Pater Noster-Holding Hands

[quote=Marauder]Source is Notitiae 11 (1975) 226. Notitiae is the journal of the Congregation in which its official interpretations of the rubrics are published.]

Commentary on the above and it’s relationship to the Lord’s Prayer can be found on EWTN’s site here:
ewtn.com/expert/answers/holding_hands_at_mass.htm
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Cool thanks!

Peace be with you…Pam

In my experience, it seems like both hand holding and using the orans position came out of charismatic prayer meetings. This may have then been complimented by the “trendy” liberal parishes and university ministries which tended to focus on “community”. Eventually, the practices spread more widely.

I don’t necessarily mind it and can even appreciate the practice if it is spontaneous and sincere between family/friends. I find it to be more fitting if it is done in the context of a prayer meeting rather than at liturgy, though. And I really don’t like it feeling forced or expected, particularly when it gets extended to having to cross the aisles and playing “hands across America” between the pews.

I think that a priest I know once summed the practice up well. He commented, “That’s SOOOO suburban!”

Marauder, thank you for your post. I understand that one needs permission for a lot of things, and I will ask my priest about all of this this coming Saturday. (By the way, the ‘Happy Birthday’ song is sung after the mass has come to an end…Unless the mass officially ends once you exit the church…Which seems a little excessive!)

Ah! My understanding of Vatican II is limited, so thank you for pointing out any errors of mine. However, I never thought that one could reshape the liturgy. I know that there are standards that all churches must conform to, but there are certain small variations in how the liturgy is celebrated present in most churches, methinks. These variations depend wholly on culture, language, etc. and still must respect the rules of liturgical worship.

msproule, could you tell me in brief what some of the abuses have been in the past?
lovetony

[quote=Marauder]If you read the link that I also provided you would see the explanation how that Noticiia DOES apply to the Our Father and the prolonged holding of hands ANYWHERE during the Mass.

People in the US, Canada, and similar countries treat the GIRM, RS, and the Rubrics as an all emcompassing list of rules and if the rule doesn’t explicitly say you can or can’t do something then you are allowed to do whatever you want. That is NOT the case, the exact opposite is true. The way the rubrics are intended is that you follow what is written in them and do not add anything or take anything out without express permission. In the event there is a question about whether something is allowed or not, it is supposed to be taken up with the local Bishop. Individual priests are not supposed to be adding or deleting things without permission of the local Bishop and/or the Vatican.
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Interesting article, but not authoritative in any way as it’s just someone’s opinion and the Church has not taken a position that holding hands is not allowed. There are numerous threads on this topic with the evidence.

To sum up some of the major points:

The practice has been around for about 40 years now without an authoritative body issuing any repudiation, despite many requests from people who don’t like it.

There have been two revisions of the GIRM and neither has addressed the issue. Those who say “only what it says in the GIRM” can’t defend that as then there is NO position you can put your hands in since there is none specified.

Redemptionis Sacramentum, just issued to specifically deal with liturgical abuse, specifically does not address it. Do you truly believe that a document designed to weed out liturgical abuse would “accidentally” leave out the most debated issue out there?

When the USCCB was asked about the Orans position at the Our Father, their specific response was that there is **no prescribed position ** for the hands during the Our Father.

Additionally, the Bishop cannot make those decsions on his own as an individual bishop cannot change anything; only the Conference can, with approval from the Apostolic See. He may express an opinion that he thinks it’s ok or not but he can neither mandate nor prohibit it on his own (nor can priests of course).

Unless and until there is a definitive and authoritative statement from the Vatican, holding hands is not illicit. That being said, priests should be sure to call people to charity in not forcing that or any other preference on others.

[quote=Marauder]Saying something is a Protesting invention doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular Protestant denomination came up with the practice. I saw people at the local United Methodist church holding hands during the Our Father, long before anyone even thought about doing it in a Catholic church. Just because something didn’t exist during the reformation era doesn’t mean it wasn’t invented in a Protestant denomination church later.

