Movement in the Sign of Peace movement movement

A tip of the three-pointed biretta   o{]:¬)    goes to Jimmy Akin who found an interesting item about the always controversial Sign of Peace in the Novus Ordo. 

Where should it go?

You have probably heard there has been some discussion, perhaps prompted by the Holy Father, about the placement of the Sign of Peace during Mass.  The Congregation for Divine Worship is tasked with exploring such questions.

The Committee [for Divine Worship] reviewed the findings of a survey requested of the USCCB by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments regarding the placement of the Sign of Peace at Mass.

Of the 89 Bishops who responded, 66% supported moving the Sign of Peace after the Prayer of the Faithful and before the Presentation of the Gifts, 32% recommended retaining the Sign of Peace at its current location before the Agnus Dei, and 2% offered alternative opinions.

A report from the USCCB was submitted to the Congregation’s then-Prefect, Francis Cardinal Arinze.

You know… the Sign of Peace has been in the present place for over a thousand years, if memory serves.

Is this tinkeritis?

If the Sign of Peace is detracting from preparation for a disposition for receiving Communion reverently and thoughtfully, then the problem is not where the Sign of Peace is.  The problem is, IMO, having it at all on most occasions in for form it presently takes…. which is formless.   The Sign of Peace becomes something it was never intended to be.

Remember: the invitation to the congregation to make a Sign of Peace is an OPTION. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TJM says:

    Bingo, Father Z. I couldn’t agree more. If the sign of peace were administered as it is at a Solemn Mass most of us would be fine with it as its
    true meaning and beauty would be apparent. It was most unfortunate that the sign of peace was introduced for “the many” when it was, in 1970, when inculturation and
    adoptation to local customs was at its zenith. Although I cannot speak for other cultures, in the US it meant we would all shake hands like politicians. Tom

  2. Mike Williams says:

    Yes, I think that either the form in which the Sign of Peace is exchanged should be “fixed,” i.e., solemnized, or the optional nature of it should be stressed with the option being less often taken. Moving it does seem to me to be an “organic development,” but another novelty-by-committee to be dealt with.

  3. Brian Mershon says:

    We continue to suffer from the inanities of collegiality.

  4. Flambeaux says:

    I’m pretty sure Rite I of the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite has the Sign of Peace after the Prayers of the Faithful and before the Preparation of the Gifts.

    It works very well there and I think it works better than immediately before Communion.

  5. Flambeaux says:

    Of course, the Penitential Rite occurs in about the same place, so that may be part of it, too.

  6. I would have to say that I prefer the peace before the Agnus Dei – it should there help to make it clear that it is Christ’s peace – He being sacramentally present – that is being shared, not each other’s peace with our buddy who is sat on the opposite side of the church. However, it doesn’t work like that, and all too often there is an undignified rugby scrum and He is seeminly forgotten by all except us at the altar who do not leave our positions.

    I read recently – was it here at WDTPRS? – the obvious point that the invitation to share the peace is of course optional; so why not just drop it, with a well-placed word or two in the homily a couple of weeks running to say why?

    Then again, it is clear from Justin Martyr around AD155 (CCC, 1345) that the Kiss of Peace follows the Prayer of the Faithful and precedes the Presentation of the Gifts, so perhaps my preference and rationale should bow to more ancient precedent?

  7. Fr Ray Blake says:

    I think there is confusion in most peoples mind’s as to the interpretation of “before you bring your offering to the altar…”

    If the offering is cash, given in the collection and “offered” with the bread and wine, then possibly it makes sense to move it.
    If, however, it is an offering of oneself at Holy Communion in a mutual embrace with Christ’s self offering then leaving it where it is makes much more sense. It is here when we are called to “examine ourselves lest we eat and drink our condemnation”.

  8. JeanS says:

    The Anglicans/Episcopalians do indeed put the Sign of Peace after the Intercessions. But I think it is far more appropriate to leave it where it is after the consecration. The Lord is present and we are asked to share the Lord’s peace with one another.
    As a practical matter, the out-of-control exchanging of the peace can be brought to a swift conclusion by the organist starting the Agnus Dei. This is not an option if you move the exchange of peace after the intercessions. I’m a Catholic convert (20 years this August, thanks be to God) from Episcopalian, so I speak from considerable experience.

  9. It would appear I didn’t read the last line of Fr Z’s post (ie, ‘Remember: the invitation to the congregation to make a Sign of Peace is an OPTION.’), but I am sure I have read this point elsewhere or here of late, and it’s a good point that bears repeating.

  10. John Enright says:

    I’d prefer that the entire “Sign of Peace” be suppressed in toto.

