[Question] - Is it permissible a couple hold hands during Mass?

I have a simple question: May a couple or family hold hands during Mass as a sign of affection in the family? I remember there was an apologist answer here that says yes it is perfectly fine. However, I also read that holding hands during prayer at Mass is bad. Would someone with liturgical knowledge inform me?

Thank you,
Stillwondering

[quote="StillWondering, post:1, topic:178290"]
I However, I also read that holding hands during prayer at Mass is bad.

[/quote]

are you sure this discussion was not specifically about holding hands during the Our Father, not just with your family but everyone in church doing it?

PDAs are very much a cultural thing, it would be considered a bit over the top where I come from, but quite common here in the land of the casual hug hug kiss kiss.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:178290"]
are you sure this discussion was not specifically about holding hands during the Our Father, not just with your family but everyone in church doing it?

PDAs are very much a cultural thing, it would be considered a bit over the top where I come from, but quite common here in the land of the casual hug hug kiss kiss.

[/quote]

Yes, the discussion was particularly about the Our Father. However, the post stated to the effect, *it is never okay to hold hands in Mass; we keep our hands in our laps. * This is why I got confused.

I am asking mainly for two people two hold hands during the majority of the Mass, and if a father can hold a child during Mass that is capable of sitting in the pews instead of needed to be cradled.

Are they being subtle about the hand holding?

How beautiful to see couples and families pray the Holy Mass, joining their voice and prayer with the Communion of all the Saints. I always hold hands with my husband during Mass and no one is the wiser:thumbsup:

Me thinks those who object to hand holding during the Holy Mass might want to spend less time looking at the person sitting next to them and more time focusing on the Altar and prayers;)

[quote="MaryandJoseph, post:4, topic:178290"]
Me thinks those who object to hand holding during the Holy Mass might want to spend less time looking at the person sitting next to them and more time focusing on the Altar and prayers;)

[/quote]

I couldn't agree more!!! When we were first dating, my husband and I attended Mass with his parents. We held hands, as we always did, and his mother stared disdainfully at us throughout mass and commented to him later that it was totally inappropriate. I rolled my eyes and suggested that she focus her energy during Mass to pray for our obviously hell-bound souls. When I think "What would Jesus do?" I'm pretty confident that He wouldn't begrudge anyone the simple joy of holding hands while we celebrate Mass together.

It's OK, as long as you keep in mind that worship service is not primarily an opportunity to cuddle! (I've seen a few couples who came close to engaging in makeout sessions.)

[quote="StillWondering, post:1, topic:178290"]
I have a simple question: May a couple or family hold hands during Mass as a sign of affection in the family? I remember there was an apologist answer here that says yes it is perfectly fine. However, I also read that holding hands during prayer at Mass is bad. Would someone with liturgical knowledge inform me?

Thank you,
Stillwondering

[/quote]

Does the family holds hands when they are eating? Does the family holds hands when they are driving? Does the family holds hands when....?

Mass is the time when we should completely devote ourselves to the worship of God. We are in communion through Him. It is a vertical and not horizontal relationship. I would suggest reading "The Spirit of the Liturgy" by Romano Guardini. It is a less than 100 pages book that gives a very good insight on why the priest and the congregation have very specific roles and gestures and why usually we should not depart from it.

Does it bother me that people hold hands? No! It bothers me when they try to grab my hand just because they decided that I have to join.

Is holding your spouse hand a distraction from the Mass? Yes! Can I really criticize it? No! There so many other things that can and do distract me during Mass or during my prayers. Sometime I reach for my wife hand during the homily, and I am not going to drive myself crazy out of guilt either. I know that I am not perfect and I ask for God's help to do what is right.

When my wife is with me, we do. No one has ever said anything. Of course if they did I'd just tell them to mind their own business. Depending on who this was, the method of delivery could range from a smile & still keep doing it to a clear "nope".

Only if they're young and stupid. :p

[quote="peary, post:9, topic:178290"]
Only if they're young and stupid. :p

[/quote]

Or old and smart.

30 + years married, and still wildly in love with each other.