I have seen many explanations as to where this abuse came from but none of them claim a Catholic start to the abuse.
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I grew up in the Southern Baptist sect. I’ve attended communion/Lord’s Supper services in that ecclesial community, in the Church of Christ, and in the Assembly of God, and various non-denominational churches (all of the Anabaptist tradition). None of them held hands and the only people gathered around the table were the deacons who distributed the bread and the wine (these folk all rec. seated in their pews with the elements passed to them and they rec. and consumed them while sitting down, not while standing, contrary to the assertion that rec. communion in procession is a Protestant innovation). I’ve attended Calvinist services, where the services are similar. I’ve attended United Methodist services (the Anglican tradition) where no one held hands or gathered around the table AND in the south, the Methodists actually kneel at a rail to rec. the elements, not in procession (standing). I was an Epsicopalian for five years before I came into the Catholic Church. High Church Anglican do not hold hands, neither do Low Church ones, unless they’re into the charismatic movement, nor do the Broad Church folk AND virtually all of them kneel to recieve at the rail, unless the gathering is prohibitively big, like the diocesan convention, etc. Also, no one was at the altar except the priest and the servers. Now, I haven’t been an Anglican for 18 years, so perhaps they’re doing it now, but people were holding hands in the Catholic Church from the moment I was rec. into it. None of these things are inherently protestant.

People on these forums have the tendency to act a bit alarmist. “Smoke of Satan” gets bantered around alot, as does “Protestant innovation.” Why? I don’t happen to think that holding hands for the Our Father is the “smoke of Satan” or a “Protestant innovation.” I just think it’s a very bad idea, kind of like the Queen opening parliment dress in a caftan. The focus at that point isn’t community, it isn’t the horizonatal. It’s on God or the vertical. Why do we have to alienate and offend people with jingoistic jargon and blatant untruth when it’s a lot easier to point out what the lawful authority has asked us to do or not do? The vast and overwhelming majority of Protestant do NOT do these sorts of things. They have all sorts of other important things absolutely incorrect, let’s at least not blame them for stuff that they would not recognize as belonging to either their current practice or their past tradition. They didn’t invent liturgical handholding, they didn’t invent communion while standing, and they certainly didn’t invent this oddball custom of having the communicants gather around the altar/table. If you don’t want Protestants coming on here, blathering off some misconception about what the Church teaches, and then claiming that it IS Catholic teaching, we owe them the same courtesy.

Just because a practice has been around for 40 years, as you claim, doesn’t make it right.

There have been two revisions of the GIRM and neither has addressed the issue. Those who say “only what it says in the GIRM” can’t defend that as then there is NO position you can put your hands in since there is none specified.

They haven’t added the position either. As I said before RS, the Ruberics, and GIRM are not meant as an all encompassing list. You are to get permission granted to vary from them not the other way around. The GIRM doesn’t state you can’t stand on your head and kick like a bicycle either during the Mass but everyone knows it wouldn’t be allowed.

Redemptionis Sacramentum, just issued to specifically deal with liturgical abuse, specifically does not address it. Do you truly believe that a document designed to weed out liturgical abuse would “accidentally” leave out the most debated issue out there?

RS was written to specifically address issues that affect the validity of the Mass and things that relate to the Eucharist itself. It wasn’t written to address EVERY aspect of the Mass and what was permitted. Hand holding was prohibitted in the document but it wasn’t allowed either.

Additionally, the Bishop cannot make those decsions on his own as an individual bishop cannot change anything; only the Conference can, with approval from the Apostolic See. He may express an opinion that he thinks it’s ok or not but he can neither mandate nor prohibit it on his own (nor can priests of course).

Whenever a clarification on something is requested of a Bishop, and baring something about it being addressed by the Vatican, then a Bishop is allowed to rule on it in his diocese.

The actual Conference has no say over a Bishop, it is only when that Conference says something and that thing is approved by the Vatican does it have a say over that Bishop.

[quote=Servus Pio XII]We had a snow day today, and I was watching some local access on the telly (you know, local programmes). I realised during the course of it that we really need to change parishes.

