The Mid-Mass Social

Well, for 8 months now, I’ve been spoiled by the reverent and reserved atmosphere at Assumption Grotto in Detroit. While I was at Midnight Mass there, I had taken my mother to 4:30 Christmas vigil Mass right near the condo where it is easier for her since she is frail.

At Grotto, our priests do not invite us to extend a sign of peace, rather he extends it to us, we return it, then he continues on in the Eucharistic Prayer. I grew affectionately attached to this and did not miss the sign of peace at all. We socialize more extensively outside of Mass than I’ve ever experienced in any other parish, so there is no loss on our part, to not extend a hand during the Mass.

Well, at this other parish, which was my childhood parish - one I’ve attended for most of my 43 year life, I couldn’t believe the sheer chaos that took place. It had not changed, rather it was me, who took up a different environment, then came home only to be shocked by the practice, as if seeing it for the first time.

When the priest invited us to extend a sign of peace, as always, I receive the hand of anyone immediately near me. I figure that since the priest asked us to share it, it would not be charitable if I avoided or ignored an extended hand. That was all fine, but it is what happened next. This whole process should have taken no more than 15-30 seconds, but it lasted for at least 5 minutes. As the celebrant did something on the altar to facilitate the many vessels to be used for the large crowd, it turned into the biggest mid-mass social I ever witnessed. You could hear conversations taking place all around the church, and laughter, and many of the things I heard being exchanged around me, had nothing to do with the Mass. People were joking with each other and talking about what happened yesterday or about others - all the while our Lord lay on the altar. It was so very offensive.

I’ve been tempted to send my former pastor a gentle letter, but one that lets him know how it made me feel to stand there amidst the mid-mass social while Jesus lay on the altar. He is a good and fine priest and maybe he has grown immune to the chatter, I don’t know. But it just put the nail in the coffin for me that this whole thing - the sign of peace - needs to be reigned in somehow.

I don’t want to see this thread end up in another quarrel over removing the sign of peace or moving it, etc.

I write this thread wanting to know if anyone else notices this, or to ask others to tune in more and see if they notice it happening their parish.

[quote=Lux_et_veritas]This whole process should have taken no more than 15-30 seconds, but it lasted for at least 5 minutes. As the celebrant did something on the altar to facilitate the many vessels to be used for the large crowd, it turned into the biggest mid-mass social I ever witnessed. You could hear conversations taking place all around the church, and laughter, and many of the things I heard being exchanged around me, had nothing to do with the Mass. People were joking with each other and talking about what happened yesterday or about others - all the while our Lord lay on the altar. It was so very offensive.

But it just put the nail in the coffin for me that this whole thing - the sign of peace - needs to be reigned in somehow.

I don’t want to see this thread end up in another quarrel over removing the sign of peace or moving it, etc.
[/quote]

The something that the celebrant did to facilitate the many vessels to be used for the large crowd is called the Fraction of the Species. Herein lies the solution to the problem.

The General Instruction is clear that the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is to commence at the Fraction of the Species. If the Choir was to lead the congregation in singing the Agnus Dei, then they should have begun at the Fraction. The “social hour” formerly known as the Sign of Peace should have come to an end due to the singing of the Agnus Dei. If the Choir wasn’t going to lead the singing and the Agnus Dei was to be spoken, then when the celebrant began the Fraction he should have spoken aloud, “Lamb of God…” (or “Agnus Dei…” if he was going to have it prayed in Latin) and the congregation should have joined him in praying the Agnus Dei. Again, the “social hour” should have ended with the start of the Agnus Dei.

Someone at this parish just didn’t start the Agnus Dei according to the rubrics.

Dear Diane,

I realize from the tone of your OP that you are very much against the sign of peace, and I’m not here to change your mind. What does bother me just a little, though, is the wording you used, *"*to stand there amidst the mid-mass social while Jesus lay on the altar."

I trust that we all respect and reverence the holiness of the altar and the presence of Jesus in the holy Eucharist. You may not have remembered that people come to this mass for Christmas who have not been there all year … you know, the Christmas and Easter crowd.

We need to be thankful that they came, and overlook the lack of piety that some of these people demonstrate due to such infrequent attendance and subsequent lack of instruction and knowledge. Our Lord may very well use this opportunity to touch their hearts so they may have a true conversion of heart. I know this can happen, because that is precisely where I received my conversion after many years away from God - on a chance visit to Mass!