  11. Patrick says:

    I’d prefer the entire Novus Ordo Mass be suppressed in toto.

  12. Re JeanS’s point about the Agnus Dei, I have tried this – choir and organist count ten after the invitation to the sign of peace, which should be ample for all to ‘make an appropriate sign of peace’ to those next to them and the priest to give the sign of peace to the deacon or minister, and then start the Agnus Dei. The Agnus Dei is, in my experience, then half drowned in people returning to their seats. I think a more directive approach on the part of the parish priest is actually what’s needed.

  13. Athelstane says:

    Leave the Sign where it has long been, and restore it to its traditional employment.

    The Holy Father is right to note that as currently practiced the sign disrupts the Canon. The solution is not to move it to a different part of the mass, but to restore it to its traditional employment. But for some reason that seems not to be an option.

  14. The Sign of Peace should not be suppressed. We should take a cue from Summorum Pontificum whereby the Ordinary Form is enriched by the Extraordinary. As such, the Kiss of Peace given by the priest to the deacon to the subdeacon, etc., should be our model. The peace of Christ extends from His altar and is ministered to the priest and he passes it down the hierarchy. The communal sign of peace blurs this hierarchy.

    For those sitting in choro, the Kiss is passed from one to the next. Strictly speaking, those sitting in choro do so according to rank; the Kiss is passed down, therefore, from higher to lower.

    Now, this obviously could not be practiced among the faithful, insofar as people are not seated hierarchically. The peace could be passed along by acolytes who go to the end of pews and a gesture of peace would be passed down the row. [I believe this manner is used in the Maronite Rite.] The concept of “passing” greater emphasizes the exchange of peace from the altar down than does the exchange of peace between, for example, the man in front, behind, to the left and to the right of me. No more reaching around, no more “peace signs” from people several pews in front.

    Also, we could reintroduce the Pax Brede, an image of Christ, which is passed around to the faithful and is reverenced/kissed.

  15. TNCath says:

    Tinkeritis indeed. How about leaving it where it is and just cutting out the “Offerte vobis pacem” part?

  16. Maggie says:

    I’ve always felt that the sign of peace is ill-placed in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. At least at my parish it feels like a seventh-inning stretch; rather than focus on the alter and the Bread of Life present there, we’re busy saying “hi!” to neighbors and deciding where to go for brunch. Not very reverent. If it were moved up, perhaps to some time during the Liturgy of the Word, it would be much better, I think. Doesn’t the Ambrosian rite have the peace earlier? Seems to work for them.

  17. Marc says:

    I think the pax ought to continue to stay where it is, for the reasons mentioned already: bishops and pastors just have to make a point of better catechizing the flock about the purpose and the preferred form the act ought to have (as Giles Pinnock suggests). Some OF parishes are fine about the priorities involved here while others are, in my experience, almost laughably (were it not for the sacred Action proceeding ‘in the background’, tsk) Self Worshipping. How can authentic reform be implemented in situations such as this? I don’t know but I doubt such a change as seems to be under examination is wise–if it were to be done, it should have been done 30 years ago.

  18. CBM says:

    Since 1 July (the start of my pastorate here) I have consistently exercised the the option to exclude the exchange of peace at all daily masses. It seems to be the one and only “change” that has been widely and enthusiastically appreciated and accepted. The other “changes” have not been liturgical (except a strong emphasis on beauty which is seemingly unappreciated but at least accepted) just organizational and esthetic.
    St. Michael the Archangel

  19. telcontar says:

    I do wonder, if this the rubrics are not to be deviated from (which I agree with), and a change from above that has precedent is “tinkeritis”, is there any such thing as development in the liturgy? What would organic change look like if it cannot come from below or above?

    Certainly moving the Sign of Peace seems more in the vein of continuity then simply omitting it (and definitely more so than suppressing it).

  20. Geo. F. says:

    ancient precedent
    I’m just asking, but isn’t this how some of the current day liturgical abuses were promoted (Standing after the Sanctus comes to mind) ?

    Maybe the ancients saw the errors of their ways (The account of one who rubbed the Precious Blood on his eyes and lips comes to mind)and why then should we return to them ?

  21. John Enright says:

    David M. Wallace: Let me amend my comment. I think the NO version of the “Sign of Peace” should be suppressed. The EF form is acceptable. That being said, I like what Patrick said. Why not just suppress the NO?

  22. Denis Crnkovic says:

    If I recall correctly, giving the Pax before the Agnus Dei is a change from tradition; more antiquo the Pax was given after the Agnus Dei and then after the prayer DJC, qui dixisti Apostolis tuis…. For some reason in the new liturgy the Agnus Dei got relegated to the background. This leaves the supplicants pleading rather illogicaly for peace (dona nobis pacem) after they have already offered it to one another. I have always been at loss to explain this move. It is a perfect example of what father calls “tinkeritis”.