I saw a Protestant service, but you could not tell it from Mass at our parish excepting that the “worship leader” was not in a chasuble, but doctoral robes. He had a fake stole on (as most Protestants do…thus it annoys me when our priests wear the stole above the chasuble). Also, the “Lord’s Supper” was invalid, obviously.

Beyond this, however, I was apalled at how indistinguishable it was from Mass. I am a Catholic, not a Protestant! If I wanted to be a heretic, I would go to a heretic church, but I want to be Catholic, and so I want to go to a Catholic church and feel Catholic!

Protestant heresy is beginning to infiltrate. If we do not act now our beloved Holy Roman Church will be lost for ever to those whom the Devil has mislead!

:frowning:
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Servo, I’ve no idea what goes on in your parish, but…most liturgically minded Churchs/ecclessial communities draw their liturgies from legitimate antecedants. The Methodist (doctoral robes with stoles over them, but some Presbyterians use them as well) derive their service from the Anglican’s and Thomas Cranmer drew on the Old Sarum Rite (a legitimate rite of the Church, but surpressed by Trent when Trent regularized/standardized the Mass) to produce the Anglican rite. The Old Sarum Rite, out of the West as was the Tridentine, had elements incommon WITH the Tridentine and the Eastern Rites as well (all of them had things in common). It isn’t surprising that you see a similarity. That doesn’t mean that the Pauline Mass is a Protestant Mass or that it’s tainted by Protestantism (it is the legitimate Mass of the Church, promulgated by the one with the authority to do so, thus by it’s nature it isn’t Protestant). As to the stole, I tend to agree with you, except to note that it isn’t a fake stole unless it’s sewn on (was it?).

[quote=JKirkLVNV]… we owe them the same courtesy.
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Point taken, since I have no way of knowing where exactly the abuse of holding hands during the Our Father, and the abuse of allowing members of the congregation around the altar came from I was just say the invention instead of Protestant invention, but honestly I have been seeing the hand holding in Protestant circles long before I saw it in Masses at Catholic churches.

I have only been Catholic for a couple of years, but when I first started going to Mass…I thought this hand holding was a Catholic thing…so even though I found it personally disruptive I went along with it…it wasn’t until I started getting onto some Catholic forums, that I found out, that until recently(church time that is) it wasn’t the norm. So then I stop doing it…I just real quickly as I am getting up from kneeling…get in a personal prayer position. I have only had to hold hands a few times…once some vistors to the church, and they looked lost…so didn’t want the to feel alienated(sp), once when a little six year old girl tugged on my sleeve, with her hand extended, and a couple of other times I can’t remember. So basically only out of charity.

I was also shocked by all the clapping that goes on at Mass, I as a protestant don’t ever remember us clapping…except when visiting a charismatic church…and once again, I thought it was the norm…until I found out otherwise. Now I don’t clap when the priest ask us too…I just say a real quick silent prayer for the person, who we are supposed to be clapping for…it works for me.:yup:

Peace be with you…Pam

Pam,
I do things similar to you at Mass. I get into a position that makes it pretty clear that I am praying to myself. If an adult tries to hold hands anyway I ignore it. If it is a little kid out of charity I will do it anyway. I have been asked before why I don’t hold hands and explain the reasons and sure enough usually the next time I see that person at Mass he/she isn’t holding hands anymore.

As for hand clapping, it depends on what the reason is. If it is for the someone that is doing their normal job (i.e the choir, EMHCs, etc.), for minor awards, normal thank-you type things, installation of EMHCs, lectors, etc. I refrain. I HATE it when people recognize the choir or other group as if what they are doing is more important then other people’s participation at the Mass. But for special circumstances I will join in the clapping (i.e. baptisms, diamond jubilee for a priest, etc.)

But don’t even get me started on people that walk out the center aisle right in front of the recessional or the right behind the recessional. :wink:

[quote=Marauder]Point taken, since I have no way of knowing where exactly the abuse of holding hands during the Our Father, and the abuse of allowing members of the congregation around the altar came from I was just say the invention instead of Protestant invention, but honestly I have been seeing the hand holding in Protestant circles long before I saw it in Masses at Catholic churches.
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I note you’re in the Northeast. Your experience may well be different. At any rate, we agree that formal handholding as a liturgical “norm” is not the “norm” and I gather that we don’t think it should be.

