I know this subject is old. It has been talked about many times but I would like to express a request to those who choose to hold hands during the Our Father to please not be upset or force others to hold hands who may not want to. Sometimes it is for health reasons. Sometimes for devotional reasons. Sometimes there are those who more susceptible to germs. Some people because of their own personality traits are uncomfortable holding strangers hands.
Last weekend at our parish there was an elderly woman next to a middle aged man. The middle aged man reached his hand out to the elderly woman, she hesitantly held his hand. The person on the other side of her did not reach out to hold hands. She let go after the Our Father before the doxology. She then began searching through her pocket for Kleenex to blow her nose when he began looking at her intensely, smiling a lot and in a light laughter, began wiping his hands in excess on his pants. It was plain to see he was insinuating to her that she was letting go because she did not want to hold his hand and thus needed to wipe off his germs. She did not look up at him during this time but continued to look for a Kleenex and then wiped her nose. His actions were very distracting to all in the pew behind and insulting to the elderly woman. Maybe she let go because she didn’t like holding hands. Maybe she had arthritis and it was painful or maybe she just needed to blow her nose.
I know there are those who choose to hold hands during the Our Father and I am pretty much neutral on the subject. I think all would agree it is not right to force someone to hold hands when they don’t want to or to bully or tease others when they don’t want to.