Kissing Priests

When I was in the Orthodox Church, the custom was (still is) to kiss the priest’s hand, rather than shaking it. If one approached a priest he/she would cup the hands, the priest would give the person a blessing and place his hand in the person’s cupped hands, then the person would kiss the priests hands. After the litrugy the custom was to place the priest’s hand on one’s forehead, since one’s lips had just tasted the Body and Blood of Jesus. It’s a nice custom and I wish we’d do it in the West.

I remember one Sunday morning after a night of mortal sin going to the priest after Mass and asking him to hear my confession. He told me to go into the confessional and he’d be there in a minute. I confessed my sins and he absolved me. I told him afterward that he had just saved my soul from Hell.

Every day at Mass the priest is given the sublime responsibility and honor of consecrating the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord then placing that same body on my tongue for the salvation of my soul.

How could I not kiss his hand?

What do you think?

Nice thoughts. I also think that kissing a priest’s hand is to also show your obedience to the Church.

This has been discussed in spirituality recently. I do wish the custom would come back in the West. It is one way to demonstrate physically our respect and love for our clergy and all they represent.

it’s kind of like when the priest kisses the altar after the eucharist has become christ.

I do not consider myself a traditionalist at all,but it really bothers me when I am the only one trying to kiss the bishop ring. I have been trying to teach that to my son, but he does not see any other people doing that and so he does not really believe me. He probably thinks that it is some old Italian tradition and not a Chuch protocol.

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