisherman, shipyardworker HIV/AIDS wasn’t in existance yet. I got a case of blood poisoning from rotted fish spines once.

Unless you have a gapping wound on your hand, or plan on exchanging bodily fluids, it’s probably OK for you to return the greeting by shaking hands, just wash your hands afterwards. I am not going to tell you who to touch or not to touch. You don’t have to touch anyone if you don’t want to. Personally, it doesn’t bother me. God bless!

You should also include: lice, scabies, inventigo, T.B., Hepetitis A, B, & C, pneumonia, feces, snot, greasy hair, halitosis, killer B.O., dead skin, garbage, and other stuff which I really don’t care to have on me from shaking hands with street people during Mass. I’ll stick to just waving! :wave:


#18

You can’t force people to love. If people ignore the words of scripture proclaimed in the first part of Mass, if they ignore the words of our Lord to “love one another” a perfunctory handshake won’t change their hearts. Some of the biggest back-stabbers and hate-mongers in the world are experts at glad-handing.

I am so thankful that the Church, in her wisdom, has made the Sign of Peace optional. Forced collegiality breeds resentment. Genuine expressions of fraternal love aren’t mandated. They come from our own free will. That’s why our love of God and neighbor is so beautiful. Because it comes from our own hearts, completely and freely given without coercion. :heart:


#19

[quote=Dr. Bombay]You can’t force people to love. If people ignore the words of scripture proclaimed in the first part of Mass, if they ignore the words of our Lord to “love one another” a perfunctory handshake won’t change their hearts. Some of the biggest back-stabbers and hate-mongers in the world are experts at glad-handing.

I am so thankful that the Church, in her wisdom, has made the Sign of Peace optional. Forced collegiality breeds resentment. Genuine expressions of fraternal love aren’t mandated. They come from our own free will. That’s why our love of God and neighbor is so beautiful. Because it comes from our own hearts, completely and freely given without coercion. :heart:
[/quote]

Thank you. Without coercion is key to sincerity.


#20

I put on the gloves my proctologist gave me :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.