Is hand holding during the Our Father practiced outside the United States?


I’m wondering if this is primarily an American phenomenon.


I believe this ghastly practice is indeed an American phenomenan. There was an American family in front of me at mass a few weeks ago and they all held hands during the Our Father and sort of lifted them up towards the end of prayer as if it was some kind of climax - I have never seen this before. At our church we also go up for communion row by row, but they sort of pushed their way to the end of the row and marched up out of sequence.


I think it’s done everywhere. I’ve seen it in Asia. Actually, I think it’s more common in Asia. It may have even started there. Or maybe Latin America.


Some people do it in Canada, too. I can’t help but wonder how many of those holdings hands really don’t want to but are simply trying to be polite. That would skew the statistics, so to speak.

And yes, I know there are ways of politely declining (which I do). I just wanted to point out that peer pressure and lack of information to the contrary might be artificially inflating the numbers.


It’s in the US, but I’ve seen in here in Mexico and don’t much care for it.


Definitely not in Ireland.
When I met my husband’s family, my effort to hold hands or a kiss at sign of peace was viewed as fairly scandalous. I imagine they perceived me as one of those crazy American Catholic tourists.
I got a lot of disdainful stares. :blush:


Some people do it with family members in the Philippines, but with no one else. There is no pressure in the Philippines on anyone to do it.


It is done by some families at my parish in Toronto.


I love my church and parish and the people there, but sadly they do the holding hands thing, which I keep my hands clasped in prayer to avoid. Even though I am new to the Church as a convert brought in last year’s Easter Vigil, I had learned enough on both this site and elsewhere to know that.


Someone mentioned kissing Good Lord, dragging the Liturgy down this is not what the Liturgical Commission intended neither did it sanction holding hands and raising them up, do these people think they are at a Non Catholic Event/A Party of sorts, we are at Mass not for ourselves but to give glory to God, its not about “Me” and I am having a good time.
Holding hands is a Liturgical Abuse, Praise the Lord they don’t do this in England/Ireland when I go to Mass, to be quite honest if someone try to grab my hand, I would grab it back while saying the Our Father. I think the Bishop should be informed so the priests can say something from the Pulpit, I mean to day its holding hands at the Our Father, to morrow its kissing instead of shaking hands giving the sign of Peace, and then who knows what nut will invent more Liturgical Abuse while trying to get the Original Version of THE MASS in the Novus Ordo.

Shudder at the thoughts of what I have just read.


The Apostles kissed the Lord. I’ll kiss my husband on the cheek as well.
I don’t do it to “have a good time”.


I have only seen the Pentecostal or other Proddy sects doing it, never Catholics


have yet to see any handholding it done in any parish i’ve attended in vancouver. not that it bothers me too much

also, the kiss of peace is actually a very old tradition.


I’ve seen it done in various places in South America.

It seems almost entirely absent in Europe though.


My guess is that it’s more prevalent in developing countries (Asia, Africa, Latin America) and less so in austere Western Europe.


My understanding is that the rubrics ascribe no special posture at all during the Our Father. Therefore, it can’t really be called a liturgical abuse. And while I find it distasteful and take steps to avoid participating, I can hardly bring myself to summon up the outrage and repugnance that one poster did. I guess we all have things that drive us nuts. :shrug:

And perhaps it is incorrect, but I think it is lovely when a married couple exchanges a quick kiss instead of a handshake at the Sign of Peace.


I’m in Australia and families do it here. Many people extend their arms like the priest though.

I just like to keep my hands down and joined.


If I were at Mass with you, I have a feeling I’d give you a peck on the cheek. I would not, however, do that to anyone I didn’t have a rapport with.

It’s a local custom as to how one is greeted.

Now, I’ve seen hands held all over the world. This, too, seems to be a local parish custom. I’m not a hand holder, but in order for Mass to be actually less “about me,” I will acquiesce to the hand holding initiator.

I’ll do it because I need that reminder to balance personal worship with community worship.

I do it based on a parable of a Desert Father who was gracious to guests who interrupted his solitude and sacred space; no matter what he was doing, he saw a way to serve Christ in the other person, even if it meant stopping prayerful communio with Christ. That may not be everyone’s charism, but it’s a way to practice charity, submission of will, and humility.


FWIW, abuse doesn’t necessarily involve an illegal act.

a·buse [v. uh-byooz; n. uh-byoos]
verb (used with object), a·bused, a·bus·ing.

  1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one’s authority.
  2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one’s eyesight.
  3. to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
  4. to commit sexual assault upon.


Our family holds hands every time we say the Our Father together. Even at church. I have also been kissed by the deacon at the sign of peace and it didn’t bother me. I think some of you just need to lighten up a little. Remember, the “good old days” weren’t always good. Change isn’t always bad, just different.

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