Is the Sign of Peace phoney?


When the sign of peace was reintroduced into the Eucharistic Liturgy a friend said that he thought it was phoney .

He said that you can give the sign of peace to the person next to you in church on Sunday morning , but when you see the same person in the street on Monday morning he/she passes you as if you had never met .


What, always? Every Monday morning? Every single one whose hand you shook at the Pax? Not all of them, surely. There are people I say “Good morning” to when I meet them in a public place, or “Good afternoon” or “Good evening”, as the case may be, whom I don’t know by name but whom I recognize from a handshake and an exchange of formal greetings at Mass.


As long as the person doesn’t kick you in the shins or something as you pass, I’d say you’re still at peace :innocent:

I think the main issue is as practiced it is halfway between a formal, symbolic ritual with a pretty deep meaning (what it is traditionally supposed to be) and a warm personal greeting. It usually ends up with the significance of neither and as such comes off as phoney…


It is very phoney. And many other Christians have openly made fun of it to me.
It has a historical backing, Saint Justin Martyr writes about a kiss of peace prior to the Eucharist, but I feel like the historical nature was different, more or less it was very tightly woven Christian communities who probably knew each other well and it would show a sign of being in communion.
I have spoken about this with priests, and this is one of three many actually agree is not something that they personally like about the Mass. This along with Priests facing the people and also prayers for the faithful many times come off as repetitive and people just reply Lord Hear our Prayer without much sincerity.
My favorite time of year is when the flu is around and the bishop actually doesn’t allow it. The priest says The Lord be with you and reply And with your spirit, and it goes right to the Agnus Dei. To me it’s somewhat nothing more than an interruption of the mass. When we are supposed to be really grasping Christ truly present on the altar we instead are told to turn around and shake hands or in my case I usually bow a gesture, but yah besides family or friends you could leave Mass and an hour later see them and they wouldn’t even recognize you. It really is a part of mass that I notice many have differing opinions on. I believe in the EF the priest just says The Lord be with you and the servers reply and with your spirit, or in dialogue mass the church replies but I see very few of those. I believe only in solemn high mass which there is more than one priest do they do the actual sign of peace.
Yes I could do without it. However the church has the Spirit guiding it and I can’t question it. I have my opinion but that means nothing.


I do feel as though it has become somewhat phoney (at least feels more phoney now) and awkward at times. At one time, it was more like a hug only exchanged between the clergy at one point during the Liturgy (in the Latin Rite anyway.)


It’s only as phony as you make it.


OH yeah, I’ve seen people like that. There are at least 5 people at my local parish who refuse to acknowledge I exist outside Mass and it’s because I once made a comment about how they conducted music ministry that they took very personal offense to (I wasn’t wrong but maybe I wasn’t tactful either).

Doesn’t mean the Sign of Peace is fake. Personally I think it’s good for them to have to shake my hand and look me in the eye once a week as a reminder that despite our disagreement I still exist and we still share our faith. Hey, maybe one day the Sign of Peace will even reach their heart and they’ll learn to let bygones be bygones.


How utterly Christian of them. The irony in that isn’t lost on me.


“Reintroduced”? My friend monks have been giving themselves the kiss of peace for literally thousands of years.


I think at one time it had been removed from the actual Mass, and was recently reinstated.


I was wondering about the ‘reintroduced’ part! It’s existed as long as I’ve been Catholic! LOL. (7 years btw).


When I used the word “reintroduced” in the OP I was referring to its reinroduction for all present at the Eucharist .


It was reintroduced as part of the liturgical reforms ordered by the Second Council of the Vatican .


I LOVE seeing a church goer - in public !
At first, I do a double take…unsure on how I know them - lol

Pastor said he was in a car in a parking lot…
and one of the front row women at church - was crossing before his car -
He ( jokingly ) said “ Hurry up, lady “ and honked his horn -
She whipped him the finger digit without looking who it was.
He found her in the store - and had a laugh over it.


The sign of peace for all at Mass went out of fashion following the reforms of the Council of Trent .


And all introverts gave a sigh of relieve when it happened. :wink:


OH dude, at my parish EVERYONE holds hands during the Our Father. People twist in their seats, will even MOVE seats if someone is too far to reach, the hand holding goes up to the altar, where the altar boys join hands with the priest. It becomes this giant hand holding circle.

I’m QUITE SURE everyone thinks I’m rude because whenever possible I break their big hand holding chain by doing things like coughing lots so it seems like I have a cold, or blowing my nose just moments before the prayer starts… LOL



There’s a guy who sits behind me - with his wife -
Both are 80 years old, maybe 75 -
I turn around - he holds up his palm - like a cop -
Or doing the heil - that gesture -
It’s embaressing - getting that -
But they always sit behind me - never in front - never another row back -
THE PALM - like he’s directing traffic -
The wife looks mortified being with him - lol


I always find that a convenient time to use the little boy’s room.


Too bad we didn’t live close, we could go to Mass together just to make sure we’re beside someone who won’t try to grab our hand! Haha.

I once got stuck beside a fellow who apparently wasn’t from our parish. When the hand holding started he clasped his hands tightly in front of him and avoided eye contact. I was inwardly grinning from ear to ear because I realized I’d met a kindred spirit. He didn’t attend ever again though, sadly.

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