Dear CAF members,
I noted on Trinity Sunday that the second reading included St. Paul’s exhortation to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (i.e., in 2 Cor. 13:12). St. Paul includes this exhortation in his other writings as well (i.e., Rm. 16:16, 1 Cor. 16:20) and St. Peter mentions it in 1 Pt. 5:14. For our purposes of today, how is this to be applied? For example, is it ever appropriate to hug and kiss (of course, in a holy way) during the sign of peace during Mass? If a kiss is too much, is a hug okay?
I ask this because it seems that we are often “stand offish” with each other and seem to keep our physical distance from each other. This is especially true for the area in which I live in Texas where hand shaking seems the norm. However, it would seem to me that it would be better if we, as Christians, would open ourselves to showing love to each other in a physical, of course holy, way by hugs and kisses, where appropriate.
I am a married woman and tried to hug another lady with whom I was well acquainted a few months ago during the sign of peace and I could tell that she wasn’t expecting it and it took her off guard. However, about a week ago, I had an opportunity to hug her and she seemed more comfortable with it. I have also received hugs from men and women within my parish and it seems fine with me. I actually view it a very kind gesture and a great way to connect with other people. I was moved by the that these persons felt comfortable enough to think I was huggable. :hug3:
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences as well as any official or unofficial stance that our Church holds on demonstrating affection between our members. I understand that not everyone is amiable to receiving hugs and kisses, especially from persons who they do not know well. But, isn’t it worth a try to promote more affection among our members?