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Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Kevin Shook

I hate the "hand holding" during the Lord's Prayer. I also hate the imitating of the Priest by extending the arms out, palms up during the Lord Prayer. It smacks too much of a Southern Baptist tent revival. What I find especially offensive is when people grab your hands to hold during the Lord's Prayer when I haven't offered them to be held.

I have found the best way to avoid this silly practice is to place my hands in front of me, palm presed against palm, as I sometimes do in prayer.

Al Kimel

I dislike the practice of holding hands very much. It is a false attempt to create a feeling of "community" and many people experience it as _invasive_. The Sunday Mass should be truly catholic, by which I mean, it should be a place where folks of different Catholic spiritualities should feel welcome.

On the other hand, I have no objections to people raising their hands in prayer. This posture was, after all, the normal way Christians prayed for a millenium. And it certainly beats keeping one's hand in one's pocket. :-)

Jeff Miller

Hand holding in not an approved liturgical posture in any rite of the Church. The whole hand-holding thing came about from the Carismatic Catholic movement in the seventies.

As for me I simply close my eyes in hold my hands in prayer during the Our Father and this prevents those who would want to latch on.

As for raising their hands in prayer it depends. If they are imitating the Orans posture used by the priest this is not approved.

Mostly people are playing simon says and doing what the priest does. One document from the Vatican says:
"It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to "quasi preside" at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity."


I hate hand-holding during the Our Father at Mass. I fold my hands in front and pray, looking down in order to avoid it.

Call me a grouch, but I wish the Mass were more solemn.


I'm not a fan either. I do it, but only with my own little protest. I always sit with my wife on one side and one of my kids on my other side so I'm at least holding hands of my family. And don't even get me started on the new thing at our church...shaking hands and greeting one another just before mass begins. Yuck.

Sydney Carton

I will never hold hands during the Our Father.

At one church I used to attend, during the time when everyone's supposed to shake hands 2 eucheristic ministers would go down the main aisle and shake everyone's hand that was in reach. It was SO self-promotional, and so disruptive. And it had the approval of the presiding Priest. Did I mention I USED to attend that church?


It's definitely a Protestant thing to do. The vast majority of the churches who do not have stupid human concerns commissions (post college type clubs where the laity takes all the power away from the priests) and are loyal to our Magesterium do not hold hands. Unless one is very charismatic or in an African-American community, I really don't recommend holding hands as it's so disruptive. I'm not overly fond of shaking hands during the "peace be with you" either...


I was glad when it stopped last year due to the new GIRM. Or was it this year? We're not supposed to be doing that now anyway are we? I really hated holding the clammy or sweaty hands...yuck. You can tell the ones who haven't been to Mass much lately because they still try to do it.

But we still have to turn around and shake hands a couple times. I could give that a miss too. Seems very Protestant to me.

Heh. Are we terrible or what?


heaven forbid you guys get "put out" by having to acknowledge the existance of some stranger during your personal worship session, maybe if you ask your local pastor he can just mail you the cookie, that way you won't even have to be in the same room with these degenerate strangers. you people make me sick to no end.

ps. I really mean this.


I always thought the handholding procedure at our old church resembled the end of the "Carol Burnett Show" when all the players would come out and hold hands while swaying to the music. I could never take it seriously. However, we don't hold hands during Mass in the Traditional rite, so I guess I shall refrain from commenting further on what goes on in the modern liturgy.


It's annoying. I once had to wrench my hand from an overly enthusiastic woman who GRABBED it like she was drowning. It scared me, and I was having none of that wierdness. The entire incident made the sign of peace awkward. From that day on I've dreaded the moment, hoping that I could pass another Sunday without having to shake off someone.


I used to resent the hand-holding...did the person next to me use a handkerchief or a finger?...until I realized that of all the worshipppers present I definitely am the least deserving and, on my own, do not deserve to be included in the congregation. Since, I consider the hand-holding a lifeline!

Jeff Miller


Following the rubrics is not a fear of hand holding, but whether it is an appropriate liturgical posture. Nobody is complaining about the Kiss of Peace that follows shortly after. The hand-holding during the Our Father actually distracts from the meaning of the Kiss of Peace. The question is do we just do our own thing during the Mass or are we part of the universal Church in practice.

Titus Grotius Leonius

It seems that most respondents are opposed to hand-holding during the Pater Noster. I join them in that opposition. What use it has, I have no idea. Further, I don't find any call for it in the rubrics.