Also, in MY parish, from the beginning of the Eucharist until after the priest’s communion, NO ONE enters the sanctuary. The altar servers kneel on the bottom step leading into the sanctuary. The priest is alone at the altar and no one is near him. We were told that this was a mandate.

[quote=Marauder]Pam,
I do things similar to you at Mass. I get into a position that makes it pretty clear that I am praying to myself. If an adult tries to hold hands anyway I ignore it. If it is a little kid out of charity I will do it anyway. I have been asked before why I don’t hold hands and explain the reasons and sure enough usually the next time I see that person at Mass he/she isn’t holding hands anymore.

As for hand clapping, it depends on what the reason is. If it is for the someone that is doing their normal job (i.e the choir, EMHCs, etc.), for minor awards, normal thank-you type things, installation of EMHCs, lectors, etc. I refrain. I HATE it when people recognize the choir or other group as if what they are doing is more important then other people’s participation at the Mass. But for special circumstances I will join in the clapping (i.e. baptisms, diamond jubilee for a priest, etc.)

But don’t even get me started on people that walk out the center aisle right in front of the recessional or the right behind the recessional. :wink:
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Actually the mandate is that no one, (not including deacons and/or concelebrating priests) is to approach the altar until after the priest receives. Depending on the design of your church dictates how to interpret this item in RS.

My main church has the EMHCs stand just outside the sanctuary until the priest receives. I also volunteer at the Bascilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and there the EMHCs are in the sanctuary but do not move up to the altar until after the priest receives. If you have ever seen a Mass on EWTN broadcast from there or been there you can understand why it is that way.

[quote=Marauder]Actually the mandate is that no one, (not including deacons and/or concelebrating priests) is to approach the altar until after the priest receives. Depending on the design of your church dictates how to interpret this item in RS.

My main church has the EMHCs stand just outside the sanctuary until the priest receives. I also volunteer at the Bascilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and there the EMHCs are in the sanctuary but do not move up to the altar until after the priest receives. If you have ever seen a Mass on EWTN broadcast from there or been there you can understand why it is that way.
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Okay, I really hate to ask this…is the sanctuary, anything behind where the rails once were…or just behind the altar table?

[quote=Marauder]Just because a practice has been around for 40 years, as you claim, doesn’t make it right.
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But when it has been around for 40 years and the Church has never once said it’s wrong, you don’t get to claim it is either.

They haven’t added the position either. As I said before RS, the Ruberics, and GIRM are not meant as an all encompassing list. You are to get permission granted to vary from them not the other way around.

There is nothing to vary from as nothing is specified. That’s the whole point! Again, read the statement from the USCCB who has the authority on this.

The GIRM doesn’t state you can’t stand on your head and kick like a bicycle either during the Mass but everyone knows it wouldn’t be allowed.

As you say, that wouldn’t be allowed because it isn’t a prayer position. There are avenues for addressing abuses and all these ridiculous red herring examples would promptly be addressed if a congregation was to attempt them. What we are addressing is a long-standing position of prayer that the Church has specifically not said to stop.

RS was written to specifically address issues that affect the validity of the Mass and things that relate to the Eucharist itself. It wasn’t written to address EVERY aspect of the Mass and what was permitted. Hand holding was prohibitted in the document but it wasn’t allowed either.

With all due respect, suggesting that someone would go to all the trouble to write a document on abuses and skip the most obvious and blatant (if it were truly an abuse) is either very naive or very disingenuous.The priest stepping out of the sanctuary to shake someone’s hand at the sign of peace is not about “validity” nor are many other things in RS.

Whenever a clarification on something is requested of a Bishop, and baring something about it being addressed by the Vatican, then a Bishop is allowed to rule on it in his diocese.

To the best of my knowledge, when it comes to the liturgy, that statement is totally incorrect. Canons have been quoted here many times that show that only the Conferemce. with approval of the Apostolic See, can make liturgical changes.

