The "Our Father": Holding Hands?

I think this has postive qualities as well as not so positive. The positive qualities concern the idea of togetherness of parish community; oneness in Christ; agreeing as one. The negative aspect concerns a more practical issue. There are many, including myself, who are immunosuppressed. It only takes one sneeze or cough into someones hands to spread bacteria and viruses. What does one do? I suppose I could be rude and just keep my hands folded, or I could wear some gloves, but that would seem to be a bit impersonal. I do plan on speaking with the Sister and/or Father about it.

[quote=Genesius]I think this has postive qualities as well as not so positive. The positive qualities concern the idea of togetherness of parish community; oneness in Christ; agreeing as one. The negative aspect concerns a more practical issue. There are many, including myself, who are immunosuppressed. It only takes one sneeze or cough into someones hands to spread bacteria and viruses. What does one do? I suppose I could be rude and just keep my hands folded, or I could wear some gloves, but that would seem to be a bit impersonal. I do plan on speaking with the Sister and/or Father about it.
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Absolutely NO ONE is going to tell you to Hold Hands for the Our Father. In some Diocese, it is discouraged and in some it is encouraged but no where is it an absolute. If you feel uncomfortable doing it, whether it’s a flu bug or an invasion of your personal space, don’t. Find a parish that doesn’t do it or sit in the back and fold your hands.
If you do not want to spread germs, don’t do the handshake of peace either, or if you do not want to offend anyone, secretly and silently, use some Purell after.

Hopefully, the Vatican will rule with an absolute soon and we won’t have to guess anymore.

We, are not supposed to add or to take away from anything in the mass. The roles of the laiety and the priest are spelled out in the rubrics. Basically, a posture of humility and reverence should be maintained throughout the mass, because the mass is the prayer of the representation of the eternal sacrafice on calvary. WE DO NOT RESACRAFICE JESUS, but rather we enter into it in a mystical way. The priest, in persona Christi, offers the sacrefice to the Father.
I understand the reasoning behind why people do hold hands, it is to get a feeling of unity. But, with a true understanding we should realize that we are all part of the one mystical body of Christ and it is specifically during the reception of the Eucharist that we are united in a way that holding hand could never accomplish.
My feeling is that it is distracting to see those in front or next to you scrambling to grab eachothers hands and even to raise them up in front of everyone. I think it takes away from what we should really be thinking about, which is to the One whom the prayer is addressed. I can already anticipate that someone may say " well if you were concentrating on Jesus you wouldn’t have that problem" . My response to this is I never claimed to be a saint and I do get distracted but I try very hard not to.

IS this something they are working on? The orans as well I hope. I am starting to see many more people doing the orans at church. Even the altar servers…

S

[quote=slewi]IS this something they are working on? The orans as well I hope. I am starting to see many more people doing the orans at church. Even the altar servers…

S
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Actually, I think both are low on the priority list for the Vatican.

They have bigger problems to deal with but give them time and we may be very Blessed.

[quote=Genesius]I think this has postive qualities as well as not so positive. The positive qualities concern the idea of togetherness of parish community; oneness in Christ; agreeing as one. The negative aspect concerns a more practical issue. There are many, including myself, who are immunosuppressed. It only takes one sneeze or cough into someones hands to spread bacteria and viruses. What does one do? I suppose I could be rude and just keep my hands folded, or I could wear some gloves, but that would seem to be a bit impersonal. I do plan on speaking with the Sister and/or Father about it.
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I see nothing wrong with holding hands during the Our Father. Sometimes my family all hold hands together. I find it hard to believe that Christ would have a problem with this.

The sooner this practise is supressed, the better. I feel I cannot go to Sunday Mass because of this. I go to a poorly attended daily Mass through the week where I won’t feel coerced into an activity I am extremely uncomfortable with. Holding hands is something I do with my family, not strangers or people I barely know.

The prevelance of hand holding is keeping people out of the Church, and I’m one of them.

[quote=Michael038]I see nothing wrong with holding hands during the Our Father. Sometimes my family all hold hands together. I find it hard to believe that Christ would have a problem with this.
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Throughout the Mass, various gestures are prescribed for both the priest and the faithful worshipers. For example, we begin and end Mass by making the sign of the cross; during the Confiteor, we strike our breast; we sign ourselves with the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart at the proclamation of the Gospel; during the Creed, we bow at the words professing our faith in the incarnation of our Savior; we kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer and after the Lamb of God; and we receive Holy Communion either on the tongue or the hand.

    All of these prescribed physical gestures help make the act of worship at Mass one which involves our whole being, body and soul, thought, words, and actions. They also help create a spiritual disposition to receive our Lord in Word and Sacrament. Moreover, these gestures are prescribed, just as the readings from Sacred Scripture and the Order of the Mass are, to make the Sacrifice of the Mass a unified act of worship throughout the whole Church — in a sense, every Catholic is doing the same thing, the same way. To find the rubrics concerning these gestures, one may turn to the *General Instruction of the Roman Missal* (1970), *On Holy Communion and the      Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside of Mass* (1973), *Instruction on the      Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery* (1980), and *Instruction on Certain Norms      Concerning the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery* (1980). 

   However, in all of the liturgical documents for the universal Church or of those particular ones issued by the United States Bishops Conference, no where is the holding of hands during the Lord's Prayer mandated. Frankly, this gesture arose among the various liturgical innovations in the aftermath of Vatican Council II.

