Holding hands during the Our Father

Today at Mass in the pew in front of me a woman who was by herself reached out to the people on each side of her to hold hands during the Our Father. I noticed that both people on each side were hesitant and tried to continue in their prayer, looking down, but the woman held out her hands until they agreed and held hands and then raising them high at end.
I really don’t like doing the hand holding bit during the Our Father, especially raising them at the end. I feel that is meant for the priest. I have read different places where it is a liturgical abuse, though, a minor one.

I was once at a Mass where the priest told everyone we were to hold hands. I didn’t return to that parish.

My question is: If you do not want to hold hands during the Our Father and someone is holding their hand out and almost insisting what would you do? What should you do?

I should say also that at this parish very few people do this.

Eyes shut, hands palm to palm up by your chin, and ignore whoever grabs at your elbow. :thumbsup:

I cannot concentrate on prayer with my eyes open.
The only way I’d ever know if someone wanted to hold my hands during the Pater Noster (or shake my hands for the sign of piece) is if someone tugged my sleeve. A tug might get a polite nod.

The rule for the USA and some other conferences is that you may do this. But it is not mandatory. People need to learn to read other people’s body language. If your hands are in praying arrow position, that should be a sign that you do not hold hands. I would just politely smile and keep praying the Lord’s Prayer.

Franciscans don’t hold hands with lay people, ever. So when we go to a mass where someone reaches out to us, we just slip our hands into our habit sleeves and people are very nice. They understand and then move on to the next person.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Yes, we have those who almost “demand” that you hold hands. But being that I’m stubborn and probably “pig-headed” I just put 5 to 5 and pray. I don’t have this happen at EF Masses which is why I tend not to go to OF Masses.

We don’t hold hands during the Our Father. It’s something like the Pope never said it was a part of the Mass. I sometimes feel uncomfortable not doing it, but it’s not a huge deal.

Or hold a handkerchief in your hands after you blow your nose. :smiley:

Holding a missal in your hands could do the trick too.

Someone in a similar thread suggested :
Just sneeze into both hands before the start of the Our Father.

I had been holding hands during the Our Father (but I don’t believe I ever forced it on any one else) until I was at a Mass with someone who had a cold and they were coughing all over their hands. :blush:

I realized then that my reaction to them was some what uncharitable (I didn’t want to hold hands with them. I was so happy that I needed to move away from them for something else) I realized then the habit of blindly holding hands was opening us all up to loads of problems. :rolleyes:

But, since that time, I have attended Masses where the focus was on the hand holding, and not the praying

A couple of weeks ago, I had a person come to me and say, ‘what would a visitor think if they came to our church and saw that you wouldn’t hold hands with any one?’

I’m sure she meant well, and didn’t mean to be offensive, but I was offended. :eek:

By the same token, how are you supposed to know when to drop the hold? Aren’t you hurting that other person at that point? In my life I only held hands once and it felt like an eternity. And then a weird thing happens when they offer you to shake hands just a few moments later. Can’t get away from that touchy-feely stuff at all. :shrug:

But a warning, though. Don’t try the same thing at work. :slight_smile:

I had a co-worker that was Lutheran. He married a Catholic and when he went to Mass he would get so anxious and freaked out by the holding of hands during the Our Father (and feel guilty if he didn’t) that he wanted to remain going to his Lutheran service where they didn’t do it. It may sound silly but it was a real stumbling block for him. He was actually considering formally becoming Catholic for her and the kids too.

Where can I find a copy of this rule?

That’s what my wife and I do. :wink:

A couple of weeks ago, I had a person come to me and say, ‘what would a visitor think if they came to our church and saw that you wouldn’t hold hands with any one?’

I’m sure she meant well, and didn’t mean to be offensive, but I was offended.

Frankly, I would be offended too. I’d probably let them know (nicely) that that was not how I was brought up and if they pursued it further then I’d say I didn’t like being made to feel like an outcast. A strong label, maybe, but if they made the effort to confront me then they are fair game for a retort.

I haven’t ever held hands with anyone during the Our Father, I just close my eyes and pray. I either have my hands on the back of the pew in front of me, or in my pockets, or folded in front of me.

My grandmother used to kneel down and pray during the handshaking.

if a prayer posture is a stumbling block for him, then he isn’t ready to become a Catholic
if he’s going to a Catholic Church and expecting something similar to a Lutheran church, then he’s looking for a Lutheran church, not a Catholic Church

From talking to him, I agree that he was not ready. Him and his wife even recieved communion at both. :eek:

I sympathized with him on the holding hands part though. I also don’t like it.

Thats what I do. Works everytime

Thanks :thumbsup:

She said it to me at the Sign of Peace, too :frowning:

I admit that I spent the rest of the day thinking of how I was not going to do something just because others were doing it, and it was also unfair/sad that so many new to the church, new to this congregation, were made to feel it was mandatory. :blush:

Oh, well :slight_smile:

I wish I could say that same. :blush:

I have been KNEELING, in prayer, and had PEOPLE (as in ‘more than one’) to come over the pews to grab my arms. I had a person to grab my arm so hard that my rotator cuff was tender for two days. ‘No, I do not want to hold hands with you’… it’s nothing personal. But if I have to stop praying in order to get to you, then forget it! I’m here to ~pray~, not to hold your hand! :mad:

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