The actual Conference has no say over a Bishop, it is only when that Conference says something and that thing is approved by the Vatican does it have a say over that Bishop.

And that is the situation here. The Conference was granted the authority to make those decisions and their decsion was “no position is prescribed”. An individual bishop either mandating or forbidding one would be “prescribing” which would be in conflict with the authority of the Conference.

As valid as many of your arguments are that maybe it **shouldn’t be ** allowed, there has yet to be an authoritative document shown here that says it isn’t allowed.

With all that said, I continue to call for charity from all in not imposing their preferences on anyone else or making any judgments about other’s devotion or piety.

Peace,

[quote=PassthePeace1]Okay, I really hate to ask this…is the sanctuary, anything behind where the rails once were…or just behind the altar table?
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It is hard to say this with an all encompasing stroke, because in some churches it may be different. But in general the sanctuary is the area that in a church that was built pre-Vatican II would have been within the altar rails.

But the problem with your entire arguement is that the burden of proof does not lie on me or anyone else that holding hands is not part of the Latin Rite Mass. The burden of proof lies on the person that says it is allowed. No where is it stated in any documentation or anything from the Vatican or any other position of authority in the church that it is allowed. Where is the proof that it is allowed? You are trying to put the burden of proof on the wrong side in the arguement.

To the best of my knowledge, when it comes to the liturgy, that statement is totally incorrect. Canons have been quoted here many times that show that only the Conferemce. with approval of the Apostolic See, can make liturgical changes.

Look closely at how I phrase what I said. If there is something that needs clarified that is not expressly stated by a higher authority then a Bishop is allowed to rule in his diocese. There is a difference between clarifying something and changing something. The conference BY ITSELF does not have any say over any Bishop. It is only when a particular conference has a ruling OK’d by the Vatican does a ruling of a conference override a Bishop. A statement by the conference in and of itself does not override a Bishop, until that statement has been ok’d by the Vatican.

Numerous statements made by the USCCB have been overridden by the Vatican, both publicaly and non-public.

Just found another good link on the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer. It goes into much more detail, then any of the other sources.

catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1175

I can already hear people saying he isn’t an authority, but he does state everything that I have heard before.

Don’t get me wrong…my understanding of Vatican II is very limited, as well. :confused: God willing, I think the Holy Father is eventually going to help us better understand what the Council had intended.

…could you tell me in brief what some of the abuses have been in the past?

There have been MANY threads about this topic in particular, although most of them have since been abandoned. There is a relatively recent one here about the most abuse-packed Masses that anybody has ever witnessed. I have not read through it at all but I suspect you will find some horrifying experiences!

You might also like to read this prepared statement from Francis Cardinal Arinze. In it, he roughly outlines the potential hazards of innovative worship.

Peace,
Michael

[quote=Marauder] The burden of proof lies on the person that says it is allowed.
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Nope. After decades of use and silence from the Church, plus the fact that it exists and is not being stopped by the Church, the burden of proof is on those who claim that it is wrong when the Church has never said so.

Look closely at how I phrase what I said. If there is something that needs clarified that is not expressly stated by a higher authority then a Bishop is allowed to rule in his diocese. There is a difference between clarifying something and changing something. The conference BY ITSELF does not have any say over any Bishop. It is only when a particular conference has a ruling OK’d by the Vatican does a ruling of a conference override a Bishop. A statement by the conference in and of itself does not override a Bishop, until that statement has been ok’d by the Vatican.

Yes, I can read, and I understood the first time. And again, the Vatican has specifically given the authority in this matter to the conference, who has “expressly stated” their position. Therefore a bishop does not have a right to act on his own in this matter. I agree that there is a huge difference between clarifying something and changing it. Since there is a specific position taken here however under the authority given by the Vatican, mandating or forbidding something would be a change and not a clarification.

Numerous statements made by the USCCB have been overridden by the Vatican, both publicaly and non-public.

So?? That doesn’t relieve anybody of responsibility until it happens. Unless and until that happens it is in force.

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