And yes, we hold hands while driving, and sometimes eating. Lots of couples do.

Just as a reminder, this topic is currently under moratorium and is not supposed to be discussed here.

Peace,

My young son is handicapped and gets around in a wheelchair. In our sanctuary, wheelchair parking is toward the back and my little guy has trouble staying tuned in because he cannot see what is going on. I generally hold his hand as a way to help him keep focused.

[quote="ncjohn, post:11, topic:178290"]
Just as a reminder, this topic is currently under moratorium and is not supposed to be discussed here.

Peace,

[/quote]

Not exactly.

This thread is not particularly concerned with liturgical posture during the Lord's Prayer but rather with all parts of the Mass: during the readings, during the homily, during the Eucharistic Prayer, while standing in the communion line, etc...

I agree with SMHW's assessment of the thread. Please everyone, keep the discussion charitable, that's all we ask for any thread. Thank you.

While I'm all for family togetherness, and certainly it seems only common sense that one might need to 'hold onto' an infant, a small child, any person with mental or physical disabilities, etc. the rest. . .well, I don't truly know.

I'm 53. My Catholic grandparents came over from Germany. Married over 50 years, they never 'held hands' at any point in Mass though certainly there were gestures of affection that were more subtle--Grandpa helping Nana with her coat, Nana adjusting Grandpa's scarf, his hand under her elbow as he helped her walk out to the car over slippery sidewalks. Maybe the "German side'" of the family, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, just was not so 'publically demonstrative' as other cultures. Inside the home we hugged and kissed goodnight, held hands around the dinner table as we prayed the blessings. . .but there was a clear and distinct (and well understood) separation between behaviors that were acceptable and praiseworthy in ONE place (like home) but not acceptable in another (public places including church).

I grew up with first the "Latin" Mass and then the vernacular. I saw everything from the "say the black, do the red" of my youth to the wildest possible 'interactions' in college (yes, I have witnessed liturgical dance, being up around the altar, the 'wave', hugs and kisses and we are SO into the liturgy and we love to add on kewl things like Native American chants--whether there are any Native Americans in our area or not, "Father/mother god", ad libbing the prayers, father doing standup comedy with the microphone, you name it. . .)

Why did it happen? I don't know. Why did people suddenly go from ritual (written out and done in uniformity of posture) to a free-for-all where (it sometimes seems) that the only thing not accepted is simply 'saying the black and doing the red' and that if you AREN'T engaging in anything that 'came about' only in the last 40 years, you somehow aren't 'fully participating?" I don't know. I wish I did.

Not often, but on occasion, I will notice a nearby couple who attend Mass in the same manner as they might attend a movie. He puts his arm around her, he massages her back, runs his fingers through her hair, she reciprocates with actions that are more appropriate to a date than to worship. At the sign of peace, they hug and kiss. None of this would bother me in a movie theater, but it makes me a little uncomfortable at Mass. At Mass, we are attending Calvary, not a movie or a social function. Just my own opinion.

The big problem with holding hands is simple: How do you make the sign of the Cross?

I agree with Puzzleannie that it is more a cultural issue than a liturgical matter.

When I was a child the sisters taught us to keep our hands folded (fingers pointing up was considered "holier" than interlaced) when we were not holding a prayer book or making some other appropriate gesture (like making the sign of the cross). But I suspect that folded hands were as much a way to keep children (and adults) from poking neighbors, fiddling with items in our pockets, scratching itches, and any number of other things that people do when asked to sit/stand/kneel quietly.

In a cultural context where people don't do much public touching, even within families, then hand-holding during Mass could seem kind of scandalous and I would think visitors to such places should be respectful of that. But in most places *I *visit hand-holding can be very natural for family members and close friends. And so long as one is not supposed to be doing something else and is not interfering with others I don't see any problem.

While it is true that our relationship with God in the Mass is primarily vertical, it is not true that we exclude the horizontal.

:yup:

[quote="Cat, post:10, topic:178290"]
Or old and smart.

30 + years married, ...........And yes, we hold hands while ............

[/quote]

That's the way to do it :yup: and more power to you :tiphat:

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