    I would opt to put the Pax back where it was, retain it as an option, and teach the congregants that when the celebrant offers the peace verbally, those present have also, through him, “offerd one another the sign of peace” and there is no essential need to repeat it.

    Pax tecum

    In older days it was
    a simple touch of consecrated
    hands on brocade shoulders,
    the head inclined-right then left-
    so nearby those brothers’ Spirit
    that time compressed to nil
    and space released its holds.

    In later days the peace
    constricts in modern bounds:
    politely pressing hands,
    a friendly raucous laugh
    or smiles not unlike the greeters’
    at the automatic doorways
    in those cinder-block stores.

  23. Kathy says:

    I’m with Patrick!

  24. Jim says:

    In the Byzantine liturgy the sign or kiss of peace occurs right before the singing of the creed and the anaphora, and after the liturgy of the word. It consists of a solemn kiss or embrace accompanied by the words (except in festal seasons), “Christ is in our midst.” The response is “He is and always shall be.”

    The problem in the West is not with the current location but with the degeneration of the Latin rite liturgy into a hootenanney. It has become a time for exchange of greetings and retains little of its original character — a solemn sign of Christ’s love and reconciliation with one’s neighbor. Hence it becomes necessary to tinker with placement of the sign of peace in order to correct liturgical abuses which have evolved in the wake of Vatican II.

  25. James Isabella says:

    I agree with David M. Wallace.

    The Maronite practice for the exchange of peace is wonderfully orderly and reverent, and should be the model for the Roman Rite.

  26. Brian2 says:

    As others have noted, I think the best thing to do is to keep it where it is, but eliminate the options so that the missal limits the congregations role in the sign of peace to ‘and with thy spirit’ rather than moving the whole thing around. Moving the whole rite is like using a buzz saw where you need a scalpel

  27. Vox Borealis says:

    I agree that, ideally, the SOP should not be moved but rather more properly carried out (i.e., eliminate the “offerte…”). At t he same time, I would not be too broken up if it were moved.

    Giles Pinnock relates a practice is his parish of “counting to ten” before the organist begins the Agnus Dei. But this is not really an appropriate solution: the Agnus Dei is supposed to begin with the breaking of bread and comingling. That is to say, it is not to be invoked “automatically,” but rather is tied to a specific liturgical act on the part of the priest.

    where am I going with this? In my experience, by the time the priest gets done shaking everyone’s hand in the sanctuary and getting back to the altar to break the host, most people in their seats have run out of people to shake hands with. So, if the choir/organist would just slow down, there is no need for the SOP to interfere with the Agnus Dei and the final preparation for reception of Communion.

    All this being said, it really would be best to cut out the hand-shaking-back-slapping altogether.

  28. RichR says:

    Interesting idea. For those parish priests that may be looking to limit the SoP, they can start doing it at Daily Mass first and “get feedback”.

  29. Elliot says:

    The best place for the “sign of peace” in the NO is…nowhere! ditch it! That would be the best thing they(the perennial tinkerers)could ever do.

  30. Mike says:

    I don’t think changing the location would make any difference to how the faithful see the sign of peace – it will always seem like a social greeting and its place will be irrelevant to most people.

    For this reason I’d rather it was done away with altogether, but if it must remain, then in my view its location would be much better quite early on in the Mass, as in the Ambrosian Rite, because then it wouldn’t disturb the reverence so near to Communion.

  31. joe says:

    Not that anyone in authority has asked me, my vote is along the lines of “Pull it out by the roots and hurl it into a wood chipper, and then burn the ensuing mulch, followed by scattering the ashes as far afield as is humanly possible.”


  32. Berthold says:

    It is not only a question of tradition where to place the Pax. If it is done before the Offertory it is primarily stressing our duty to be in peace with each other; if it is after the canon it emphasizes that peace is a gift from God.
    The way the peace is done in the Liturgy of St John Chrysostome fits with its strong division between the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful – only after the Catechumens are dismissed the baptized Christians exchange the peace and recite the Creed. As the ‘Liturgy of the Eucharist’ in the Roman Rite know since the Middle Ages no strict division between the two parts and no dismissal of catechumens the beginning of the Offertory is not specifically marked (also the Creed is today normally understood as part of the ‘Liturgy of the Word’). It that sense it may be more sensible to move the pax (if people want to move it) to the beginning of the Mass rather than to the Offertory.

