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Vatican announces desire for more restrained sign of peace at Mass

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News)
.- The Congregation for Divine Worship, in a recent circular letter, announced that the placement of the sign of peace within Mass will not change, though it suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity.

**snip**

Fr. Gil explained that the circular letter is a fruit of the 2005 synod of bishops . . .

**snip**

On this basis, the congregation offered four suggestions which are to form the "nucleus" of catechesis on the sign of peace.

First, while confirming the importance of the rite, it emphasized that "it is completely legitimate to affirm that it is not necessary to invite 'mechanistically' to exchange (the sign of) peace." The rite is optional, the congregation reminded, and there certainly are times and places where it is not fitting.

Its second recommendation was that as translations are made of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, bishops' conference should consider "changing the way in which the exchange of peace is made." It suggested in particular that "familiar and worldly gestures of greeting" should be substituted with "other, more appropriate gestures."

The congregation for worship also noted that there are several abuses of the rite which are to be stopped: the introduction of a "song of peace," which does not exist in the Roman rite; the faithful moving from their place to exchange the sign; the priest leaving the altar to exchange the sign with the faithful; and when, at occasions such as weddings or funerals, it becomes an occasion for congratulations or condolences. . . .

Read more at:

- - - - - -

COMMENT #1:
Yeah!

COMMENT #2:
2005??? Never let it be said that the Vatican moves with undue haste. laughing




Aug 1st new
I think the worst distortions of the sign of peace come at weddings where people are happy due to the occasion, and many in attendance may not be practicing Catholics, just friends and relatives of the bride and groom. So, there's all of this congratulatory stuff that has nothing to do with the meaning of share a sign of peace. It is after all, the sharing of the sign of peace, and not show how excited you are there's going to be a reception afterwards. rolling eyes
Aug 1st new
The article posted by the Catholic News Agency indicates the following also:

"Fr. Gil's memo was sent to the Spanish bishops, and prefaced the Congregation for Divine Worship's circular letter, which was signed June 8 by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, its prefect, and its secretary, Archbishop Arthur Roche. The circular had been approved and confirmed the previous day by Pope Francis."

What's interesting about that is Pope Francis is approving of a restrained sign of peace at the Mass. His critics within the Catholic community have painted him as some sort of leftist radical bent on taking the Church in some wild direction outside the norms of tradition. It doesn't look that way to me. The critics just keep shooting their mouths off only to shoot themselves in the foot.
Aug 1st new
(quote) Jack-752986 said: Vatican announces desire for more restrained sign of peace at Mass

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News)
.- The Congregation for Divine Worship, in a recent circular letter, announced that the placement of the sign of peace within Mass will not change, though it suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity.

**snip**

Fr. Gil explained that the circular letter is a fruit of the 2005 synod of bishops . . .

**snip**

On this basis, the congregation offered four suggestions which are to form the "nucleus" of catechesis on the sign of peace.

First, while confirming the importance of the rite, it emphasized that "it is completely legitimate to affirm that it is not necessary to invite 'mechanistically' to exchange (the sign of) peace." The rite is optional, the congregation reminded, and there certainly are times and places where it is not fitting.

Its second recommendation was that as translations are made of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, bishops' conference should consider "changing the way in which the exchange of peace is made." It suggested in particular that "familiar and worldly gestures of greeting" should be substituted with "other, more appropriate gestures."

The congregation for worship also noted that there are several abuses of the rite which are to be stopped: the introduction of a "song of peace," which does not exist in the Roman rite; the faithful moving from their place to exchange the sign; the priest leaving the altar to exchange the sign with the faithful; and when, at occasions such as weddings or funerals, it becomes an occasion for congratulations or condolences. . . .

Read more at:
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-announces-desire-for-more-restrained-sign-of-peace-at-mass-36123/
- - - - - -

COMMENT #1:
Yeah!

COMMENT #2:
2005??? Never let it be said that the Vatican moves with undue haste.




In the Tridentine Mass, after the Consecration, the priest will press his thumb and index finger and hold them together until after Holy Communion is distributed and his fingers and the sacred vessels are rinsed. The reason for this is the concern that even the slightest particle of the Host that may be on his thumb and finger might be lost, and because even the slightest particle of the Host contains the full divinity of Jesus Christ.

The priest treated the Host in this fashion for centuries. I attend Novus Ordo Mass in NYC where a particular priest does the same; he does not shake anyone's hand at the "sign of peace."

I put this question out there for anyone to answer: What has changed about our understanding of a Consecrated Host that a priest who just performed the Consecration will turn and shake hands with those near him on the altar?
Aug 1st new
(quote) William-607613 said: In the Tridentine Mass, after the Consecration, the priest will press his thumb and index finger and hold them together until after Holy Communion is distributed and his fingers and the sacred vessels are rinsed. The reason for this is the concern that even the slightest particle of the Host that may be on his thumb and finger might be lost, and because even the slightest particle of the Host contains the full divinity of Jesus Christ.