Granted, the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer seems to have become almost a tradition in some parishes throughout the country. Nevertheless, we must remember that this gesture is not prescribed, it is an innovation to the Mass, and should not be utilized.

Coming from a Protestant convert perspective I feel that the holding of hands during the Our Father is a Protestant innovation to the mass. In Protestant worship services the only real way that the congregation can be “one” is when we hold hands, and when we do this we are only “one” with others in that church at that moment. However, when you receive the Eucharist you are in true communion not only with Christ as head of the Body, but in true communion with those at mass with you, those at mass all over the world, and those on the other side of death (in a much more intimate and real way than simply holding hands). I happen to think that the holding hands at the Our Father reflects a poor understanding of what the Eucharist is.

[quote=arieh0310]Coming from a Protestant convert perspective I feel that the holding of hands during the Our Father is a Protestant innovation to the mass. … I happen to think that the holding hands at the Our Father reflects a poor understanding of what the Eucharist is.
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So does my Presbyterian Hubby!

I see the pros and cons in this practice myself though I highly doubt the Vatican will make a ruling to “suppress” it anytime soon. Why would they want to? Some may feel this is a major issue, but it is a non-issue in my parish. If you have a health concern don’t do it, that is your right as a Catholic. If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it that is your choice and your right, though I would humbly suggest reading about some of our Saints who, like Christ Himself, humbled themselves to perform acts of kindness for the sick and dying that initially made them far more uncomfortable than holding a strangers hand.

Peace,

George

[quote=George Waters] though I would humbly suggest reading about some of our Saints who, like Christ Himself, humbled themselves to perform acts of kindness for the sick and dying that initially made them far more uncomfortable than holding a strangers hand.

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And I would suggest that one not judge a person’s Christianity by whether or not that person wants to hold someone’s hand instead of focusing on Our Lord in the liturgy.

The same person who prefers not to commune at this moment, may be the person who is volunteering with hospice or visiting seniors when no one else will.

We are all given graces. Don’t presume to know what they are or what is lacking.

[quote=netmilsmom]And I would suggest that one not judge a person’s Christianity by whether or not that person wants to hold someone’s hand instead of focusing on Our Lord in the liturgy.

The same person who prefers not to commune at this moment, may be the person who is volunteering with hospice or visiting seniors when no one else will.

We are all given graces. Don’t presume to know what they are or what is lacking.
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I was not judging anyone’s Christianity or presuming to know anyone’s situation at all! I do not assume the worst about people I do not know. My apologizes if I did not make myself clear. As I stated we are not required to hold hands. That is our right and we should all feel free to exercise that right if we so chose. My family is the type that would give you a kidney, but wouldn’t hug you unless you were dying so I understand the reluctance to hold a stranger’s hand. I humbly suggested reading about the saints in an effort to assist anyone who may feel uncomfortable. I apologize if I inadvertently offended anyone.

Peace,

George

I don’t like it, but I’d rather see people holding hands than in the Orans position…

:rolleyes:

I think hold of or raising of hands is more an act of imitation of those around you than a sign of respect, sign of prayer, or a sign sign of the communial aspect of our faith. I think many (if not most) do it because someone next to or around them is doing it. It is a case of peer pressure or of “not wanting to look like the odd person out.”

If you asked most catholics what the orans posture was, they would tell you it was some sort of yoga move.

If the faithful are going to assume a position in mass, let’s make it for the right reasons. Let it be explained (taught) to the faithful. Let them understand that there is a reason for this being done. Let it be meaningful instead of a copycat jesture that many feel it is today.

I am not saying that if you feel the Holy Spirit moving you to extend your hands in prayer and worship, it is wrong. I am saying that in this case, imitiation is not the greatest form of flattery.

[quote=Nimue]I don’t like it, but I’d rather see people holding hands than in the Orans position…

:rolleyes:
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How about the Holding Hands/Orans combo?

[quote=netmilsmom]How about the Holding Hands/Orans combo?
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ha, I’ve been to a parish that does that. The folks on either side of me practically tried to grab my hands out of my pockets, and weren’t too pleased that I didn’t participate (I guess I broke the continuity of their row).

I refrain from holding hands (my current parish does not do it) and the orans (my current parish DOES do it) – I don’t much care what others think is in my heart; my words and actions throughout the mass and afterwards are what I concentrate on to be a witness to what is happening at mass. If they want to think otherwise, they only need to watch me with my children or others during the “coffee/donuts” time and they will know I’m none of those things. I try to make my actions speak louder than my “inactions”, so to speak…:wink:

[quote=netmilsmom]How about the Holding Hands/Orans combo?
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Oh Good Grief! I forgot about that one.

You know, I find it so funny in our parish that almost NO ONE bows during the Creed

…by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man…

But they will make these seemingly pius gestures at inopportune times.

On the other hand, I’m very glad they are at Mass. They could be sleeping in.

But in the back of my mind I often wonder, “If you’re going to make the effort to come to Mass, why not participate in it appropriately?”

It makes as much sense to me as someone who gets their can to the gym 3 days a week but just stands there for 45 minutes.

:confused:

[quote=arieh0310]ha, I’ve been to a parish that does that. The folks on either side of me practically tried to grab my hands out of my pockets, and weren’t too pleased that I didn’t participate (I guess I broke the continuity of their row).
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:rotfl:

Oh I hate when that happens. But you know, some people here will tell you that people would NEVER be so rude as to grab your hand!!

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