Posture in saying the Lord's Prayer in Mass


I prefer to hop up and down on one leg turning 90 degrees with each hop, patting my pate and sticking my tongue in and out in a syncopated rhythm while mumbling the words of the prayer. Since there’s no explicit ban on such practice, in my opinion, no one can judge whether or not it is a proper behavior. :rolleyes:


Haha, I wouldn’t be surprised if it reached that point. In most parishes around my area the reverence of the liturgy is at the disposal of a congregational majority; forget what Rome hands down, we do things our way etc.


You are correct…The American Catholic has no understanding of the liturgy and how it should be celebrated anymore. And, they have no desire to learn either. They want Mass their way, under their misguided teachings, and it better not last more than an hour. Let alone educate themselves on the proper gestures to celebrate the Mass.

Come on… you know most haven’t bothered continuing their education in the faith since they were confirmed. They know it all…Can’t be bothered,Much better things to do…It’s the priests fault,I wasn’t taught that in RE grade 1-8…Everyone else wants to do it so it’s OK…I’m going to do it my way…Ah, the American Catholic…


I hold hands unless I am reading a Harry Potter book book



This is a global trend. In the past I heard from a parishioner who attended a Pastoral Conference with other laymen and a priest a terrible story. When the parishioner raised out queries regarding how liturgy should be executed with due reverence, one layman shouted,’ This is not Rome, come on!’ ‘Yay! Rome has no say in this parish!’ Another man agreed. :eek::confused::mad::frowning:

Really baffled… how were the people catechized!!!

One of my friends attended a RCIA class. The tutor mentioned that praying is unnecessary; there is no such place called Purgatory; Bible is merely a fable, etc. He then complained to a priest, but the priest simply shrugged.



…he closest thing I have found to “Rome has spoken” is Cardinal Arinze’s statement that it matters not one way or the other, as long as it is not promulgated as a posture. So, let us not forget what actually has been said.


I don’t know how proper it is to blanket insult all Catholics in America about everything under the sun (then hold ourselves exempt).


The Holding Hands Ritual has moved locally from a spontaneous gesture into an expected practice. I have had folks reach across in front of me to join hands and hold their joined fists right in front of my face. Since the Human Chain version of this ritual is in vogue locally, when at the end of the pew I have been repeatedly poked in the back by the occupant of the pew behind me to encourage me to join hands. I had to turn around and tell her to knock it off to get her to stop the prodding. When attending Mass in one of the more “progressive” local churches, I just stand in the vestibule during Mass as it is about the only way to gracefully avoid being compelled to participate in this illicit ritual which includes the usher moving down the center aisle to encourage folks in each pew to step out into the aisle to complete the chain across the center of the church.
I have totally had it with these kind of novelties and illicit innovations.


It is indeed a global epidemic; as I reside in Australia.

Your story about the pastoral conference is all too familiar. I have just recently joined the liturgical committee at my local parish after two solid decades of utter destruction (most of which I was not there to see), this included the removal of statues, replacement of the crucifix with a projector screen behind the alter etc.
We finally have a new priest who is much more “in tune” with the church, and has put in motion plans to reverse most of these liberal trends.
God willing we will bring some reverence back to this Holy Place.


I do not hold myself exempt. I have taken great measures to educate myself and continue learning on my journey. I spent quite a few years this way myself. The truth is always a sharp edged sword. Never easy to swallow.

This is one of the main reasons I am involved with our parish religious education program and RCIA program. American Catholics are not well catechized. An ugly reality and by no means is there an easy solution if they are not willing to learn.


There was absolutely nothing spontaneous about it. It was directed by certain priests in the 70s/80s. “Let’s all hold hands now as we say the Our Father” is NOT spontaeous. Nor, might I add, was there anything spontaneous about assuming the orans position. Again, it was introduced deliberately.

All that being said, it’s not a really big deal. Let’s just put the brakes on - spontaneously. :slight_smile:


I think you may have forgot what was said, as I was responding to ‘johnnykins’ comment about “hopping up and down on one leg turning 90 degrees etc.

But yes, [in regards to the ‘oran’s position’]; as long as we can all recognize that it’s not mandatory during the Liturgy, we should be in agreement.

That being said, I think it’s defensible that the gist from Rome is that it is not encouraged, (taking into consideration documents like [Redemptionis Sacramentum](“ II”) and Mediator Dei).

Also, John Paul II’s Ad Limina Address on the Liturgy states:

“active participation does not preclude the active passivity of silence, stillness and listening: indeed, it demands it.”

Colin Donovan also wrote a nice piece outlining the “disunity” of oran’s position by lay people during the Mass.



Good point. I have heard several priests give this direction.


I believe so. I am fairly certain that* no* posture outside of the Instructions can be encouraged. I do find it a very innoccuous thing for people to get all worked up about or an some dire indication of some kind.


Maybe it’s best if we follow the GIRM without throwing in our own redundant “add-ons” (especially when there is no positive provision for it).


Kind of begs the question.


Looking back on your previous comment, what do you mean exactly by: “about or an some dire indication of some kind”?

Kind of begs the question.

I don’t really see how it begs the question.


I mean how this devolved into Catholics not understanding the liturgy, then to Purgatory, not believing the Bible. It just seems an awful lot to put on holding hands or not. By “begging the questions” I mean the positions of one’s hands does not indicate whether one is following the GIRM unless one already believes that it indicates one is following the GIRM. For Cardinal Arinze, for example, either way would be following the GIRM. I found the link, btw.

The question is around 6:50. He says how you hold your hands is okay. Nothing is proscribed in the GIRM. When one start proscribing, it is too much. (no announcements or notes in the bulletin.) I think even trying to grab someone’s hand could be said to cross this line.


I love Cardinal Arinze, (especially what he says about receiving Communion Kneeling and on the Tongue), and I don’t see myself in disagreement with his opinion of the orans position. Regardless, I still think it can be argued why it is not a welcome addition to the liturgy.

My opinions on the matter would echo similar points made in the article by Colin Donovan.



But I have had people tugging at my wrist while I am in prayer so that* they *can hold hands during the prayer, even though others may not want the same. And I have gotten a furious gazes when I abstain from it. I mean no offense. :shrug:

I often wonder where this comes from. It seems to sow a seed of discord.

Am I at fault for praying with hands folded and head bowed? Does my neighbor not see me and respect my worship? Should I do what I believe is in error to pacify my neighbor, when they seem to me to be in error?

I have yet to have opportunity to ask a hand grabber about these things, because most of the time these people have left after receiving the Eucharist. And usually I have not seen them in regular enough attendance to bring it up later. Not judging, just my experience in this.

I’d comment also on what happens during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or when the priest says “Peace be with you”, but that’s another thread topic. :shrug:

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