The priest treated the Host in this fashion for centuries. I attend Novus Ordo Mass in NYC where a particular priest does the same; he does not shake anyone's hand at the "sign of peace."

I put this question out there for anyone to answer: What has changed about our understanding of a Consecrated Host that a priest who just performed the Consecration will turn and shake hands with those near him on the altar?
Doctrinally, nothing has changed.

In practice and in the psychology of the act, that doctrine has been chloroformed and put in the back room by this rite. It says that nothing sacred has happened.

Would this have occurred in the organically developed liturgy of the Extraordinary Form? No, it would not. In fact, if you look at videos on how it is done, you'll notice that the fingers that held the body are kept together until (I think) about the time of the Agnus Dei.

That is to say, even the fingers are reserved due to the sacred nature of Who (no longer what) they held.
Aug 1st new
Additionally, I will also ask if anyone knows of any rite of the Divine Liturgy other than the Mass of Paul VI that has this "sign of peace" where the liturgy is interrupted by the "universal handshake" or similar gesture?

I know of none; it does not occur either in the Extraordinary Rite but instead the kiss of peace, or pax is limited to clergy within the sanctuary. In fact, a similar practice to the pax is performed prior to the chanting of the Creed in Eastern Liturgies.

In the Ambrosian Rite of the archdiocese of Milan, the Mozarabic Rite of the archdiocese of Toledo, as well as in the Eastern Orthodox Church, in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (c. AD 400), the exchange of the peace occurs at the midpoint of the service, when the scripture readings have been completed and the Eucharistic prayers are yet to come. In the Eastern Orthodox church, the priest announces, "Let us love one another that with one accord we may confess--" and the people conclude the sentence, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, one in essence and undivided." At that point the Kiss of Peace is exchanged by clergy at the altar, and in some churches among the laity as well (the custom is being reintroduced, but is not universal). Immediately after the peace, the deacon cries "The doors! The doors!";in ancient times, the catechumens and other non-members of the church would depart at this point, and the doors be shut behind them. At that, worshipers then begin reciting the Nicene Creed. In the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy, the Kiss of Peace is preparation for the Creed: "Let us love one another that we may confess...the Trinity."

en.wikipedia.org

The response, BTW, is "Let us love one another that we may confess the Father, Son, and that Holy Spirit; the Trinity, one in essence and undivided."
Aug 1st new
(quote) Steven-706921 said: Doctrinally, nothing has changed.

In practice and in the psychology of the act, that doctrine has been chloroformed and put in the back room by this rite. It says that nothing sacred has happened.

Would this have occurred in the organically developed liturgy of the Extraordinary Form? No, it would not. In fact, if you look at videos on how it is done, you'll notice that the fingers that held the body are kept together until (I think) about the time of the Agnus Dei.

That is to say, even the fingers are reserved due to the sacred nature of Who (no longer what) they held.
> In fact, if you look at videos on how it is done, you'll notice that the fingers that held the body are kept together until (I think) about the time of the Agnus Dei.

The thumb and index finger that held the Host are kept together until after the distribution of Holy Communion, until the priest's hands are rinsed; the priest does everything with the remaining fingers. (I attend a Tridentine Mass celebrated by the FSSP on Sundays and I see this in person.)

St. Isaac Jogues needed permission from the Pope to offer Mass using other fingers at the Consecration, because some of the Indians he was trying to convert, chewed off his thumb and forefinger, as they knew of their significance in Holy Mass. tinyurl.com



Aug 1st new
This is good news, Jack. Thanks for posting.
Aug 1st new
(quote) William-607613 said: > In fact, if you look at videos on how it is done, you'll notice that the fingers that held the body are kept together until (I think) about the time of the Agnus Dei.

The thumb and index finger that held the Host are kept together until after the distribution of Holy Communion, until the priest's hands are rinsed; the priest does everything with the remaining fingers. (I attend a Tridentine Mass celebrated by the FSSP on Sundays and I see this in person.)

St. Isaac Jogues needed permission from the Pope to offer Mass using other fingers at the Consecration, because some of the Indians he was trying to convert, chewed off his thumb and forefinger, as they knew of their significance in Holy Mass. http://tinyurl.com/8u5o3ql



Thank you for that, and for the extraordinary example of St. Isaac Jogues and the North America Martyrs.
Aug 1st new
(quote) Angela-374523 said: I think the worst distortions of the sign of peace come at weddings where people are happy due to the occasion, and many in attendance may not be practicing Catholics, just friends and relatives of the bride and groom. So, there's all of this congratulatory stuff that has nothing to do with the meaning of share a sign of peace. It is after all, the sharing of the sign of peace, and not show how excited you are there's going to be a reception afterwards.
In general I've become uncomfortable with the ritual for the same reason. Folks can greet each other after Mass as they normally do anyway. My vote would be to do away with the sign of peace since it's optional anyway. Our priest leaves it out for daily Mass.
I've noticed social chatter can get a little too loud in our Vestibule prior to Mass which can be distracting to those who wish to pray the Rosary, or just be silent in God's House.
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