  33. I think there is more to the Holy Father considering moving the Sign of Peace than we might think. The Sign of Peace will be a nightmare, a hootenanny, wherever it is placed in the liturgy. We should think more of changing the habit of reverence in our churches.

    The irreverence-level of a disruptive communal handshaking “ceremony” is not dependent on being before or after the Consecration.

    Perhaps, then, the thinking is that moving the Sign will affect the faithful in a more psychological manner. There is no mention of peace during the Liturgy of the Word, only sitting and listening. There is not much active participating during the Liturgy of the Word. The responses, the standing and kneeling, the moving on the part of the faithful come during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. By moving the Sign of Peace the faithful may not act in the same way. The communal “movements” during the Liturgy of the Eucharist invigorates, as it were, the faithful and discourages interior participation; this is counteracted by an increased vitality among those who wish to extend the peace of Christ themselves through handshaking, hugging, etc.

  34. Mike: Perhaps one could argue that how the sign of peace is seen might determine where it should be placed. And perhaps two versions of the “sign of peace” should be distinguished:

    (1) exchange of good will among the people
    (2) passing Christ’s down from the altar

    The current problem is that (1) does not belong where the sign of peace is now — when Christ is already on the altar. But it might not be inappropriate after the intercession, before the canon has begun.

    But (2) is only appropriate where it is. So why not separate the questions.

    Continuity requires that (2) be retained where it is. Whereas introducing (1) after the intercessions is a separate question, and might be an organic development

    These two questions are mutually exclusive. The Mass could logically contain either (1) or (2), or both (1) and (2), or neither.

    Sometimes I cannot help wondering why Rome and our bishops cannot bring to these matters the clarity of thought that I myself exhibit (as a simple mathematician).

  35. Folks: We cannot, should not, completely eliminate the Sign of Peace. It is part of the Roman Rite.

    What we can eliminate is the incessant and unrestrained congregational (and sometimes priestly) hijinx that results from the nearly obligatory use the option!

  36. gregg says:

    If we must have it, I would suggest moving it to the Dismissal. Maybe some of the people who leave Mass early will stick around so as not to miss the Sign of Peace.

  37. Future Priest (now a deacon) says:

    Some confreres of my religious community are under the impression that it is the invitation to exchange the sign of peace (Let us offer each other the sign of peace.) that is optional and not the sign of peace itself.

    One confrere when celebrating Mass will still exchange the sign of peace without saying the invitation.

    How may I corrrect this misinterpretation of the rubric?

  38. Roland de Chanson says:

    Kudos to Patrick and Kathy.

    But failing complete suppression, and in the spirit of change for change’s sake, I think the SOP should be moved to the Offertory (what did they change the Offertory to?). That way, with a bit of prestidigitation, you can palm a sawbuck from the collection basket while gladhanding your lovely pew mate.

    Half a century later, and they still haven’t knocked together a game plan for a liturgy! Per omnia mutata mutatorum. Change without end, Amen.

    Se la Chiesa non fosse divina, questo Concilio l’avrebbe seppellita. (Were the Church not divine, this council would have buried it.) — Giuseppe Cardinal Siri

  39. Fenton says:

    Unfortunately, the Sign of Peace has turned into “Hugs of Happiness”, the “High Five of Person-ness”, the “Knuckle Knock of What’s-up-ness” (go to any Teen Life or college Mass and you’ll see what I mean). The abuse has turned what should be yet another part of a SOLEMN event, into a raucous, “yay us!” celebration that is better suited outside the Mass. Until the bishops, priests, and laity believes that the Sacrifice of the Mass deserves solemnity and upward focus on Christ, these innovations and abuses will continue.

    After attending both Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo, it has dawned on me why we’ve lost the faithful over the years…

    The hustle & bustle of a poorly run Novus Ordo can actually creates a stressful atmosphere for those who truly wish to glorify God in a vertical dimension with solemnity and devotion–sadly, there are times where I can’t wait for the end of our parish’s poorly done Novus Ordo (is this a sin?), but don’t want a Traditional Latin Mass to ever end! 90 minutes in a High Mass goes by too quickly, but a 50 minute Novus Ordo seems to take a long time…

  40. Flambeaux says:

    Fr. Z,

    To restrain or eliminate the hijinks would require priests to catechize their congregations about the meaning and proper way of exchanging the Peace of Christ.

    In my experience, this (catechesis of the faithful) is a bridge too far for many priests.

  41. Flambeaux says:


    This is my experience, also.

  42. John says:

    “Remember: the invitation to the congregation to make a Sign of Peace is an OPTION.”

    LOL – in the doublespeak world of Vatican II, every “option” becomes immediately institutionalized.

