Orans vs. Handholding


#1

There are a lot of people on this forum who don’t like handholding during the Our Father, yet handholding is an entrenched practice in many many American parishes. I’ve also seen many people here who are outspoken against the “orans” posture (hands held out to either side at chest level, palms up). I’m posting this poll to find out if the people who don’t like handholding are the same people who don’t like orans. The reason I am interested is because the orans seems like the most charitable “starting” posture for a handholder during the Our Father. If your neighbor is also a handholder, then, of course, you hold hands. If your neighbor is a non-handholder, then you remain in orans. (The recommended starting posture for non-handholders would be hands clasped in front.)

Would this make non-handholders feel less pressured? Or would they still be steamed about laypeople assuming a priestly pose?

–Bill


#2

I’m just very glad to be in a parish that discourages both.


#3

I don’t like either one, and I don’t like hand-shaking during Mass, either. :mad:

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#4

I just found out the my PARENTS participated in this Oran’s nonsence when they went out of town to visit my brother. (He’s a fallout Catholic, but went to the local church with them.) I asked my Mom about it and she said that they always do it if the church they go to when they’re out of town does, including ones in MY AREA!

My Mom just kind of laughed off my concerns and told me not to be so hysterical about it :slight_smile: I suppose that’s good advice…


#5

To someone living in England, this hand-holding thing seems rather odd, really. It’s never been considered here as far as I know.

In any event, as has been said before, it detracts from the sign of peace. And I really like the sign of peace. So I hope this hand-holding thing stays over that side of the Atlantic…!

Mike


#6

[quote=MikeWM]To someone living in England, this hand-holding thing seems rather odd, really. It’s never been considered here as far as I know.

In any event, as has been said before, it detracts from the sign of peace. And I really like the sign of peace. So I hope this hand-holding thing stays over that side of the Atlantic…!

Mike
[/quote]

Not good enough! Its a protestant practice that crept into our parishes. I want it to die off…

Neither handholding (which is not mentioned at all in the liturgical texts) or the orans position (which is mentioned- but it says that of the priests & deacons, only the primary celebrant is to use it!), should be used in our parishes. The quickest way to stop it is to put a large group of ‘hand-folders’ up in the front of the parish, often times the rest will follow whats put in front of them…


#7

[quote=MikeWM]To someone living in England, this hand-holding thing seems rather odd, really. It’s never been considered here as far as I know.

In any event, as has been said before, it detracts from the sign of peace. And I really like the sign of peace. So I hope this hand-holding thing stays over that side of the Atlantic…!

Mike
[/quote]

My experience in England was the the sign of peace was a nod or greeting, not a hand shake as here in the states…is that the norm? Or did we just choose churches that had that practice?


#8

I like neither and thank the Lord I am blessed with an Indult TLM in my Parish where I don’t have to put up with this nonsense.


#9

[quote=Confiteor]My experience in England was the the sign of peace was a nod or greeting, not a hand shake as here in the states…is that the norm? Or did we just choose churches that had that practice?
[/quote]

Hmm, I’ve been to maybe 10 different Churches in various parts of the country [1], and there’s always been a handshake. This includes mass at Westminster Cathedral, the seat of the English Cardinal, so I’m guessing the handshake is the norm here too.

Mike

[1] Off the top of my head, various Churches in Liverpool, Blackpool, Cambridge and London, though quite possibly others too.


#10

I have to admit, as a Byzantine Catholic, we do not have this in our tradition. Yet, when I am at a Latin Rite Mass, I do neither.

I grew up in Latin Rite grade school and felt uncomfortable with the holding hands. This was in the early 1970’s. Even as a kid I thought it was pretty strange.

As my pastor tells us in his homilies:
We are to ‘Entertain GOD by our praise to Him. Not to Entertain ourselves!’ I see the holding hands as a distraction because it turns into a ‘social fest’. The reverence level drops significantly and THEN you go into the Agnus Dei…a rough transition.


#11

An interesting idea on how to help curb the laity’s use of orans during the Our Father:

catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=2&art_id=28525


#12

Well, I don’t like either holding hands or the orans but my parents would say I am being like the pharisees and not getting the meaning of religion.


