Mass: Holding hands during "Our Father"? Yes or No?

I am posting this here as this is a Mass question. I am a new Catholic and find this issue very confusing. This came up in the Spirituality Forum in the thread, WHAT BUGS YOU IN MASS. Specifically, this is what was posted:

“The thing that really bugs me at Mass is during the “Our Father” people decide to hold each others hands. This is wrong and I refuse to do that. I don’t care if a family decides to hold each other hands, but don’t include me. I think during this prayer we should be in full communion with Jesus, not individualism, like holding hands. Is this done in anyone’s parish??”

My parish holds hands; the parish next to us does not. Which is right? And WHY?

Thank you for helping me on my journey to understanding my Church. God bless you.

[quote=Peace Pilgrim]I am posting this here as this is a Mass question. I am a new Catholic and find this issue very confusing. This came up in the Spirituality Forum in the thread, WHAT BUGS YOU IN MASS. Specifically, this is what was posted:

“The thing that really bugs me at Mass is during the “Our Father” people decide to hold each others hands. This is wrong and I refuse to do that. I don’t care if a family decides to hold each other hands, but don’t include me. I think during this prayer we should be in full communion with Jesus, not individualism, like holding hands. Is this done in anyone’s parish??”

My parish holds hands; the parish next to us does not. Which is right? And WHY?

Thank you for helping me on my journey to understanding my Church. God bless you.

[/quote]

Do a quick search in the forums on holding hands. There are many long threads on this subject which gives you the views of those for, against, and those neutral.

Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is a ‘tradition’ that has sprung up in many parishes in the last 40 or so years. (Probably longer ago in some places.) My personal guess is that this grew out of actions at small prayer groups (beginning in the 1960s or so) where it was common to stand in a circle and hold hands while praying. At some point this spread to Mass.

There are (at this time) no univeral Church documents which say what the laity should do with its hands during this prayer. (Individual bishops may have things to say.)

On this forum you will see opinions from those who say, “What is not specifically stated is forbidden,” and those who say, “What is not forbidden is allowed.” You will also see opinions about why holding hands is or is not a good thing.

Confusion is possibly the most normal, healthy ‘view’ on the subject.

[quote=Peace Pilgrim]I am posting this here as this is a Mass question. I am a new Catholic and find this issue very confusing. This came up in the Spirituality Forum in the thread, WHAT BUGS YOU IN MASS. Specifically, this is what was posted:
"The thing that really bugs me at Mass is during the “Our Father” people decide to hold each others hands. This is wrong and I refuse to do that. I don’t care if a family decides to hold each other hands, but don’t include me. I think during this prayer we should be in full communion with Jesus, not individualism, like holding hands. Is this done in anyone’s parish??"
My parish holds hands; the parish next to us does not. Which is right? And WHY?

Thank you for helping me on my journey to understanding my Church. God bless you.
[/quote]

God Bless you!
Check with your Bishop. While NO one would stop you from holding hands with family members and friends, some Diocese are discouraging it as a congregation.

[quote=netmilsmom]God Bless you!
Check with your Bishop. While NO one would stop you from holding hands with family members and friends, some Diocese are discouraging it as a congregation.
[/quote]

And rightly so because it takes away from the real sign of unity–the Eucharist.

Holding hands is not only unnecessary, it is intrusive. The Sign of Peace, where it has been inserted in the Mass, is intrusive enough with people gabbing and going from pew to pew instead of merely offering a hand to their immediate neighbors and saying, “Peace be with you.”

Besides, it is true that what is not mandated as required gestures during the Mass are not to be done. The bishops have asked us to be in uniformity in gesture. This means no holding hands of the whole congregation and no “orans” position during the ending prayer of the Our Father: '“the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours…” either.

For the life of me I can’t imagine why people are so adamant about wanting these unnecessary additions to the Mass. I find them annoying, disruptive, and intrusive in a liturgical service that ought to be uplifting, unitive, and peaceful.

[quote=Della]And rightly so because it takes away from the real sign of unity–the Eucharist.

Holding hands is not only unnecessary, it is intrusive. The Sign of Peace, where it has been inserted in the Mass, is intrusive enough with people gabbing and going from pew to pew instead of merely offering a hand to their immediate neighbors and saying, “Peace be with you.”