While piety is a most excellent virtue, I would not want to see us develop scruples in the presence of the Lord Jesus to the point of being afraid to move or utter a sound. I think of His gracious reception of little children in the gospels, inviting them to sit on His lap, with loving open arms. Most probably, they were exhuberant, as youngsters can be - and the apostles were the very ones who had scruples because of understanding His holiness, and wanted these children to keep their distance.

I have also reflected on the first people who were invited to adore Him - the shepherds, whom the religious of that day would never suspect as being invited by an angelic revelation. When we consider their commonality, it gives us insight into the wonderful love of God who wants all men, even the noisy din, to “come, let us adore Him.”

In many ways, these unlearned folk are children in the faith, and were exhuberant about the holy day and being among the faithful. I believe their joy spilled over into forgetful conversation, which Jesus “laying on the altar” no doubt overlooked. You may want to reconsider in this new light?

Best wishes for a joyful Christmas Octave,
Carole

[quote=MusicMan]The something that the celebrant did to facilitate the many vessels to be used for the large crowd is called the Fraction of the Species. Herein lies the solution to the problem.

The General Instruction is clear that the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is to commence at the Fraction of the Species. If the Choir was to lead the congregation in singing the Agnus Dei, then they should have begun at the Fraction. The “social hour” formerly known as the Sign of Peace should have come to an end due to the singing of the Agnus Dei. If the Choir wasn’t going to lead the singing and the Agnus Dei was to be spoken, then when the celebrant began the Fraction he should have spoken aloud, “Lamb of God…” (or “Agnus Dei…” if he was going to have it prayed in Latin) and the congregation should have joined him in praying the Agnus Dei. Again, the “social hour” should have ended with the start of the Agnus Dei.

Someone at this parish just didn’t start the Agnus Dei according to the rubrics.
[/quote]

This is a fantastic explanation!! The reciting of the Agnus Dei at the appropriate time is definitely the difference in many parishes with regards to how long the Sign of Peace goes on. I don’t think Sign of Peace has to be eliminated completely, just done properly as MusicMan as just stated here.

[quote=MusicMan]The something that the celebrant did to facilitate the many vessels to be used for the large crowd is called the Fraction of the Species. Herein lies the solution to the problem.

The General Instruction is clear that the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is to commence at the Fraction of the Species. If the Choir was to lead the congregation in singing the Agnus Dei, then they should have begun at the Fraction. The “social hour” formerly known as the Sign of Peace should have come to an end due to the singing of the Agnus Dei. If the Choir wasn’t going to lead the singing and the Agnus Dei was to be spoken, then when the celebrant began the Fraction he should have spoken aloud, “Lamb of God…” (or “Agnus Dei…” if he was going to have it prayed in Latin) and the congregation should have joined him in praying the Agnus Dei. Again, the “social hour” should have ended with the start of the Agnus Dei.

Someone at this parish just didn’t start the Agnus Dei according to the rubrics.
[/quote]

I don’t know if that was the case because it seemed to be an extraordinary long time and the priest did not remain at the altar during that time. Rather, he went in back to get something, bu I don’t know if it was in the sacristy or behind a screen-like feature. What he carried back were more vessels for Holy Communion. Maybe the crowd was bigger than he expected or someone forgot to put them out. This is when the laughter and conversations were taking place. When he returned, the Angus Dei began and the chatter continued well into the song, if not all the way through the end of it. It was not concelebrated, nor were there any deacons or anyone to get these things. As I said, he may have just gone to the rear of the sanctuary, not necessarily left the Church.

Then it was probably just a glitch caused by the priest having to leave the altar to get more sacred vessels.

If we would just find a way to solve the deacon shortage, then things like this wouldn’t happen… :cool:

Be at peace Diane… just a Holiday glitch. Nothing illict to see here.

[quote=Joysong]Dear Diane,

I realize from the tone of your OP that you are very much against the sign of peace, and I’m not here to change your mind. What does bother me just a little, though, is the wording you used, *"*to stand there amidst the mid-mass social while Jesus lay on the altar."

