Sign of Peace

What do people say to eachother during the “sign of peace” at Mass? I went to a Mass for my first time a couple of weeks ago, and didn’t quite get what people were saying, all I knew is that most people seemed to shake eachother’s hands. I wasn’t able to say anything to the two that I came across, besides trying to smile.
Is it different for each parish?

“Peace be with you” is what’s commonly said, although I’ll just say “Peace”, or “Peace, Bill” if I’m speaking to my friend Bill.

It’s a direct quote from Jesus. :thumbsup:

Newbie2 is right, it’s “Peace be with you.” See Luke 24:36: “While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’”

Sometimes you’ll get “Peace” or even simply a smile and nod along with the handshake. The important thing to remember is that what we are sharing is “a sign of Christ’s peace,” and not merely our own goodwill.

“peace be with you”


“christ be with you”

It is not necessary to say anything during the sign of peace.
A smile is greatly appreciated. A husband and wife may say “I love you” as they hug one another. Mostly people simply say “Peace” with or without mentioning the other person’s name.
I am currently in the Persian Gulf. Here most do not shake hands. It is a mostly Asian community, specifically Indian. We bow to one another without saying a word. At the end of the sign of Peace, the altar boys step to the front of the altar and bow. The congregation returns the bow.

You say Christ’s Peace, and you may or may not shake or touch hands as you are comfortable. I find it very uncomfortable when people take this to great lengths reaching back through the pews and even stepping across the aisle. You frequently have people practically running back to their place with the Agnus Dei already underway. I find this part of the liturgy lacking in reverence. I wish my parish priest would instruct us on this, because it seems he used to wait until everyone was done, but that just allowed it to become greetings and hey how ya doing, not very reverent, so now he gives them about 10 seconds.

I nod. Maybe will throw half a smile their way. On rare occasions I will shake a hand or two. That really depends, the sign of peace seems out of place considering we are still in the Eucharistic celebration.

I so agree – it’s way out of hand – our diocese had a handout given us by our bishop even but people still do what they want. I don’t really like all the hugging and it’s very distracting – people use it like a “hi, how are you” kind of thing. I was hoping it would be moved from the Liturgy of the Eucharist to somewhere else in the Mass, but that hasn’t happened.

Thanks all for your replies.
I find it to be a bit distracting too and I noticed a couple of people moving a lot during it and a couple were into the “hey how are you” thing.

There was an earlier thread about changing the Sign of Peace to where it was in the Justinian Mass, just after the prayer of petition at the end of the Liturgy of the Word, just before the gifts are brought to the altar. This was the time during the early years of Christianity when catechumens were dismissed.
I agree with others that this would be a better place. It is so under consideration by the Vatican in order to maintain the solemnity of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The place in the Mass where the sign of peace is exchanged is a different topic than the one given by the OP.
“Pax Christi.”

The origin is from the Didache
100 AD

Chapter 14. Christian Assembly on the Lord’s Day. But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: “In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”

You shall be reconciled with those around you, supposedly with your family members. It was removed from the Mass when during the Renaissance people abused it making public kissing/hugging. It would be better at the beginning of the mass immediately before the rite of penance (Confiteor = I confess). The present practice breaks the dynamic of the Mass: gather, reconcile, learn, Offertory-Consecration-Communion, mission

I would agree that there are those who go a bit beyond as far as what the intention of the sign of Peace is meant to do, and I can see that as potentially problematic.

However, the Eucharist is a communal event in the setting of the mass; would you still see it “out of place” if everyone…behaved or restrained themselves…for lack of a better term?

Called the kiss of peace originally. Perhaps taken from St. Peter, 1Peter 5:14: “Salute one another with a holy kiss.”
I respond with “and also with you” if one says “peace”; if one said 'peace be with you." my response is “and with your spirit.”

Getting into the new lingo, eh? :smiley:

New lingo? Et cum spiritu tuo. Sounds pretty old to me.

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