Not a gesture with the arms per se, but I heard a talk from a priest last year that said people should kneel from the Sanctus until Communion because one should kneel while the sacred species is on the altar. I’ve been doing that since.
Neither is it in the GIRM for people to clasp their hands together, put their hands at their sides, tuck their hands in their pockets, or put them in any particular position. Assuming that someone else’s hands aren’t bobbing around my nose, I don’t worry about it too much.
My point though is to find out why people insist on a completely improper and illicit form in the face of unambiguous rules. The other posters are probably correct though, it might just be poor catechesis.
My policy recently has been to just do what GIRM says to the best of my ability. People may/will ask you why, and you can tell them. You may change their mind. I’ve noticed that, in my anecdotal experience, whenever one does something to increase piety, it often spreads. Like kneeling to receive communion. I started doing it because I saw others doing it. I asked about it, and decided that I wanted to start doing it myself. I soon noticed others doing the same.
Why does it matter so much what someone else does at Mass? Unless it’s actually disruptive, I just can’t bring myself to care so much that someone is [gasp!] lifting their hands up. And why do they need catechesis to tell them they are wrong? Haven’t enough people stopped coming to Mass? Why make the few who are left uncomfortable about the way they pray?
How one presents themselves before royalty matters. If one were granted an audience before the Queen for instance one would want to make sure they knew the proper protocol. Same should go for greeting a Bishop, Cardinal, or even a Pope. Why would it be less important to conduct oneself properly before the King of Kings?
There is a proper way for catholics to conduct themselves when they enter the “Holy of Holy’s” and we should all want to know it out of our total Love, Devotion, and Submission to our Savior.
The fact that Mass attendance is poor has more to do with a lack of belief than anything else. If one believed in the real presents one would wait in a line to receive that would be out the door and around the block without giving a thought to what others may think.
If three quarters of Catholics showed up for Mass THAT would be progress.
Firstly, I haven’t scolded anyone. Secondly, When do Catholics finally take pride in the riches of our faith and learn why the Mass is conducted the way it is.
Yes, The Church has a problem. As I stated it stems from a lack of belief. If one believed they were truly in the presence of God they would fall on their face in trembling fear and adoration. I offered no criticism just an observation of of how one conducts themselves does matter.
So are you saying that you fall on your face in trembling fear and adoration when you are in Church, and if not, do you really believe truly in the presence of God? Don’t expect others to do what you don’t if the answer is in the negative.
Your statement IS a criticism and a judgmental observation of other people. You don’t really know what the others believe, and their actions are not always a clue.
A person falling on their face might just be doing it for show. Nothing can be assumed.
Just focus on the Mass and pay attention to your own actions and thoughts. That is what is proper, not criticizing others for their posture. That is a very small thing in the scheme of things.
Yes. I see this all the time and it irritates me. I do believe that these people have every good intention in really praying the Mass with reverence: I just don’t think there has been proper catechesis on this. In fact, I’ve been Catholic for almost 20 years and I don’t recall a priest ever addressing this.
I’m also annoyed by the large number of Catholics who use the secular peace sign for the Sign of Peace.