Holding Hands during the Our Father

I’m a convert to the Catholic faith. During Mass our members hold hands during the Our Father. Recently a Catholic friend told me that this was an incorrect practice. I always thought it was statement of unity, including holding our palms upward to hold hands of those who were not present. My husband comes from a very strong Catholic upbringing and says that he has always done this. Is it wrong to do this?

Also, when I went through RCIA I was told to make the sign of the cross over my forehead, lips, and mouth. Recently this was brought up that this is also incorrect. Again, should we be doing this?


In his book, Mass Confusion, Jimmy Akin says the following:

“The Holy See has not ruled directly on this issue. In a response to a query, however, the Holy See stated that holding hands “is a liturgical gesture introduced spontaneously but on personal initiative; it is not in the rubrics” (Notitiae 11 [1975] 226, DOL 1502 n. R29). For this reason, no one can be required to hold hands during the Our Father.”
(Nor is the orans posture in the rubrics.)

The U.S. Status:
People hold hands during the Our Father (p. 161)—Discouraged
(*Mass Confusion * Appendix Three pg. 234)

In the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal the only posture specified during the Our Father is standing.
GIRM: usccb.org/liturgy/current/revmissalisromanien.htm
(paragraphs 43 and 160)

Before the reading of the Gospel, the faithful should make the sign of the cross on the forehead, mouth, and breast.

Recommended reading:

Article: “About that Orans Position”…

Book: *Mass Confusion * by Jimmy Akin

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