#13

[quote=Grace and Glory]An interesting idea on how to help curb the laity’s use of orans during the Our Father:

catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=2&art_id=28525
[/quote]

Wow! That’s a great article!
I would really like to print it out and put it up in the vestibule of most of the churches in my area.

However, some people are so hard headed about it, they wouldn’t get it at all.


#14

I never saw handholding except in charismatic masses until I came to San Diego. I never saw the orans either. The orans reminds me of Muslem prayer posture. I am not comfortable with either, however for the laity I would guess handholding is better.


#15

[quote=Isidore_AK]Not good enough! Its a protestant practice that crept into our parishes. I want it to die off…
[/quote]

I’ve seen this in Italy and Mexico, not exactly Protestant strong holds.


#16

I guess I’m a latecomer to the handholding controversy, having seen it commonly practiced for many years in the parishes all around here and in many of the other places where I’ve traveled.

In fact, not only do we hold hands during the Lord’s Prayer, we keep holding them through the doxology, and raise our joined hands to shoulder height as we say “for thine is the kingdom…”

Liturgical abuse? I suppose, but it doesn’t seem to cause us to be un-Catholic. The only person I know who ever got upset about it was the young man who went to seminary from our parish. He came back for the summer, explained the controversy, and never again held anyone’s hand. And that was fine.

Now, the thing that got ME upset was when I visited a Catholic Church that had taken out all the kneelers. Their reason was to squeeze the pews closer together and add seats. I thought that was interesting, because at the mass I attended there were lots of empty pews. Somehow, an American Catholic Church that discourages us from humbling ourselves before God is just too “protestant” to me.

And yes, I am aware that many great European churches not only have no kneelers, they have no pews, just folding chairs (if you can get one). But, unlike that American church I visited, there was always enough room to kneel if I wanted. In fact, it seemed even more humbling to kneel on a hard stone floor than on a comfy cushion.


#17

Mote Juste,

You wrote,“Would this make non-handholders feel less pressured? Or would they still be steamed about laypeople assuming a priestly pose?”

You are ASSUMING that a nonhandholder feels pressure if they do not hold hands. You are wrong.

Handholding and the “orans” position ARE NOT defined in the ruberics of the Mass. This odd practice is NOT in the G.I.R.M.

I never hold hands nor do I assume the orans position. The orans position is strictly for Priests. This practice crept into some parishs from the Liberal minority and most Priests have not had the courage to correct it. For that matter, what happened to three taps to the heart at certain time during the Mass.

No. I am not intimidated or made to feel pressure during Mass, I follow the G.I.R.M. .


#18

For me, it is not a matter of one or the other being unacceptable. I have no problem with people who want to handhold or use the orans posture.

I am a hands-together and palms-together man, myself.

What I dislike is when I fold my hands together and bow my head, and I see the person next to me smirk or glare because I am not holding their hand.


#19

The issue of holding hands during the Our Father has been around since at least the mid 1960’s. There have been at least 2 isues, or versions of the GIRM since then; it is something that some Catholics have been complaining about since then.

As the bishops have input as to what goes into the GIRM, along with Rome, it should be patently obvious by now that neither Rome nor the bishops see this as an issue that needs to be addressed with any particular speed.

The fact that at least twice in the ruling document as to the rubrics (the GIRM) no one has seen fit to tell the parishoners what posture they should take at that time makes it abundantly clear that there is no specific psoture that we are to take (other than standing, which is the posture we are told to take prior to the Our Father), and there is no specific posture we are forbidden to take. there are other documents which allude to the issue, but they do not take precedence over the GIRM.

Archbishop Chaput, who is not considered to be exactly a flaming liberal, publicly said that those who wish to hold hands should be free to do so; those who wish to not hold hands should be free to not hold hands, and neither group should impose their will on the other.

The essence of his statement essentially is “Get over it”. Is spite of that, it still tends to stir up a tempest in a tea pot, most particularly among those who do not wish to.

Holding hands (or standing in the orans posture) are not particualrly good liturgical actions for various reasons, but it is much more minor than some would profess. There tends to be a lack of charity on both sides.


#20

The GIRM says nothing about forbidding holding hands during the “Our Father”…

litpress.org/PDFs/girm7.pdf


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