  43. No one of consequence says:

    I would have to say that I prefer the peace before the Agnus Dei – it should there help to make it clear that it is Christ’s peace – He being sacramentally present – that is being shared

    (Others above make similar points.)

    Someone I’ve read – I thought it was Ratzinger but can’t now find it in any of the books of his that I have – has suggested that the Sign of Peace (begun with the celebrant’s greeting, Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum) corresponds to Christ’s “Peace be with you” to the disciples when he was present after the resurrection – and thus belongs sometime after Christ has become present in the Eucharist – i.e. sometime after the consecration – rather than sometime before (as before the offertory).

    Can anyone help me with this reference?

  44. Elliot says:

    Father Z,
    In a post a couple of days ago you were ready to chuck the whole thing, now you’ve changed your mind…remember this? “I do. GET RID OF IT.”(your commentary on that monsignor’s article)
    So which is it…keep it or get rid of it?

  45. Rob says:

    Unfortunately, the problems all stem from an over emphasis of human respect that has been introduced into the liturgical life of the Church.

    I also have a problem with the incessant clapping that often takes place at the beginning and before the Blessing at the end of Mass. I often refer to this as either the “Introductory or Concluding Rites of Affirmation”.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced this during Cathedral liturgies celebrated by Bishops (and both Cardinals Law and O’Malley) here in Boston. I blame a distorted emphasis on human respect fueled by the current value placed on modern psychology and most all pastoral formation. We already live in a secular culture steeped with therapeutic values. We find little escape from this mentality even in our parishes.

    Obviously, it’s not about us it’s about Him. Lex orandi Lex credendi.

  46. There’s no need to move the SOP…it should be done EF style. No Deacon/Subdeacon no SOP exchanged. Deacon/Subdeacon SOP exchanged at the altar alone.

  47. Rob says:

    Should read…”in most all pastoral formation.”

  48. patrick finley says:

    We as people like to feel good about ourselves. we shake hands, we appluad, we have cool rock bands that make Calgary Recreated fun and exciting…

    I think its supconcious. I think people dont want to think of the Crucified One during the sacrifice, so they over the past 40 years have found ways to feel good about themselves, and forget they are sinners, and forget they need to pray.

    Move the sign of peace I say. move it outside the Eucharist.

    Or just have fellowship meals after the mass, which alot of parish’s do. Pleanty of time to shake hands, and applaud each other there.

  49. In my experience, this (catechesis of the faithful) is a bridge too far for many priests.

    You cannot give what you do not have.

  50. Johnny Domer says:

    The problem is not WHERE it’s done in the Mass, but HOW it’s done. If we just do it the same way we did before the Council, with the clergy exchanging the pax, it would be fine. Just stop having people shake each other’s hand like a bunch of insurance salesmen.

  51. Johnny,

    You are certainly on the spot with your point. (Sorry – bad pun.)

    It is HOW it is done that is the primary issue, although I could see the rationale for moving it to before the offertory.

    I recently learned that the origin of shaking hands comes from Ancient Rome. It was a way to verify that you were not coming to meet someone armed with weapons.

    So it IS a sign of peace, but not in the way that Christians mean it! Does anyone know the early traditions of what was done in the West?

  52. Origen Adamantius says:

    The problem with moving the sign of peace is that it changes its theological focus.

    (SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, 49.) By its nature the Eucharist is the sacrament of peace. At Mass this dimension of the eucharistic mystery finds specific expression in the sign of peace. Certainly this sign has great value (cf. Jn 14:27). In our times, fraught with fear and conflict, this gesture has become particularly eloquent, as the Church has become increasingly conscious of her responsibility to pray insistently for the gift of peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family. Certainly there is an irrepressible desire for peace present in every heart. The Church gives voice to the hope for peace and reconciliation rising up from every man and woman of good will, directing it towards the one who \”is our peace\” (Eph 2:14) and who can bring peace to individuals and peoples when all human efforts fail. We can thus understand the emotion so often felt during the sign of peace at a liturgical celebration. Even so, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion. It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one\’s immediate neighbours (150).

    The peace offered is that which flows from the living resurrected Christ present in the midst of the assembly creating community (Think resurrection appearances). Reconciliation and forgiveness occur at the penitential rite. The end of the liturgy the community that knows the peace of Christ carries him an it into the world.

  53. IMHO, it seems to me that this is once again an issue of tinkeritis. If the Sign of Peace is moved, then there is a certain disruption in the Mass from a historical point of view since it, as Father points out so well, has always been there.