Besides, it is true that what is not mandated as required gestures during the Mass are not to be done. The bishops have asked us to be in uniformity in gesture. This means no holding hands of the whole congregation and no “orans” position during the ending prayer of the Our Father: '“the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours…” either.

For the life of me I can’t imagine why people are so adamant about wanting these unnecessary additions to the Mass. I find them annoying, disruptive, and intrusive in a liturgical service that ought to be uplifting, unitive, and peaceful.
[/quote]

:amen: Well said, Della!

In our Diocese (Covington KY and Cincinnati, Ohio I live on the border so I cross over from time to time) I have seen it as a congregation in Parishes with Franciscans. In other Parishes it seems to be random. You look around and see some holding hands and others with their hands held up. I really don’t have a problem with family members holding hands. We as a family growing up, held hands in a circle and said The Our Father before we went to bed.

[quote=bauerice]In our Diocese (Covington KY and Cincinnati, Ohio I live on the border so I cross over from time to time) I have seen it as a congregation in Parishes with Franciscans. In other Parishes it seems to be random. You look around and see some holding hands and others with their hands held up. I really don’t have a problem with family members holding hands. We as a family growing up, held hands in a circle and said The Our Father before we went to bed.
[/quote]

That may be the key right there.
Didn’t the Franciscans have a hand in the beginnings of the Charistmatic movement??

I just spent a goodly amount of time perusing the Holding Hands thread.

My, my. Catholics are a motley lot! I learned a lot there, and not just about holding hands. For some of you, it is a BIG deal. Not to change the subject, but… are most of you here retired folk? Some of you seem to have a lot of time on your hands. I wish you could reach out of the screen and hand me some of those extra hours you have that I don’t seem to have.

Well, back to the subject… I can see that there is no one acceptable answer. I gained a greater sensitivity for those who do not wish to have their hands held. I might even adopt a “technique” that a no-hand-holding poster uses. It’s an excellent and effective solution during the cold/flu season. When I have a cold/flu, I’ll bow my head and cross my hands over my chest as he does; this will minimize the transmission of germs to others.

I am in the health field and I am constantly washing my hands, and I am also aware that most people don’t. Think about that next time you do the Sign of Peace. Especially with the threat of an Avian Flu pandemic…

Thank you for your generous answers. As for me, I will hold hands at my parish and not hold hands when I am at our neighboring parish. No big deal.

What are you calling me old? I resemble that remark!:rotfl:

[quote=netmilsmom]That may be the key right there.
Didn’t the Franciscans have a hand in the beginnings of the Charistmatic movement??
[/quote]

Would you kindly explain your comments?

What is the key?

There are I’m sure other newbies to the faith who frequent (and lurk) this forum who would find this cryptic.

And why the ?? after Charismatic movement?

And be nice, netmilsmom. I’ve taken the time to read your past posts. Fr. Corapi had something very interesting to say about a certain tongue.

Love is the surest sign of a Christian. If Christ is living in our heart, we will love our fellow believers, whether or not they hold hands during the Our Father.

[quote=bauerice]What are you calling me old? I resemble that remark!:rotfl:
[/quote]

Maybe. If you’re a day older than me! I am resembling that remark by the day, too.

Nice to meet you, bauerice, and to see some lightheartedness here. God bless you.

Wow!
I’m pretty amazed that someone took the time to read all my posts. Considering that there are over 2000 of them, you must be quite an expert.

I feel like a star!:wink:

I posted the wrong URL to the HOLDING HANDS thread. It is an excellent thread on this subject so I am posting the correct URL here:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=82966

The answer: Yes and No.