I trust that we all respect and reverence the holiness of the altar and the presence of Jesus in the holy Eucharist. …
[/quote]

Hi Carole,

I understand what you are saying and it goes back to “charity in all things”

However, why should I assume that all of those holding conversations were outsiders? These people knew to kneel at just the right times, even in light of the change made within the last few years here in the US (from after the Sanctus to the great Amen). They know this, but do not know that it is the Body of Christ that lay on the altar while they talked about the neighbor, last nights dinner or date, and everything in bewteen? My own family attempted to converse with me during this time, at which time I kindly reminded them that the Body of Christ lay on the altar and it is not a good time to be talking about upcoming family dinner.

It comes back to the fact that the Mass is God’s hour, not a time for socializing. That can be done outside of the Mass. And, truly, it is a pastoral issue.

In my parish, when there is a high liklihood of outsiders come in, the lector or a priest reminds people just prior to Holy Mass of all of the things that EWTN does before it’s televised Mass. In addition to reminding the crowd about the Catholic teaching on worthy reception of Holy Communion, and the need for people to abstain until sacramental confession if they are in the state of sin, the people are reminded to observe sacred silence out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament.

However, in all too many parishes, including the one I was raised in, those are words you almost never hear. Confession, worthy reception of Communion, Silence out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, Sin, etc.

While I see it as an act of charity to not judge people or look harshly upon them, I also see it as an act of charity for a pastor to kindly and compassionately correct the flock and instruct them on the need to observe silence in the Church, to give God the hour that belongs to Him, and to not approach Holy Communion unless one is worthy.

We have a mid-mass social because of too much misguided and misplaced charity on the part of pastors who are suppose to be teachers.

For the sign of peace to remain where it is, will take even more vigilance on the part of pastors to reign in the free-for-all.

Also, I don’t think I’ll perceive much difference bewteen the Christmas Even Mass and that of any other Saturday or Sunday Mass there. It has been that way all along and will remain that way for some time - until someone teaches the people how to properly behave during and after the consecration.

I relish when I hear my own pastor tell the very orthodox, reverent congregation to which I now belong, that they need to be still during consecration and until after communion is done. He reminds us of this at least 2-3 times yearly. This means, in parishes where there is a free-for-all, maybe the reminders need to be coming 2-3 times as much.

We (the choir) starts singing the Agnus Dei and it never gets out of hand.

I’ve visited in parishes where it does get out of hand, however. In my former diocese, I visited at a parish where the priest, in his best “hale fellow well met” tone of voice, said,“Let us greet each other with a sign of peace…and ask the Jones about that new baby!”

I think it should be more reverent and restrained AND I think it should be shifted to just after the Confietor.

[quote=MusicMan]Then it was probably just a glitch caused by the priest having to leave the altar to get more sacred vessels.

If we would just find a way to solve the deacon shortage, then things like this wouldn’t happen… :cool:

Be at peace Diane… just a Holiday glitch. Nothing illict to see here.
[/quote]

Never thought it was illicit, just a sad reminder of how the large body of Catholics present at Mass do not comprehend the Real Presence. This is an ignorance issue and one that requires instruction.

I see such sad events as opportunities for pastors to gently and kindly remind people of the need to observe sacred silence.

I’ve seen it done occasionally and I’ve seen the reaction on people. Most respond very appropriately with such a reminder. In my mind, it is uncharitable to allow such behavior to continue.

I know you didn’t get to read my post to Carole, but I do not believe it to be isolated to the holiday Mass. I’m pretty sure that if I were to go back in a week or two, the same thing would happen. My recollection was that the chatter in the church always continued well in the Angus Dei. However, as I pointed out in my OP, it is I who changed and now I’m seeing this whole thing anew after being away in another parish for 8 months.

I would like to just make clear that it is not the sign of peace itself that caused me heartache. Nor was it the delay caused by something unforseen, and not visible to me since I was further back. It was the chatter that took place during this delay. It began immediately with the sign of peace and went well into the Angus Dei.

If people simply turn, as has been explained by Cardinal Arinze, to those on either side (and my interpretation generously includes those in front or in back), and simple made a gesture of peace, all of this noise would not be taking place. It was enough to wake the dead, for pity sake.

If people truly understand the Real Presence, then these kinds of things would not be happening. Is it the fault of the individuals involved? Well, maybe they could put an effort in to learn more about their faith, even if they attend weekly. Or, maybe the priests could talk more about it. We just went through the “Year of the Eucharist” and we still don’t know enough to not talk about the evening dinner roast and vegetables during the Eucharistic Prayer?

If that is the case, then even more vigours instruction from the pulpit needs to be taking place.