    According to Dr. Pius Parsch, a leading 20th century liturgist, the Pax Domini could either be interpreted as an invitation to the Sign of Peace or as a dismissal to those that would not receive Holy Communion during the Mass. As for the sign itself, it has been around for centuries , but I cannot speak about its origin.

    I would also like to note here that perhaps the USCCB could limit the Sign of Peace to the deacons, priests, and bishops at Mass. It has bee ndone for centuries in the celebration of the High Mass in the EF. Why not change the Ordinary form and take out option? Just a suggestion.

  54. Noel Abbott says:

    My oh my, what a kerfuffle! Well said, Fr Z. IMHO, I have an understanding that an exchange of peace (should) takes place only with someone nearby. The concept that either it has to be passed in an hierarchic manner or that ministers have to leave the sanctuary to minister to as many in the congregation as possible, thus extending the interruption to preparations for communion, is what has led to its degeneration into a scrum or free-for-all. Surely proper catechesis should not be beyond anyone’s whit. Also, the celebrant has an opportunity not to begin the fraction until calm and order and due reverence have returned.
    Now there are a number of alternatives for ‘Liturgy Committee’ to weigh up!! Follow Peter!

  55. joe says:

    In light of Fr. Z’s admonition, I wish to clarify my comment above:

    “Pull the incessant and unrestrained congregational (and sometimes priestly) hijinx out by the roots and hurl it into a wood chipper, and then burn the ensuing mulch, followed by scattering the ashes as far afield as is humanly possible.”

  56. Nick says:

    In the Byzantine liturgy the bishop(s) and priests greet one another during the Creed by first kissing the diskos, the chalice and antimension on the altar (after the offertory but before the consecration), then kissing both cheeks and finally each other’s hands saying “Christ is in our midst!” with the response “He is and shall be!”. The deacons, separately, greet each other without the kissing of the diskos, the chalice, the antimension or the hands. This all takes place in the sanctuary. Traditionally the laity do not take part.

  57. Alice says:

    Father Deacon Daniel,
    I may be wrong, but what I recall is that in the West, the congregation passed around a “kissing board” and in other centuries passed the kiss of peace from one person to another in the congregation. The latter ended when congregations stopped being segregated by gender.

  58. Josh says:

    It is like arguing about where the deck chairs should be moved on the Titanic.
    ATTENTION: All hands on deck!

  59. “The deacons, separately, greet each other without the kissing of the diskos, the chalice, the antimension or the hands. This all takes place in the sanctuary. Traditionally the laity do not take part.”


    Actually, at this point I am standing before the icon of Christ on the iconostasis, not on the altar per se…just the solea (which is an extension of the altar, I suppose). If a second deacon is present, we exchange the sign of peace, but generally do not do so with the priests. If I am serving as deacon alone, I kiss one of the crosses on my orarion (stole) and then proceed to announce “The Doors! The Doors! In wisdom let us be attentive!”. The choir then starts the Creed.

    That at least is our practice.

  60. Michael says:

    “Where should it go?”

    Oh, Father — you really shouldn’t set us up like that!

  61. (Returning after viewing a rebroadcast of today’s Papal Mass–another step forward in the Marshal Plan–with genuine Roman vestments all around, no unseemly concelebrants, two cardinal deacons kneeling for the consecration like deacons everywhere, and numerous cardinals and bishops in choir receiving communion on the tongue while kneeling.)

    Father Z: We cannot, should not, completely eliminate the Sign of Peace. It is part of the Roman Rite.

    This is what I meant above in saying “Continuity requires that (2) be retained where it is.” (That is, the Pax in the traditional sense of Christ’s peace passed on.)

    The problem is that (1) is what people now understand — peace in the sense of an exchange of good will. I’m afraid, given both clerical and priestly realities, that’s what they will continue to understand. So the present sign of peace has to be either moved or eliminated if the traditional theological sign is not to continue to be obliterated.

    Of course I, like most here, would prefer the current sign simply being eliminating so the traditional sign can flower again. Which simply will not occur in my lifetime, save either dropping or moving the current business.

    This clarity of separate issues is what it seems to me the the big episcopal thinkers should bring to the matter.

  62. Nick says:

    Deacon Daniel,

    If there is only one deacon serving, yes, he merely kisses his orarion as he stands outside the sanctuary before the icon of Christ. The same also applies to a single priest serving (i.e., kissing the diskos, chalice and antimension). The only time the greeting is given is during a concelebration. If there are two deacons then the deacon who is standing before the icon of Christ waits to greet the other deacon when he returns back to the sanctuary. In any case the greeting is strictly clerical.