[quote=Peace Pilgrim]I am in the health field and I am constantly washing my hands, and I am also aware that most people don’t. Think about that next time you do the Sign of Peace. Especially with the threat of an Avian Flu pandemic…

[/quote]

OK, I’ve got to follow up on this. In any of the hand holding threads, many people seem really worried that they’re going to catch something if they shake hands at the Sign of Peace or hold hands during the Our Father. Is this really something we need to worry about? Does the average, healthy adult really have that much greater risk just by touching another person? Shouldn’t we then take this to the next logical step–we can’t open the church door, someone may have touched it; we can’t dip our fingers in the Holy Water font, someone may have touched that; we shouldn’t touch the pews, the missalettes, the songbooks. It just seems a bit paranoid to me. Wash your hands, eat right, take care of yourself and you won’t be sick all the time. I’m getting over my first cold in two years and our parish holds hands. Maybe I’m just a freak? :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, back on topic. Personally I don’t care either way. The parish I’m in now holds hands, the one I grew up in doesn’t. No sweat; I’m praying, it doesn’t mean any more or less to me if I’m holding hands or not.

The answer to the OP is Yes where it is allowed and NO where it it not allowed, and even where it is allowed it is up to each individual to choose.
We should not have yet another thread on whether this is an abuse or not because we know the heated arguments that arose in the other threads over this. The OP just wanted a yes or no.

[quote=aurora77]OK, I’ve got to follow up on this. In any of the hand holding threads, many people seem really worried that they’re going to catch something if they shake hands at the Sign of Peace or hold hands during the Our Father. Is this really something we need to worry about? Does the average, healthy adult really have that much greater risk just by touching another person?
[/quote]

Not everyone is an average healthy adult. To some seniors and those with AutoImmune diseases, a flu is life threatening.

My archdiocese prohibits the hand-holding. Thank goodness. One reason is that it unnecessarily puts people on the spot. If some macho cowboy visitor comes to Mass and isn’t a hand-holdey kinda guy, for example, why should we unfairly make him feel uncomfortable and perhaps unwelcome and distract him from the Eucharist?

Now if only my local parish would take the hint! But, yes, I still hold hands. Even though it is an irregularity, there are so many other potentially more objectionable abuses, that I’m quite willing to go along on this one - and be thankful that the priest isn’t imposing anything worse on us. Give me hand-holding any day, compared to other things whih I’ve seen and heard of…

[quote=Peace Pilgrim]Would you kindly explain your comments?

What is the key?

There are I’m sure other newbies to the faith who frequent (and lurk) this forum who would find this cryptic.

And why the ?? after Charismatic movement?

And be nice, netmilsmom. I’ve taken the time to read your past posts. Fr. Corapi had something very interesting to say about a certain tongue.

Love is the surest sign of a Christian. If Christ is living in our heart, we will love our fellow believers, whether or not they hold hands during the Our Father.
[/quote]

Now, since I have found out about my sister coming out of ICU after knee replacement, I can answer your question.

First let me say that perhaps you should spend a little more than a month her before you begin to admonish people about being nice or judging their motivations as happened here and on the other thread. Be silent and learn is always a good motto. You will learn much about the love we have for each other as Catholics and how even some of the most heated debates are between the best of friends. On everyone of these handholding threads, I debated a certain poster. We stand far from each other in ideals, yet I respect him more than anyone can know. THAT is because we love each other.
Read, learn and you will see.

The reason why I equated the Charistmatics with the Franciscans is because I had heard that much of the movement was perpetuated by them. Do you know how to use Google? That is a real question and being kind. A quick Google search gave me this information.

franciscanlife.org/

The poster I was replying to stated that she was in Southern Ohio. The Charismatic movement was at one time very big at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH (my Uncle is the Bishop Emeritus there). She is not far from it and stated that the parishes that do hold hands are run by Franciscans. Therefore, noting that handholding is very big in the Charismatic movement, I saw a correlation.

I’m sure you find peace with this answer.

[quote=netmilsmom]That may be the key right there.
Didn’t the Franciscans have a hand in the beginnings of the Charistmatic movement??
[/quote]

You know, that’s interesting. When I first moved here 10 years ago, we had a Franciscan priest from Quebec. He had been involved in the Charismatic movement, too. He was very holy, God rest his soul, sitting in the confessional with the door wide open before every Mass, praying. It was an open invitation to people to come in for the sacrament of penance.

I remember that we used to hold hands during the Our Father when he was our priest. Then the next priest (from the Philippines) put a stop to it. He said our unity was in the Eucharist, and we should express it that way, not by holding hands. Our current priest is from Ghanna, Africa, and he favours holding hands, but has not implemented it, thanks be to God!

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