[quote=Joysong]Dear Diane,

I realize from the tone of your OP that you are very much against the sign of peace, and I’m not here to change your mind. What does bother me just a little, though, is the wording you used, *"*to stand there amidst the mid-mass social while Jesus lay on the altar."

I trust that we all respect and reverence the holiness of the altar and the presence of Jesus in the holy Eucharist. You may not have remembered that people come to this mass for Christmas who have not been there all year … you know, the Christmas and Easter crowd.

We need to be thankful that they came, and overlook the lack of piety that some of these people demonstrate due to such infrequent attendance and subsequent lack of instruction and knowledge. Our Lord may very well use this opportunity to touch their hearts so they may have a true conversion of heart. I know this can happen, because that is precisely where I received my conversion after many years away from God - on a chance visit to Mass!

While piety is a most excellent virtue, I would not want to see us develop scruples in the presence of the Lord Jesus to the point of being afraid to move or utter a sound. I think of His gracious reception of little children in the gospels, inviting them to sit on His lap, with loving open arms. Most probably, they were exhuberant, as youngsters can be - and the apostles were the very ones who had scruples because of understanding His holiness, and wanted these children to keep their distance.

I have also reflected on the first people who were invited to adore Him - the shepherds, whom the religious of that day would never suspect as being invited by an angelic revelation. When we consider their commonality, it gives us insight into the wonderful love of God who wants all men, even the noisy din, to “come, let us adore Him.”

In many ways, these unlearned folk are children in the faith, and were exhuberant about the holy day and being among the faithful. I believe their joy spilled over into forgetful conversation, which Jesus “laying on the altar” no doubt overlooked. You may want to reconsider in this new light?

Best wishes for a joyful Christmas Octave,
Carole
[/quote]

This is a very charitable and noble post. If people are unable to come to Mass except for Christmas and Easter, due to exigent circumstances of course :hmmm: , how could we expect them to know how to act or even what to believe? After all, who needs to conform to rules and norms anymore when the whole reason for the Churchs existance is to make us feel good about ourselves and love one another? And more than that, in the spirit of Ecumenical relations, we must always be careful not to offend anyone elses’ sensibilities, especially when they might not believe in what the Church teaches. You know little inconsequential things like the Immaculate Conception and the Real Presence for example. Observing troublesome things like rubrics and norms, and being respectful during Mass might create confusion and bad feelings and that must be avoided at all costs. Again, it is our feelings and those of others that matter most of all.

Of course there are still a few reactionaries and Pharisees around who believe that you go to Mass to praise, honor, worship and adore God, not each other, and that the rules are there for a reason… But since it appears that we are in the distinct minority our opinions really don’t matter too much. So I say

Party on Dudes. :thumbsup:

Diane… I think you’re spoiled by the good, reverent, orthodox church you normally worship at. :smiley: I’ve been there… it’s kind of nice. :thumbsup:

There is a solution to this church’s plight in the rubrics. They’ve wormed their way around the solution. I have no further guidance for the laity.

The best thing the priest could do is to address it pastorally, and then temporarily suspend the singing of the Agnus Dei. At the Fraction, in a clear, commanding, properly amplified voice, he should speak, “LAMB OF GOD…” and the expect the people to join him. He should also allow only a small amount of time for the Sign of Peace to prevent the social hour from blossoming. If the priest is comfortable with the current practice, however, there isn’t much that can be done… and from my knowledge of the man, Cardinal Maida isn’t really one to drop the proverbial hammer on this type of abuse.

I encourage you to enjoy your parish. Relish the orthodoxy, and don’t take it for granted. The Lord has a nasty habit of punishing those who take their wonderful parishes for granted by somehow sending them to not-so-wonderful parishes.

[quote=Lux_et_veritas]I would like to just make clear that it is not the sign of peace itself that caused me heartache. Nor was it the delay caused by something unforseen, and not visible to me since I was further back. It was the chatter that took place during this delay. It began immediately with the sign of peace and went well into the Angus Dei.

If people simply turn, as has been explained by Cardinal Arinze, to those on either side (and my interpretation generously includes those in front or in back), and simple made a gesture of peace, all of this noise would not be taking place. It was enough to wake the dead, for pity sake.