  63. No one of consequence says:

    Could people please stop misrepresenting Ratzinger/Benedict’s position regarding the newer form of the Roman Rite Mass? He makes it very clear in his pre-papal writings (and in his papal writings too – see Sacramentum Caritatis nos. 3 and 47-48) that he thinks it is a legitimate development – and that this reality needs to be made clearer as a result of problems with the process by which the changes were made. His “fabrication” comment needs to be read in this light – indeed, it more likely concerns the further (and abusive) modifications of the liturgy that have been made by celebrants (and others involved in the celebration of the liturgy) than the newer form per se.

    This is not unrelated to someone’s question above about the offertory in the newer form. Why not ask Ratzinger/Benedict that question? He does answer it, in God Is Near Us, pp. 66-69 (cf. also again SC 47).

    Read Ratzinger/Benedict. Understand what he’s saying. Trust him.

  64. Doug says:

    In the Sarum Rite the Pax is both a verbal invocation of the “Peace of the Lord” AND a physical passing amongst the clergy of an icon of the crucifixion (called the Pax) to be kissed. After this the Priest says 3 prayers before communicating himself. The gist of the prayers is praise of and thanks to the Father and Son for the gift of remission of sin and communion with God through Jesus’ sacrifice.

    To me this is a perfectly harmonious and complete process. The peace is declared, the source of peace is venerated, the gift of peace is received. The end. I don’t see anything missing. Especially not, “Hey, how are ya? How’s yer mama? What’s for lunch”?

  65. Larry says:

    While the “Kiss of Peace” may have been in same place in the Liturgy for a thousand years it did not involve the Laity. It was given by the Priest (Bishop)to the Deacon. The Sign of Peace while it is situated in the same location is not the same thing. With the laity involved it is much more inclusive not simply of one person to another person but to those close by. I don’t care how reverently you do it when it involves 4 to 6 people interacting it is going to present a distraction from the moment that should be focused on the LORD. A thousand years is not two thousand years. Jesus asked us/ told us to be reconciled BEFORE we present our gifts at the altar. It would really be nice if we did one of the few things that the Incarnate GOD asked us to do, as HE asked us to do it! The Sign of Peace is an organic development from the Kiss of Peace. It has had over 30 years of practice; it is not likely to go away without senseless bickering. The senseless bickering thereby becomes the cause for needing the signe of Peace. While the “signe of peace” is optional the necessity to be reconciled with our brother is mandatory. That is one problem with the TLM. The people in the pews can remain stone faced and far removed from what Jesus calls us to be.

  66. EXACTAMUNDO. It is not WHEN the Sign of Peace takes place that needs to be addressed by the bishops, rather HOW it takes place. I prefer to omit it during Lent and Advent and at all weekday Masses (especially since I only get 1 to 3 people). What we also need is a definition of the sign of peace to exclude the ridiculous ‘waving of hands’, ‘high five’, ‘and the ‘goomba hug’.

  67. The people in the pews can remain stone faced and far removed from what Jesus calls us to be.

    My goodness, Larry. Do you really think whether we’re grinning or smiling has anything whatsoever to do with what Jesus “calls us to be”. Or with the depth and sincerity of the communion we share with those we’re united with in prayer and worship.

    Or does gripping ‘n grinning merely betray the superficiality of the union we feel?

  68. Antiquarian says:

    “Could people please stop misrepresenting Ratzinger/Benedict’s position regarding the newer form of the Roman Rite Mass? He makes it very clear in his pre-papal writings (and in his papal writings too – see Sacramentum Caritatis nos. 3 and 47-48) that he thinks it is a legitimate development – and that this reality needs to be made clearer as a result of problems with the process by which the changes were made. *His “fabrication” comment needs to be read in this light – indeed, it more likely concerns the further (and abusive) modifications of the liturgy that have been made by celebrants (and others involved in the celebration of the liturgy) than the newer form per se.”*

    Exactly so. And he later elaborated this to make the point that it was the process, the manner in which reforms had been introduced, which gave the impression that the liturgy was something manufactured– he did not refer to the Ordinary Form itself as fabricated, manufactured, or “banal”– all of which you will find all over the internet as out-of-context quotes from him.

    His concern seems to have been one of catechesis which applies to the topic at hand. Had a Sign of Peace practice been introduced more sensitively, with an explanation of its historical role in the liturgy, might some of the problems we face today have been avoided?

  69. Carolee says:

    I have been active in the Catholic Church since 2000 as a professional chorister and now choir director. I find the present position of the Peace to be disruptive. The counting to 10 and them going into the Agnus Dei makes for a very awkward situation. I am not a theologian but it seems to me the better place for the peace is after the Intercessions. That way, the people can continue on toward the Sanctus in more harmony with their neighbors.