I am a hand holder. I have never been in a church that does not hold hands, and I lived all over the country. I do understand the distraction element that some of you feel. I usually have Rosary beads in my hand throughout Mass and spend much of it with my eyes closed in constant prayer and meditation. However, is it such a bad thing to hold a fellow brother or sister in Christ's hand when praying the most AWESSOME prayer given to us by Jesus Christ himself? I will pray for more Communion amongst us as Catholics. We need more of the "Protestant community feel" at our parishes. I have lived in Dallas, TX and was a member of the most beautiful faith community I have witnessed ( in all my life St. Anne's). The faith was alive and the "community feel" was unparalleled, even by any Protestant church that I attended. Hand-holding is great and helps unite as one powerful, prayerful people. . .Jonathan CRHP 28


Although I don't like the practice of hand-holding because it is not clearly permissible from the rubrics, to oppose to it on the basis that we're holding hands with "strangers" is ridiculous. No one is a stranger who participates in the Lord's Eucharist.

To question the practice because the rules do not clearly allow them is one thing; to do it out of contempt for our neighbor is quite another.



Well, I still don't get it. My church, Jesuit but pretty trad, stopped doing this last year. The new rules were read to us before each Mass for about a month. I was relieved. Did this not change everywhere else?


I hate the hand-holding on general principle. That and the sign of peace (which is optional) are great sources of distraction right before Communion. It is an act of humility to follow proper Church rubrics and to not hold hands during the Our Father. Hand holding is actually an act of disobedience to the rubrics. How about when the priests hold hands with the altar boys, as they do in my sorry diocese?


I am uncomfortable with the handholding thing. I guess it's supposed to foster a sense of community but It has always felt unnatural to me. It is asking for a greater level of intimacy between people than what actually exists. I think the handshake sufficiently conveys the sense of community desired.

ali greco

Do your fellow parishioners a favor, lead by example. Most people there do not want to hold hands whether they know the rubrics or not. My children, husband and I fold our hands in front of us. Many a person has reached across to grab my children's hands.
We are polite and they do get the message very quickly.

By the way, has anyone ever heard a petition read to abolish Roe v. Wade? Please let me know - I would like to move to that parish.


I don't mind holding my husband's hand, but I normally don't care to hold the hands of others during Mass (Charismatic Masses would be an exception.) I do find it distracting, especially when the entire congregation does it. At our last parish, the entire congregation held hands and people used to get into all sorts of twisted positions and jerk my hands and arms around, which was pretty painful as I have fibromyalgia and the pain would travel to my shoulders and up my neck. I would sometimes get flared up and end up in quite a bit of pain as a result.

Eventually, I only held hands with those on either side of me, instead of agreeing to twist around to hold those in front or back of me. Just before the Our Father came along, I would close my eyes so I wouldn't literally get all bent out of shape and have to seek medical treatment for the pain.

I am relieved that things are different at our new parish (We have moved to another state.)

When I attend Mass without my spouse, I simply fold my hands and close my eyes. I can focus better on the Mass that way.


I do not like to hold hands during the Our Father. I find it very distracting, so I choose to hold my hands together and bow my head and/or close my eyes while praying. It has nothing to do with not liking strangers, as skeetor said. I just don't think it's appropriate.

When the topic comes up with friends, I always mention that there is no mention of hand holding in the missal but there is instruction to bow during the profession of faith. Yet how many people do that? Not even very many priests anymore.


Dear Skeeter and Jonathan CRHP 28

The Mass is not about community or connection with other.

The Mass is not offered to man but is an offering to God, in thanks and adoration for Christ and his sacrifice. It is the renewal of Cavalry.

The Mass requires no one to be present except for the Priest. For example, once the words of Consecration are said, the Holy Eucharist exist, even if there is no one to recieve it.

The Holy Father wrote in the "Spirit of Liturgy" that gestures we make in the Mass, are the essence of the liturgy made bodily visible.

How then is the holding of hands during the Pater Noster a gesture which makes our offering to God more glorious and worthy?

Russell Neglia

I love holding hands during the Lord's prayer. This is a beautiful show of community and unity. We are the Body of Christ. What better way to show it? I find the reasons people give for not liking this puzzling and disappointing.

The Gray Tie

OH I am so glad I am not the only one NOT liking the hand holding. I refuse to do it. I clasp my hands in front of me.

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