What would you do during the Our Father?


The intent of this isn’t to debate hand-holding or the orans posture during the Our Father, but rather, what would you do in this situation:

Our priest has made up hand-motions to the Our Father, and around the middle of the prayer we are all supposed to hold hands. He makes a big point of telling us at every Mass, right before the prayer to *‘join in, adults and kids too! We are to pray with both our hands and bodies’. *

I prefer to fold my hands during the Our Father and close my eyes. It’s really the only way I find I can concentrate on the Lord, as opposed to my neighbor. Throw hand-dancing in and I’m reduced to ‘vain repetition’ because I find I’m watching the priest to make sure I do the movements correctly, and I end up concentrating on his hands and my hands and holding my neighbor’s hand and not on my words or the Lord.

If I don’t participate, I feel awkward because the priest specifically tells us to do this. Plus, everyone is expecting me to hold their hand because he has told us to. What would you do?


I have a habit of folding my hands and closing my eyes, and that is what I do. I really don’t care what others think. I offer the sign of peace to each person directly in front, behind and next to me.


The GIRM tells the priest what position his hands are supposed to be in and he should not be varying from that. Additionally, holding hands is permitted by individual initiative, but cannot be called for or instigated by anyone else as a “group” action. Even if it is, NO person should ever feel obligated to participate regardless of the reason why they do not wish to.

I would probably talk to the priest privately and ask him to please remind everybody charitably that no one should be imposing this on anyone else. If that doesn’t work, you may need to address it with your bishop to have the situation corrected.

I hope you’re able to resolve this peacefully. As one who does hold hands, it hurts me that we create this division when we try to force our preferences on each other.



I would continue to fold my hands in prayer and concentrate in offering my prayer to God.


It’s touchy because HE is the one imposing it (although I don’t think anyone else minds…our parish is uh, ‘progressive’. )
I know he means well. He’s a wonderful man. That’s why I haven’t talked to him about it - I really don’t want to offend him or perhaps have it become an ‘issue’ with him.


Well you might consider doing it anonymously. I understand what you mean about not wanting to offend him, but neither should you be imposed upon. And there may well be others in the parish who feel as you do but also just “grin and bear it”.

We do mostly hold hands in our parish, though not at anyone’s instigation. I did ask my own priest though not long ago, just as a gentle reminder, to let people know they need not participate just to avoid any potential hard feelings or lack of charity.

Peace to you Elzee,


I do exactly the same.


I agree with the above. This hasn’t happened to me yet, but when I had a friend visit a different parish, the congregation joined hands. When she kept her hands folded and closed her eyes, she felt a soft whop on the shoulder. The person beside her thought because her eyes were closed, she didn’t notice the hand holding. What would be the right thing to do in that situation?
I thought the person probably had good intentions, although the physical insistence was uncalled for. My friend was a little stunned and ended up holding hands.:confused:


I do the same. Once, the person next to me, grabbed my hand anyway! I was shocked. —KCT


Never anonymously. The tack should be something like:

"Father, everybody loves you, and everybody really respects your pastoral gifts and your whole-hearted approach to the liturgy, but a lot of people feel pretty strongly that it’s important to be in conformity with the GIRM.

“Telling people that they should do something that is not specified in the GIRM, especially since the gestures of the priest at Mass ARE clearly specified, causes a lot of unnecessary stress, even though it is meant to give a pastoral message.”


There was a poll how many years peoples church has been holding hands i wonder what happen to it? -


I once got whapped in the arms by a girl wanting me to hold hands. (I’m of the “clasp hands in front” sort as well.) She is a relatively new convert, and I think she was just so excited about the hand holding bit that she went too far. She actually tapped me once or twice, which I ignored, then she “tapped” harder. I gave her a look and shook my head, then continued with the prayer with hands in front of me. No one else has ever done anything like that. However, in the bulletin last week, the priest actually discussed the hand holding thing. He said that it’s up to the individual if they want to do it, but to respect those who do not wish to hold hands. Hopefully there won’t be any more incidents.


My roommate is still stuck in a military mindset when in public, he always stands with his hands in the classic parade rest position (behind his back) during the Mass. Myself, I just fold my hands and close my eyes or focus on the Crucifix, or the Tabernacle if I am not behind a pillar, and at times I have even been in view of one of the beautiful stain glass windows, really anything that helps me focus on what I am saying rather than the people around me.

Hand-holding is a nice communal gesture, but we should already be united in voice and spirit as one Body in Christ. The NO has just as stringent guidelines as the TLM, though not as external sometimes, and those guidelines are to be followed by EVERYONE.


Could you maybe post the test of that message? It might be useful to those who deal with this problem. Perhaps if they don’t feel comfortable bringing it to the priest, they might present it to the Parish Council and ask if they might address it.


I would have smiled, kindly, at the person doing the “whopping”, shaken my head to say “no thank you” and then go back to folding my hands and closing my eyes. (my preferred posture during the Lord’s Prayer)


I would be sorely tempted to kneel in the aisle - preferably nearest the sanctuary - raise my hands to the heavens, shout the prayer in Latin and fall in full prostrate position from the embolism through the end at which point I would give the Kiss of Peace to the nearest parishioner and call for a three-fold wave with accompanying “hooah” cheers in praise and thanksgiving for the enlightenment and beneficence shed upon us poor benighted ones by this fine cleric. Hallelujah!!!

Unfortunately I would simply seethe at the boob in the sanctuary instead. No doubt the road to Hell is paved with the skulls of priests.


A violation of your rights to the gravest!!:mad: It is also a violation of the law of charity towards one’s neighbor (in this case, the neighbor is you). If somebody did that to me, I would jerk my hand back, since the one next to another has not a slightest bit of right to demand to hold another’s hand. Not one iota.


I’ve had people grab my hands before, can’t say I’ve had anyone tap me to hold me hand though. I just comply with them; there are more important things to get into an argument and make enemies over.


**As the question has been asked and answered this thread is closed.

We have one poll on holding hands, which will be closing later today, we have another one active and the question has been discussed at great length on a regular and continuing basis. Therefore, may I ask your assistance in calling a temporary hiatus on the “holding hands” discussions to give us all a breather from the topic.

Thank you!

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