The Sign of Peace is a Colossal Waste of Time

I find the sign of peace to be trite, ineffective, cold and a waste of time. Why do we even need it in the Liturgy?

I know the sign of peace originated as a “holy kiss”.

I’ve been alternating between 3 parishes and in most of them, there is not even a handshake. People turn around and hold up their hands, give a quick nod, or maybe a smile if you’re lucky.

There is no “Good to see you”. In fact, it happens so fast, if someone asked me to identify in a lineup the person I exchanged the sign of peace with 10 minutes before, I’d be at a loss.

If there is no warmth in this sign of peace, why bother?

What exactly are you looking for? “Good to see you??” That’s not what the sign of peace is about. The GIRM says

  1. The Rite of Peace follows, by which the Church asks for 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.

As for the sign of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by Conferences of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples. It is, however, appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner.

So a handshake or bow, perhaps a “Peace be with you” or “Peace of Christ” is the most you should expect.

That said, I wouldn’t cry if the PIP’s exchange of peace disappeared.

Sober manner?

I’m looking for a smile of sisterhood/brotherhood/fellow child of God.

It is mentioned first in the Didache (around 100AD) as part of the Mass. It was widely used until the renaissance time, when the Church abolished that for abuses (people engaged in long kisses), and it remained only in Solemn Mass between the clergy.

For some reason referring to the Didache, the 1970 Mass introduced it again.

In the Diadache it was reconciliation between the neighbors. Before it was abolished it was some sharing of Christ’s peace with the faithful, who usually did not received communion.

The new form never got proper catechesis or explanation. To great those who are around you would be proper at the beginning of the Mass, this is also proper time for reconciliation. Since almost everybody is going to receive communion, the sharing of Christ peace before the communion seems to be superfluous.

I the church what I attend there is no sign of peace.

many years ago i was reading tertullian. He suggested from time to time we might forgo the kiss of peace as an act of penance. the next morning at mass the priest asked all of us to forgo the sign of peace as an act of penance. there are no coincidences with God. This sign of peace has been a part of the liturgy for a long time. for it to be penitential we suffer its absence. sorry for your experience.


I LOVE IT it reminds me of the community I’m in and maybe i’m lucky there is a warmth and smile without abuse and clearly christian love for each other is demonstrated. Of course if you stipulate somber then your at a funeral shaking hands but if your respectfull then you can have some warmth too.

Puleeeeeeze leave it in. :smiley:

The reconciliation with one’s neighbors is condition for the the act of penance and also for receiving communion, not the act of penance itself. Our neighbor has no sufficient power to absolve from sins, only the priest with jurisdiction has it with the power from Jesus Christ.

Its nothing but a disruptive gesture that interferes with prepartion for Holy Communion. Some parishes that I’ve been to, both forms of the Mass, it never leaves the Sanctuary.

There is no “Good to see you”.

Actually, people shouldn’t be saying “Good to see you.” The intent of the Sign of Peace is to say, “Peace - Be with you.”

The Sign of Peace isn’t a personal recognition of people so much as it is a sharing of communial peace with people.

All that being said, the Sign of Peace is rather like opening a “box of chocolates”. You never know what “peace” you’re going to get.

Personally, I love the Sign of Peace and holding hands for the “Our Father”. Kid’s open up like flowers.

The ole’ farts that don’t want anyone touching them, just completely crack me up. They make me laugh inside for half an hour.

It’s sandwiched in between two solemn moments in the Mass. That’s why I find it awkward. they should move it… to the parking lot :slight_smile:


I agree with the other people’s comments. It is not a “hi how you doing” moment.

Redmptionis Sacramentum says the following which might help in your understanding:71. The practice of the Roman Rite is to be maintained according to which the peace is extended shortly before Holy Communion. For according to the tradition of the Roman Rite, this practice does not have the connotation either of reconciliation or of a remission of sins, but instead signifies peace, communion and charity before the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist.


As I once told some people, I’d be happy to shake their hand before Mass, after Mass, but not during Mass. I’m at Mass for an hour, I can socialize the other fifteen that I’m awake if need be. :wink:

But RS is specifically saying that it’s not about that biblical passage. Based on that biblical passage there has been a movement to move the Sign of Peace to before the offertory. RS says ‘no, keep it where it’s been, before Communion, since it’s not about reconciliation’.

Oh, I see you’ve deleted that passage.:slight_smile:

“Peace be with you.” Jesus said that to the Apostles and then He breathed on them.

Just thinking back.

I look people in the eye, shake their hand, smile, and say, “Peace be with you,” … and I mean it sincerely, with good inentions, wishing the peace of Christ to enter their lives.

I assume other people do the same to me, and I appreciate it. I don’t think it’s worthless.


It isn’t about us, per se. It’s about Him.

Interesting comments. I do remember a time when there was no Sign a Peace or momentary pause in the Mass as some might speak of. Prior to the early 1970’s and of course depending where you attend the TLM Mass this Ritual isn’t used either.

I’m just used to it as a normality in the Novus Ordo Mass.


Until I was in my teens I didn’t realise it hadn’t always been part of the Mass. I must say I would be joyous if it was removed. I am glad however one tradition I have heard about since joining this forum is one that as yet has not hit Irish or British shores, that’s the whole thing of holdings hand during the Our Father.

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