If people truly understand the Real Presence, then these kinds of things would not be happening. Is it the fault of the individuals involved? Well, maybe they could put an effort in to learn more about their faith, even if they attend weekly. Or, maybe the priests could talk more about it. We just went through the “Year of the Eucharist” and we still don’t know enough to not talk about the evening dinner roast and vegetables during the Eucharistic Prayer?

If that is the case, then even more vigours instruction from the pulpit needs to be taking place.
[/quote]

Unfortunately, as we all know, more vigorous instruction will not be coming from the pulpit. I talked to a priest about my frustrations with this type of behavior at Mass. He told me that the best thing I could do is to be an example of charity and reverence at Mass. Perhaps only one person would see my family acting this way, and then his/her heart might be changed. I’m not talking about “acting” pious and trying to get others to notice. I’m talking about truly being reverent at Mass and teaching my kids the same. If entering a new Catholic church, take time to show them where the Tabernacle is. Instruct kids to genuflect in the direction of the Tabernacle. Teach the kids, even as young as 1 or 2 to fold their hands and bow their heads when going up to Communion. I have been told by so many people that my kids are so “prayerful” at Mass. It is evident that these same people then try to teach their own children to be “prayerful”.
I was also horrified by some things I saw at Christmas Eve Mass (some teen with an iPod attached to his ear DURING MASS!!, some teen girls walking in with cleavage busting out of their tight tops, people talking/laughing loudly before Mass–ahhhhhh!!!). I just closed my eyes and tried to meditate/pray more deeply. I used to become so angry, so upset by others’ behavior at Mass that I would feel unworthy to receive Jesus at Communion. Now, I just feel sorry for them, and pray for them. I have taken up the habit of offering the Mass for their hearts to be softened toward God’s will.
I’m not trying to criticize your feelings, Diane. I truly hope you don’t take it that way. I understand your frustrations. It’s something that won’t change any time soon, but there’s some rays of hope out there!!! As you know from attending Assumption Grotto.

[quote=MusicMan]Diane… I think you’re spoiled by the good, reverent, orthodox church you normally worship at. :smiley: I’ve been there… it’s kind of nice. :thumbsup:

There is a solution to this church’s plight in the rubrics. They’ve wormed their way around the solution. I have no further guidance for the laity.

The best thing the priest could do is to address it pastorally, and then temporarily suspend the singing of the Agnus Dei. At the Fraction, in a clear, commanding, properly amplified voice, he should speak, “LAMB OF GOD…” and the expect the people to join him. He should also allow only a small amount of time for the Sign of Peace to prevent the social hour from blossoming. If the priest is comfortable with the current practice, however, there isn’t much that can be done… and from my knowledge of the man, Cardinal Maida isn’t really one to drop the proverbial hammer on this type of abuse.

I encourage you to enjoy your parish. Relish the orthodoxy, and don’t take it for granted. The Lord has a nasty habit of punishing those who take their wonderful parishes for granted by somehow sending them to not-so-wonderful parishes.
[/quote]

Glad to see you have been able to experience what I hope to be a glimpse into the future of liturgy in most parishes. What I experience should not be the exception; it should be the norm. And, I’m not referring to the Latin liturgy or the ad orientem stance, nor am I referring to the fact that the sign of peace is not extended between laity in my parish. Rather, I am referring the fact that the people in this parish “get it” en masse, including the children. Why do the get it? Because they are taught by the priests, and because they get serious catechesis in this parish, not some watered down mumbo-jumbo devoid of all things that distinguish us from the Protestant faith. The youngest of children in this parish understand the need to be silent in Church.

Why can’t the adults of other parishes respect that? I still think it comes down to total ignorance about the Real Presence. Whose job is it to convey that teaching? And, if it didn’t get done in the classroom then what is preventing it from getting done from the pulpit?

