Sign of Peace


#1

This had been something that, for lack of better words, always made me grumpy in a "I do not want to shake your hand, I just want to focus on the miracle that just took place" kind of way.

I have resolved myself, however, to be more charitable to the other aspect of the Body of Christ present, the people worshiping with me.

I do not want to attempt to impart some sort of blessing upon another person as that is reserved for those with the Holy Orders.

Is there a standardized this to say, or say in response during the Sign of Peace?


#2

In our parish, the majority shake hands and quietly say peace be with you. If someone is alone a few pews back we make eye contact nod or just raise a hand (not in blessing but to say I'm talking to you) and quietly say peace be with you. Married people sometimes kiss each other on the cheek. There was the odd occasion when a few people thought it was an interval, but we managed to get it back to being part of the mass.

As we are British, anyone trying to get up close and personal is viewed with suspicion.


#3

[quote="Sliw, post:1, topic:348573"]
This had been something that, for lack of better words, always made me grumpy in a "I do not want to shake your hand, I just want to focus on the miracle that just took place" kind of way.

I have resolved myself, however, to be more charitable to the other aspect of the Body of Christ present, the people worshiping with me.

I do not want to attempt to impart some sort of blessing upon another person as that is reserved for those with the Holy Orders.

Is there a standardized this to say, or say in response during the Sign of Peace?

[/quote]

It is part of the rite of the mass. It is to remind us that each of us is part of the one body of Christ and at that moment we are a single community of believers.
Attending mass is not a private worship, it is one of community and the entire community is participating in the miracle that just took place.
The GIRM puts it this way

Rite of Peace:  e rite “by which the
Church entreats peace and unity for
herself and for the whole human family,
and the faithful express to each other
their ecclesial communion and mutual
charity before communicating in the
Sacrament” (GIRM, no. 82).

As we are sharing the peace of Christ just say "peace be with you."

The action is also scriptural

“Peace be with you” (Jn 20:19). See also Lk 24:36; Jn 14:27; 16:33; 20:21, 26. “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Rom 16:16). See also 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 5:26; 1 Pt 5:14.

Deacon Frank


#4

As we are British, anyone trying to get up close and personal is viewed with suspicion.

LOL. I hear that! When in Ireland to meet my husband's father, I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and I could see that the parishioners were horrified. I'm sure they thought I was some crazy American tourist. ;)


#5

:rotfl:

[quote="pianistclare, post:4, topic:348573"]
As we are British, anyone trying to get up close and personal is viewed with suspicion.

[/quote]

LOL. I hear that! When in Ireland to meet my husband's father, I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and I could see that the parishioners were horrified. I'm sure they thought I was some crazy American tourist. ;)

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:


#6

Is there a standardized this to say, or say in response during the Sign of Peace?

Postures and Gestures at Mass -USCCB

The Our Father is followed by the Exchange of Peace, the gesture which we express through a prayerful greeting of peace, that we are at peace, not enmity, with others. This exchange is symbolic. The persons near me with whom I share the peace signify for me, as I do for them, the broader community of the Church and all humankind.

From Catholic Answers: Peace Be With You


#7

At the start of Mass, one priest would ask everyone to say hello to the person sitting next to them and introduce yourself. Then we would also have the sign of peace during the Mass. I liked doing that because it broke the ice. knowing who you were sharing the pew with.


#8

Pope Benedict XVI had a very solid opinion in his exhortation [Sacrament of Charity]Sacramentum Caritatis:

  1. By its nature the Eucharist is the sacrament of peace. At Mass this dimension of the eucharistic mystery finds specific expression in the sign of peace. Certainly this sign has great value (cf. Jn 14:27). In our times, fraught with fear and conflict, this gesture has become particularly eloquent, as the Church has become increasingly conscious of her responsibility to pray insistently for the gift of peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family. Certainly there is an irrepressible desire for peace present in every heart. The Church gives voice to the hope for peace and reconciliation rising up from every man and woman of good will, directing it towards the one who "is our peace" (Eph 2:14) and who can bring peace to individuals and peoples when all human efforts fail. We can thus understand the emotion so often felt during the sign of peace at a liturgical celebration. Even so, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion. It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one's immediate neighbours (150).

His Holiness also had a interesting idea when he wrote in the footnote for this section (footnote 150):

Taking into account ancient and venerable customs and the wishes expressed by the Synod Fathers, I have asked the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place, such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar. To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord's insistence that we be reconciled with others before offering our gifts to God (cf. Mt 5:23 ff.); cf. Propositio 23.

I think this suggestion could ease some peoples' complaints about the Sign of Peace disturbing their sense of prayer during the Canon.


#9

[quote="Avila123, post:2, topic:348573"]

As we are British, anyone trying to get up close and personal is viewed with suspicion.

[/quote]

So that explains why the English Channel exists :p

I'm half-French, half-English. Half my family were hand-shakers, the other half kissers-on-two-cheeks.

For that aspect of my life I identify more with my English half. The only persons I like to kiss or be kissed by, are my wife and my girlfriend. Fortunately, even after 25 years of marriage, I am happy to report that my wife and my girlfriend happen to be the same person :D


#10

I'll normally just smile at a person and say "Peace be with you" but be happy to shake their hand if they offer theirs to me. Sometimes parishioners will even be a few rows ahead and reach out for a handshake. Then I'll scan across left, right and behind me for anyone who might be sitting on their own, perhaps forgotten up the very back, to give them a nod and a smile.

A few weeks ago these two guys were sitting behind me, and during the sign of peace one guy said back to me "and with your spirit". Normally we say this in response to the priest, has anyone else encountered this being said back to them?


#11

Yes, I have had some say it to me in response and I have said it to others. Goes way back to when we responded, "And also with you."


#12

[quote="acadiANNA, post:11, topic:348573"]
Yes, I have had some say it to me in response and I have said it to others. Goes way back to when we responded, "And also with you."

[/quote]

:doh2: doh, of course... that makes sense now. :D It took me ages to remember to say "and with your spirit" to the priest and now that you mention it, I do remember people responding "and also with you" to one another during the sign of peace. That was just the first time ever someone said it this way to me :)


#13

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