Holding hands in mass:Our Father?


#1

Hoping to get a definitive answer here and I apologize if this is not in right forum but I just heard something that alluded to the notion that holding hands in mass during the Our Father prayer is somehow wrong or improper? For myself I've always folded my hands in prayer but never thought those that were holding hands or raising their hands were doing anything wrong? Is there an actual rule (not sure if rule is correct term but only word that comes to mind right now) given by the Church on this for mass? Hope someone can shed some light on this aspect of the liturgy of the mass?


#2

There is no instruction on posture (handholding) during The Lord’s Prayer during Holy Mass.

The gesture therefore is probably not appropriate.

Given that the source of our unity is the Body and Blood of the Lord; given that we express our forgiving love of one another at the Sign of Peace, the gesture of holding hands may be redundant. As good and appropriate this gesture may be outside Mass for stressing our unity and hospitality, such gesture during Mass does not seem to express the totality of the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Holy Communion, the prayer directed to God in surrender and petition of our daily bread.


#3

Its not official liturgy no. Some parishes do, some don't.


#4

There is no rule about how the faithful should or should not place their hands during the Mass, with the exception (if I recall correctly) that the GIRM states we should not mimic the actions of the Priest.

So, there is no rule against the faithful holding hands as a personal devotion.

What is against the rules is for the Priest to encourage or require the faithful to do this, as it would be adding to the rubrics of the Mass which is forbidden by the GIRM.


#5

[quote="TheDoctor, post:4, topic:313341"]
There is no rule about how the faithful should or should not place their hands during the Mass, with the exception (if I recall correctly) that the GIRM states we should not mimic the actions of the Priest.

So, there is no rule against the faithful holding hands as a personal devotion.

What is against the rules is for the Priest to encourage or require the faithful to do this, as it would be adding to the rubrics of the Mass which is forbidden by the GIRM.

[/quote]

I would not have any problem with the holding of hands especially since I have a Charismatic background. Our GIRM instructor however explained that if the instruction is not found in GIRM it is better not to introduce it as it can be construed as an illicit addition to the Liturgy. Then there is a question of whether we are imposing this on another person (sitting next to us) who may oblige to hold our hands but does not prefer the practice.

Anyway, since then we don't hold hands in the church though you would occasionally see some family members may do it among themselves.


#6

Holding hands is not part of the mass.
It is just a private action on the part of some people there. So you do not have to participate, in fact some people strongly refuse to hold hands then. Personally, I think it okay to do as a private action if you choose to do so, unless the parish priest discourages it.

Some people argue that liturgical law should be seen to forbid this, though I have never really seen a convincing argument establishing as of a certainty this should not be done. I agree that it should not be introduced into the liturgy by the priest, since it is not part of the mass. But this is another matter.
People have strong takes on this matter one way or another. Personally, I am a private person and don't like holding hands with strangers, though I hold hands with my wife then. But what other people do is all-right to me, unless they go to extremes or try to compel you to hold their hand.


#7

I think it's best to humbly obey the rubrics and GIRM and refrain from introducing anything into the celebration of the Sacraments. I'm not legalistic, I just trust the Magesterium in all things and try to understand as best as I am able. So in the question of holding hands or mimicing the priest by raising our hands, I am opposed. I fold my hands together in prayer.:)


#8

[quote="Reuben_J, post:5, topic:313341"]
Then there is a question of whether we are imposing this on another person (sitting next to us) who may oblige to hold our hands but does not prefer the practice.

[/quote]

I just wish the 1970s hangover would go away. We are there at the foot of the cross. Not much hand-holding went on there, I suspect. As well, hand-holding seems to take the focus off of the prayer and places it on the logistics of physically linking hands.

Anecdote: At my old parish this last year, we were beginning the Our Father. I held my hands in the classic prayer position with my eyes closed. A person a few spaces away unexpectedly came over and grabbed my left hand, pulling it to themselves. Needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise and tended to interrupt the prayer. I suspect that the poor person thought that it is a part of the liturgy.

This is something that needs to be addressed by our Bishops with clarity. The fact that I am immunosuppressed could not be known by that other person, but for that reason and liturgical reasons, I do not like the hand holding.


#9

[quote="po18guy, post:8, topic:313341"]
I just wish the 1970s hangover would go away. We are there at the foot of the cross. Not much hand-holding went on there, I suspect. As well, hand-holding seems to take the focus off of the prayer and places it on the logistics of physically linking hands.

Anecdote: At my old parish this last year, we were beginning the Our Father. I held my hands in the classic prayer position with my eyes closed. A person a few spaces away unexpectedly came over and grabbed my left hand, pulling it to themselves. Needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise and tended to interrupt the prayer. I suspect that the poor person thought that it is a part of the liturgy.

This is something that needs to be addressed by our Bishops with clarity. The fact that I am immunosuppressed could not be known by that other person, but for that reason and liturgical reasons, I do not like the hand holding.

[/quote]

I am with you, I do not particularly like the hand holding. During those years in those masses people seemed to be holding hands and I would just follow suit.

Oh, and that was quite funny.:D The poor person must thought it is part of the liturgy and did not know better. Normally we do not disturb a person in prayer especially with his eyes closed. It is like an unwritten rule but also one of courtesy too. Sometimes before the mass (I am one of those lectors or announcers) we would have a short quiet moment in prayers in the sacristy or the weekday chapel and we would never interrupt the person with our greetings as we went in. That can be done after he/she finished the prayer.

About the subject the insrtuction I had from a GIRM instructor seems to make good sense:

Given that the source of our unity is the Body and Blood of the Lord; given that we express our forgiving love of one another at the Sign of Peace, the gesture of holding hands may be redundant. As good and appropriate this gesture may be outside Mass for stressing our unity and hospitality, such gesture during Mass does not seem to express the totality of the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Holy Communion, the prayer directed to God in surrender and petition of our daily bread.