[quote=Giannawannabe]Unfortunately, as we all know, more vigorous instruction will not be coming from the pulpit. I talked to a priest about my frustrations with this type of behavior at Mass. He told me that the best thing I could do is to be an example of charity and reverence at Mass. Perhaps only one person would see my family acting this way, and then his/her heart might be changed. I’m not talking about “acting” pious and trying to get others to notice. I’m talking about truly being reverent at Mass and teaching my kids the same. If entering a new Catholic church, take time to show them where the Tabernacle is. Instruct kids to genuflect in the direction of the Tabernacle. Teach the kids, even as young as 1 or 2 to fold their hands and bow their heads when going up to Communion. I have been told by so many people that my kids are so “prayerful” at Mass. It is evident that these same people then try to teach their own children to be “prayerful”.
I was also horrified by some things I saw at Christmas Eve Mass (some teen with an iPod attached to his ear DURING MASS!!, some teen girls walking in with cleavage busting out of their tight tops, people talking/laughing loudly before Mass–ahhhhhh!!!). I just closed my eyes and tried to meditate/pray more deeply. I used to become so angry, so upset by others’ behavior at Mass that I would feel unworthy to receive Jesus at Communion. Now, I just feel sorry for them, and pray for them. I have taken up the habit of offering the Mass for their hearts to be softened toward God’s will.
I’m not trying to criticize your feelings, Diane. I truly hope you don’t take it that way. I understand your frustrations. It’s something that won’t change any time soon, but there’s some rays of hope out there!!! As you know from attending Assumption Grotto.
[/quote]

I’m not offended :slight_smile:

I can see your point about leading by example. However, I also feel that it is misplaced charity for a priest, pastor or celebrant to not address these issues from the pulpit. It is far more charitable that when the priest himself uses it as a teaching opporutnity when he takes notice of ipods in the pews (or hears about it from disturbed parishioners), and hears people talking when there should be silence. Whose job is it to teach the people how to behave properly, if not the priest? Is he expecting the people in the pew to do all the teaching by their reverence and charity? The problem is that too many priests are absolving themselves of any responsibility in rectifying these situations. If I hadn’t seen it done by other priests, I could understand, but even outside of Grotto I have seen a priest stop Mass and gently make corrections when abuses were taking place.

When a parent doesn’t have enough sense to bar the ipod from Holy Mass, and priests don’t want to address the issue so the parents can learn that this is not acceptible, then why would the boy ever stop?

Quite frankly, I think the parish bulletin and the few minutes preceding Mass are a great time for someone to point out several things we should all know:

To observe silence while in the Church out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, and those wishing to pray.

To silence cell phones and pagers, and to leave the ipods, gameboys, PS/2’s home where they belong

To seek sacramentel confession before approaching Holy Communion if in the state of sin.

I suppose Jesus Christ himself will need to come down and do the job our pastors don’t care to do. I don’t say this without Charity, rather I say it in all charity. Not all criticisms are uncharitable. Priests need to tell us the very things we do not want to hear. How hard can it be to tell people to observe silence before, after and during Mass?

Well, I guess I’m not alone in the chatter I hear at Mass. Here is the beginnings of an article written in New Oxford Review that sums up some experiences I had been having prior to changing my parish to one that is more reserved.

Unless you subscribe to NOR, you won’t be able to read the full article, but you get the gist of it.

newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=1205-wagner

Perhaps it was because of the extra crowding at Christmas masses?

[quote=Pius X]Perhaps it was because of the extra crowding at Christmas masses?
[/quote]

Do you mean the chatter that is heard on any day during the sign of peace?

Certainly there were more people and the chatter that is always there was a tad bit louder.

I can tell you that the building is normally 1/3 fewer people than it was at this Mass. There were far more than 1/3 of the people talking about the roast, the gifts, uncle Joe’s warts, etc. That says nothing of all the laughter and joking.

Being the germ freak that I am I should be the last to support the hand shake of peace at any rate.

A few year back there was an uproar from a group of unhappy hand shakers in my diocese. There were letters to the editor written back and forth in the diocesan paper.

All the repoire about negative feelings got me thinking that the handshake is a beautiful gift to offer each other during Mass. When you think about it you realize that Jesus came in flesh and blood and gave his flesh and blood. We receive His Body and Blood in Holy Communion.

It is our very own blood warmed hands we offer our neighbors at church…kind of like Jesus. It is authentic…a warm fleshy hand and a greeting of peace…it doesn’t hurt to smile and have eye contact too. Some parishes get a bit carried away with the process but that is entirely up to the celebrating priest to control…and he can.

Anyway I am sorry you usually miss out on the handshake of peace.

I am sort of a wandering Catholic and I have attended Mass in a lot of different places. My home parish is fine when it comes to the Sign of Peace. A nice handshake and hello to your neighbor. There is a parish, where I sometimes go to Mass because of travel, that is just crazy when it comes to the Sign of Peace. People and children running every which way with the Priest going around the entire church shaking hands. There is no way you can concentrate or show reverence to the Body of Christ after that.

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