The orans posture during Mass


#1

The hand holding ive witnessed during Mass has gradually morphed into the orans posture. Am wondering if others are noticing this trend in your congregations. This posture seems to be standard during the Our Father prayer as well as during the introductory Eucharistic prayers. No where in the GIRM is this posture sanctioned for use by the congregation.


#2

[quote="blaskoman, post:1, topic:320219"]
The hand holding ive witnessed during Mass has gradually morphed into the orans posture. Am wondering if others are noticing this trend in your congregations. This posture seems to be standard during the Our Father prayer as well as during the introductory Eucharistic prayers. No where in the GIRM is this posture sanctioned for use by the congregation.

[/quote]

I understand your disrelish for it in the congregation. The gesture belongs exclusively to the priest alone. There's a few in my parish who will engage in the Orans Posture when the Our Father is recited. The best way to discourage this is simply not to participate when someone in the congregation gestures you to join in.

This Orans Posture amongst the laity began in Catholic prayer groups in the Cursillo and Charismatic movements in the early 1970's through the 80's until present.

In Fraternal Peace
Chris


#3

[quote="blaskoman, post:1, topic:320219"]
No where in the GIRM is this posture sanctioned for use by the congregation.

[/quote]

Nor is it forbidden.

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/posture/orans-or-open-hand-prayer-posture.cfm

No position is prescribed in the present Sacramentary for an assembly gesture during the Lord’s Prayer.


#4

[quote="centurionguard, post:2, topic:320219"]
The gesture belongs exclusively to the priest alone.

[/quote]

Source?


#5

canonlaw.info/liturgysacraments_orans.htm


#6

[quote="centurionguard, post:5, topic:320219"]
canonlaw.info/liturgysacraments_orans.htm

[/quote]

Someone's opinion? Really? :shrug:

Today, of course, the priest is not praying the Our Father for the people the way he does during several others prayers in Mass, and in which prayers the people participate by silent interiorization concluded by a vocal “Amen”; rather, today the priest and people pray the Our Father together in Mass.

If the above analysis is correct and the orans position in Mass has come to symbolize priestly prayer on behalf of the congregation instead of prayer with it, then the rubrics should no longer call for the priest to extend his hands during the Our Father as if he is praying on behalf of the congregation. He should instead be directed to join his hands as he does for all other prayers said with the congregation.

While I agree with his analysis, I don't think It would be appropriate to use him as a Church authority.


#7

That link is pretty poor. It doesn’t actually answer the question.

My understanding is that this is actually forbidden under canon law.

The link above says that no position is prescribed as an assemble gesture.

The Orans position IS specified for the priest.

Canon Law has this to say

Can. 907 In the celebration of the Eucharist, deacons and lay persons are not permitted to say the prayers, especially the eucharistic prayer, nor to perform the actions which are proper to the celebrating priest.

This is simply my own personal opinion


#8

the Orans position is law in the Maronite Church for the laity (in the rubrics) but it's not meant to be used by the laity in the Latin Rite

There must be a separation between ordained and unordained.


#9

[quote="JM3, post:6, topic:320219"]
Someone's opinion? Really? :shrug:

While I agree with his analysis, I don't think It would be appropriate to use him as a Church authority.

[/quote]

He's not speaking on his own behalf. His knowledge is in reference to Canon Law.

You may find reading the following thread in its entirety of interest.
*Revised GIRM & Orans Posture *
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=617451&page=5


#10

Why do we need documented proof and iron clad sourcing to dictate something so obvious? There is nothing FORBIDDING me from dancing back to the pew after communion either...after all, I could say "but, it's REVERENT dancing!"

The whole 'orans' thing from the laity started as and continues to be a purely human introduction of something into the Mass. It should stand to reason that things the laity introduce into the Mass are not appropriate without the need for some sealed document from Rome stating it.


#11

[quote="Armor_of_Light, post:10, topic:320219"]
Why do we need documented proof and iron clad sourcing to dictate something so obvious? There is nothing FORBIDDING me from dancing back to the pew after communion either...after all, I could say "but, it's REVERENT dancing!"

[/quote]

And who's to stop you, if you truly feel that way? I've been known to do a little jig in the pews myself - certain of our Byzantine chants are very conducive to at least some rhythmic swaying! :D

Re: the Orans; there's a couple of people in our parish who do this. As long as they don't try to make anyone else do it (and they don't), I'm at a loss to figure out why it should be any of my business.


#12

[quote="theistgal, post:11, topic:320219"]
And who's to stop you, if you truly feel that way? I've been known to do a little jig in the pews myself - certain of our Byzantine chants are very conducive to at least some rhythmic swaying! :D

Re: the Orans; there's a couple of people in our parish who do this. As long as they don't try to make anyone else do it (and they don't), I'm at a loss to figure out why it should be any of my business.

[/quote]

I have been known to rock back-n-forth during prayer as well.

My point speaks to more of an attitude reflected in a conga line..bum bum bum bum bum....BAH. Nothing forbidding it. Not appropriate.

We don't and shouldn't try to mimick gestures that the priest uses.


#13

[quote="Armor_of_Light, post:10, topic:320219"]
Why do we need documented proof and iron clad sourcing to dictate something so obvious? There is nothing FORBIDDING me from dancing back to the pew after communion either...after all, I could say "but, it's REVERENT dancing!"

