Orans posture prohibited during Lord's Prayer


Former medical lab scientist, here.
Viruses and bacteria. Influenza, Rhinovirus, E. coli, C. difficile, the list goes on. A very real concern. But if others want to hold or shake, good for them. Hopefully they stop moving around when the Agnus Dei starts.


That is why hand sanitizer is useful after the Sign of Peace.


Many studies on the overuse of that stuff. Not to mention ingesting it.
But hey, if others want to, who cares?


I am one whose doctor has told to use it often. I use the alcohol based kind. I do that and wash my hands a lot.


I use it in the classroom. Especially kindergarten. Those kids are reservoir hosts of all known contagious diseases. :joy:


I don’t think it matters. If the church has said something otherwise that’s different but to my knowledge it hasn’t


Here in Argentina we do the Sign of Peace with a greeting kiss or a handshake in case of men. I have never got ill for it nor do I know anyone who got ill for it.

I don’t know why in this forum they always have a problem with SoP, I guess it’s a cultural thing, here we say that the english world is more cold in affection…


Since the sign of peace is open to handshaking, it should be open to a nod and smile too. I really don’t care what others do, as long as they aren’t disruptive about it.


@JimR-OCDS I honestly don’t understand why you make such a deal about a person licitly refusing, for whatever personal reason, to hold hands. You seem to consider it spiritually defective, and you don’t seem to offer up any good reasons for it.

I personally just don’t like it. I did it for a while when I was in a small Catholic youth group, and during some of the small masses we would gather around the altar in that way.

Personally I’ve found it very distracting, but in that setting I’d rather not stand out. So I just do what others do.

In bigger mass settings, such as the common sunday mass where we’ve got a packed Church, I usually just stick to the back. Praying along with the others but with folded hands.

I see no reason to stop that.

Your speculations about what Jesus would do are futile. You have the Scriptures and Tradition, that’s all Christ wanted you to know about what He did on Earth and what you ought to do in order to be a good Catholic. I don’t see anything about hand holding there.


Try not making the thread about me.



I’ve done mass for Catholics from predominantly moslem countries while with the UNHCR and they use the orans positions. When I first arrive at a military base, the first few masses I do I explain that there is no hand holding during the our father and to pray with hands folded. It takes a few times for people to learn this if a predecessor has done things differently.


How do I know they are kind? Most kind people educate themselves in social etiquette and do not behave in an intrusive way. By I will certainly assume they are kind and politely nod my head and whisper " no thankful"


If holding hands with a stranger, it is next to impossible for me to focus on God and pray in union with those around me, can’t keep from worrying about my palms starting to sweat,etc.

If not holding hands, then it is no problem to pray in union with the whole congregation, not just those around me.


I nod, smile and say, “Pax Christi.” No one should be triggered by that.


I was not clear. It was a comment that if you see 100% of the people receiving communion, it would imply you see zero young children, and that would be sad.


Don’t take things personally. You happen to be the only one here who is advocating for hand holding, or at least offering minor jabs at those who refuse to do it, so your posts are the ones I’m responding to.

Holding hands, or staying with folded hands, is such a trivial irrelevant issue to me at any rate. Its a matter of taste. Perhaps in some circumstances, say a small parish, it can a danger to vanity if everyone else is doing it but you’re not.

Also if the person is sick. This happened the kiss of peace, and this girl had been coughing into her hands throughout the entire mass. I gracefully bowed towards her. Eventually she just grabed my hand against my consent and shook it.

After that I stayed dutifully at the back.


I think the consensus I’ve seen in all of these threads is that no one is saying that holding hands is disobedience to God. Some are sticklers for tradition and believe we should hew more closer to it, and they’re dubious of the symbology or value of it. Some have in mind that the relationship between God and the individual, meaning they believe we should pray as individuals, together, and the holding hands doesn’t quite work there. Others just get a kumbayah hippy feeling they find foreign in their spirituality.

Me I just don’t like holding hands with people when praying. Like many have said it just feels distracting.

If I happened on the small rural parish, and was told it was the norm, then out of humility and in an effort not to stand out I’d do what others did. In a parish where people are not doing the same thing I stick with what I prefer, which are just two flat hands folded against each other.


“If you don’t hear crying, the Church is dying.”


I really, really like that saying.


Count me among these. If people want to hold hands, go for it, I don’t care. But that does not mean I see any value in it, I don’t.

ETA: I believe the orans hand position is misguided. But I at least can see why people do it, as it is a posture of prayer that goes back a long, long time.

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