#10

I don’t mind holding my hubby’s hand and I do that but I usually have the prayer book and I hold it in my free hand. That may help those who don’t want to hold hands, hold the prayer book instead and probably others won’t grab the book out of your hands or hand.


#11

Another defensive action.:thumbsup: Over time we improvise to cope with uninvited intrusion to protect one’s privacy ?

God bless.


#12

[quote="oneofmany, post:10, topic:313341"]
I don't mind holding my hubby's hand and I do that but I usually have the prayer book and I hold it in my free hand. That may help those who don't want to hold hands, hold the prayer book instead and probably others won't grab the book out of your hands or hand.

[/quote]

Perfectly OK to hold your husband's hand, as you are not two, but one flesh in the marriage covenant. You use the prayer book defense, you say? :hmmm: Will have to try that one myself. Wait! I have a Saint Joseph's Missal! :thumbsup:


#13

[quote="k5thbeatle, post:1, topic:313341"]
Hoping to get a definitive answer here and I apologize if this is not in right forum but I just heard something that alluded to the notion that holding hands in mass during the Our Father prayer is somehow wrong or improper? For myself I've always folded my hands in prayer but never thought those that were holding hands or raising their hands were doing anything wrong? Is there an actual rule (not sure if rule is correct term but only word that comes to mind right now) given by the Church on this for mass? Hope someone can shed some light on this aspect of the liturgy of the mass?

[/quote]

My understanding is that those holding or raising hands are not doing anything wrong, but that giving the impression that such is required is wrong and should be avoided. In some parishes it is common and in some it isn't (my home parish and my school parish do it in different ways, which is enough for me to feel really stupid at the start of breaks and of term), but the practice is neither required nor forbidden.

It can be argued that it should not be a thing that (nearly) everyone in the church does out of habit, as that might give the impression to some that it is required (and also the impression to some that those who don't do it are "being rude" or skipping something), and this argument would make a lot of sense except that at this point it seems that those parishes that do it (that I've been to) tend to do it out of non-encouraged habit, which amounts to strangers simply deciding to hold each others' hands, which is supposed to be how it works when a posture is not dictated.

My personal hope is that people just eventually stop doing it. I suppose of all the things to be annoyed by, this is relatively minor, but nevertheless it is annoying to have to choose between an optional practice that I dislike (somewhat intensely, being very introverted and private) and possibly offending the person I don't know standing next to me because they think I'm refusing to do something that I should be doing.


#14

In my country we used to hold hands during Our Father but it stopped after SARs. (or maybe people nowadays are generally colder? Heh..no idea.) Now it's reduced to family or ministries holding hands. Idk but I prefer the days you where everyone held hands. At least you are reminded mass is not a private event between you and God but you, God and your community.


#15

Holding hands is so gauche! What next?... chanting, what about shouting out an amen whenever you feel your inspired.

The God of our fathers had very stick rules for his house and our conduct in it. He remains the same God


#16

There have been prolly 100 threads beating this horse to death. Nothing is ever accomplished.


#17

So to simply answer my own question and cut to its point from reading the posts, the answer would be "no" there isn't any official church stance on this?


#18

There is no church rule that says holding hands is OK. There is no church rule that forbids the practice either. The church had the option of making a definitive ruling on this practice when they updated the rubric that year, but they chose not to address the issue.

If your parish has been holding hands since the 1970's, then that could be considered a local custom and it is perfectly fine to continue that tradition. Introducing it as a new custom is a horse of a different color.


#19

[quote="po18guy, post:8, topic:313341"]
I just wish the 1970s hangover would go away. We are there at the foot of the cross. Not much hand-holding went on there, I suspect. As well, hand-holding seems to take the focus off of the prayer and places it on the logistics of physically linking hands.

Anecdote: At my old parish this last year, we were beginning the Our Father. I held my hands in the classic prayer position with my eyes closed. A person a few spaces away unexpectedly came over and grabbed my left hand, pulling it to themselves. Needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise and tended to interrupt the prayer. I suspect that the poor person thought that it is a part of the liturgy.

This is something that needs to be addressed by our Bishops with clarity. The fact that I am immunosuppressed could not be known by that other person, but for that reason and liturgical reasons, I do not like the hand holding.

[/quote]

I don't like to hold hands either...

I went to a daily Mass a couple of months ago. I got there just before Mass started. I purposely picked a pew with no one around... because I didn't want to hold hands. There were 2 pews between me and the person in front and 2 pews between me and the person behind me. AND, there was no one in the pew on the other side of the aisle from me either.

Well, at the Our Father, I placed my hands in a prayerful position and bowed me head. Next thing I know someone on my left was trying to grab my hand and began hitting my shoulder to "get my attention". Maybe, they thought I didn't realize that they wanted to hold my hands or something??? They kept that up the WHOLE TIME!!! Because of course, stubborn mule that I am, I stood my ground.

So, since I thought I was in a spot ALONE, where did this other person come from? They had to have moved from at least 2 pews away! Just to hold hands with someone who obviously was trying to just pray. Oh... and I looked around after the fact... everyone was back in their original pews.

Now, I know this example was kinda on the extreme side... but, to me it illustrated how they were more concerned with "holding hands" than they were about praying to God.


#20

[quote="k5thbeatle, post:17, topic:313341"]
So to simply answer my own question and cut to its point from reading the posts, the answer would be "no" there isn't any official church stance on this?

[/quote]

Yup, other than that no one should be compelled to hold hands if they don't want to and that no one should be stopped from doing so if they (and the guy next to them) want to.


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