The whole 'orans' thing from the laity started as and continues to be a purely human introduction of something into the Mass. It should stand to reason that things the laity introduce into the Mass are not appropriate without the need for some sealed document from Rome stating it.

[/quote]

So you think it inappropriate for people to cross themselves upon receiving Communion because it's a laity-introduced practice that's not prescribed anywhere?


#14

Ok, seriously, this amount of innovation is shocking within the context of a liturgy that has 20 centuries of tradition behind it. First the novelty of "let's all hold hands" - with which the Holy See was not pleased and called an inappropriate "sign," introduced out of personal initiative - and now the "let's look like priests" posture. Seriously?

I do not know where the "let's hold hands" posture came from, but we have a clue about the "lay orans": "this practice began with the charismatic renewal". The issue is that the Orans used to be traditionally reserved for the bishop and priest interceding on behalf of the congregation, acting as alter Christus as pastor of the flock, head of the body - even the deacon was not allowed to adopt this posture. Now there's this novelty of the lay faithful adopting it as well, and what does this cause: (1) liturgical disunity and (2) further blurring of the difference between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized.

Whatever happened with the traditional prayer posture? Hands together, extended (fingers not interleaved), right thumb on top of left thumb in the form of a cross, at approximately 45 degree angle from the top?

Sure, "no position is prescribed". So that means I can stand like this during the Our Father, right? :shrug:

Ultimately, there's quite a bit of extra-GIRM irregularities that need to be addressed, so this is probably the last item in the queue given that it is not half as bad as the absence of communion patens or the unnecessary presence of lay EMHCs. :shrug:


#15

[quote="johnmann, post:13, topic:320219"]
So you think it inappropriate for people to cross themselves upon receiving Communion because it's a laity-introduced practice that's not prescribed anywhere?

[/quote]

If the USCCB or Rome comes out and clearly forbids the practice of laity mimicking the priest by using the orans posture, would you comply? What if they said it was to be discouraged..Would you comply? Would you discourage others, or would you encourage others?

The sign of the cross is a private prayer at the point you suggest and private prayer after communion is exactly what yer s'posed to be doing.


#16

[quote="johnmann, post:13, topic:320219"]
So you think it inappropriate for people to cross themselves upon receiving Communion because it's a laity-introduced practice that's not prescribed anywhere?

[/quote]

The Signum Crucis is probably the most ancient Christian profession of faith there is. Yet, since (as far as I know) the sacred liturgy does not call and has never called for a sign of the cross after receiving Holy Communion, one should much rather avoid it in order not to introduce novelties.

The issue here is that we are not talking about a common sign that is proper for the lay faithful. We speak of a posture that is traditionally of the clergy now being adopted by the laity. That is no good.


#17

[quote="R_C, post:14, topic:320219"]
Ok, seriously, this amount of innovation is shocking within the context of a liturgy that has 20 centuries of tradition behind it. First the novelty of "let's all hold hands" - with which the Holy See was not pleased and called an inappropriate "sign," introduced out of personal initiative - and now the "let's look like priests" posture. Seriously?

I do not know where the "let's hold hands" posture came from, but we have a clue about the "lay orans": "this practice began with the charismatic renewal". The issue is that the Orans used to be traditionally reserved for the bishop and priest interceding on behalf of the congregation, acting as alter Christus as pastor of the flock, head of the body - even the deacon was not allowed to adopt this posture. Now there's this novelty of the lay faithful adopting it as well, and what does this cause: (1) liturgical disunity and (2) further blurring of the difference between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized.

Whatever happened with the traditional prayer posture? Hands together, extended (fingers not interleaved), right thumb on top of left thumb in the form of a cross, at approximately 45 degree angle from the top?

Sure, "no position is prescribed". So that means I can stand like this during the Our Father, right? :shrug:

Ultimately, there's quite a bit of extra-GIRM irregularities that need to be addressed, so this is probably the last item in the queue given that it is not half as bad as the absence of communion patens or the unnecessary presence of lay EMHCs. :shrug:

[/quote]

Amen brother. Well said.

You can stand like that if you also wear the rocking outfit. What color spandex are we using for Holy Week?


#18

Well, it’s Lent, so obviously…mauve! :o


#19

[quote="Spudbynight, post:7, topic:320219"]
That link is pretty poor. It doesn't actually answer the question.

[/quote]

A couple of thoughts: first, the link is from the USCCB, in its section on liturgy. As such, it implicitly carries some authority.

In addition, I think the fact that it "doesn't actually answer the question" should be our clue that it does, in fact, answer the question -- and that the answer is that there's no prescribed posture for the laity.

My understanding is that this is actually forbidden under canon law.

Canon Law has this to say

While I understand what you're trying to demonstrate, I'm not certain that I'd identify a 'posture' as an 'action'. 'Delivering a homily', 'inviting the faithful to pray', 'confecting the Eucharist' -- these are all actions; maintaining the orans position -- is that really an action, as c. 907 envisions it?


#20

We speak of a posture that is traditionally of the clergy now being adopted by the laity. That is no good.

One of these people is a layperson...
http://hopespace.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54fab57118833016768d5f36a970b-pi


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