  70. Mike says:

    What the Protestants have in spades and what us Catholics significantly lack is agape and fellowship. But that’s not dependent on a superficial SOP. So why not do away with the SOP, or make it as it is in the EF, and institute mandatory greetings by the priest and better coffee and cakes after Mass instead? That would keep everyone happy.

  71. Brian Day says:

    This is what I posted on Jimmy’s combox yesterday:

    Since the sign of peace is an option, the default position should be that it is omitted. When used, it should be restricted to the clergy only.

    I don’t have the time to look it up, but I believe the TLM Solemn Mass does have the Kiss of Peace. The TLM Low Mass does not.

  72. Fr. A says:

    Fr. Z:

    I answer your question, yes, this is tinkeritis. We do not have the sign of peace at my parish – ever. In the _Novus Ordo_, it’s an option.

  73. John says:

    Fenton’s post sums it up very well. When you bring the Sign/Kiss of Peace out of the highly trained area of the sanctuary, it is impossible to have it given and received with any degree of solemnity. It becomes a very secular how-are-ya session. No matter how well the Liturgy has been celebrated to that point, (and how seldomly is NO celebrated well anyway?), as soon as SOP has been signalled, some level of pandemonium, (often high and most unedifying), breaks out in in every church I have attended. It should be confined to the sanctuary, in the traditional, solemn form, and not offered as an option to the congregation.

  74. joy says:

    At my previous parish, the only way we could get the priest back up on the altar after he had traipsed all the way down the main aisle gladhanding everyone, EVEN TO THOSE OF US IN THE CHOIR ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK OF THE CHURCH was to start the Agnus Dei.
    I think the ‘option’ should be VERY extraordinary.

  75. Fr Fenton says:

    Father Z,
    There is one significant difference between the OF and EF on the Kiss of Peace — in the EF it occurs after the co-mingling (a sign of the Resurrection), not before. Now, liturgically speaking, we are offering the Peace of Christ before we have ritualized the Resurrection, i.e., in the midst of Holy Saturday, as it were. In the EF, there is a quasi-rite of peace, that begins with Pax Domini…and then has the co-mingling, then the Kiss.

  76. Philippe says:

    I could hardly agree more, although I wish that (in the EF) the sign of peace were passed on to the faithful again, as it used to be. I am afraid that liberals do have a point in saying that it is clercalism to keep it inside the sanctuary and choir. Of course, this is no excuse for the secularised handshake that has become so typical of the OF. Needless to say that I am pleading for the “extraordinary” form of the kiss of peace, a truly reverent and holy gesture, as Romano Guardini explained.

    Having said this, I would like to ask for a reference. You say that (in the OF) “the invitation to the congregation to make a Sign of Peace is an OPTION”. This sounds highly interesting, as I was preparing to advise a traditional-minded priest to just drop the sign of peace in his OF-Mass. However, I failed to find any provision in the IGMR that either imposes the sign of peace of makes it an option. May I just ask what is the reference that supports your contention ?

  77. Fr Fenton says:

    Dear Phillipe (I know you were writing to another “Father”, but…)

    In the Missal it says, after the Pax Domini…, that the Deacon or Priest may (key word) add the following (pro opportunitate, diaconus, vel sacerdos, subiungit)
    Let us offer each other the sign of peace. (Offerte vobis pacem).

  78. Humilitas says:

    The Sign of Peace should be abolished. It is a serious distraction during the most sacred part of the Mass.

    Too often, it goes on and on. The Ushers offer the sign to every person sitting in the first position of each pew. The Priest picks a section, usually along the front row and offers the sign to everyone there. By the way, our church seats 1600 parishoners, so you can imagine the chaos that ensues.

  79. Brian says:

    Please let’s drop to (never exercised) optional status that distracting community sign of peace

  80. Matthew Hysell says:

    I could not disagree more.

    Both A.-G. Martimort and J. Jungmann note that the Sign of Peace in proximity to the Lord’s Prayer is intentional. The question is whether presbyters fulfill their normal requirement to catechize (cf. CIC c. 528; Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 4; Directory on the Life and Minsitry of Priests, nos. 45-47). And Saint Paul, no less than four times in his epistles, exhorts his readers to greet one another with a “holy kiss”.

    The Sign of Peace at Mass is not a chance to “catch up” with our neighbours in the pews, but to venerate Christ who is present in the syntaxis. In a very real sense, it is a “communion before the Communion,” since there can be no dichotomy between love of God and love of neighbour (see G.I.R.M., no. 82).

    And to insist that greeting one another is disrespectful to the Sacred Body and Precious Blood present on the Altar is a non-sequitur: veneration of Christ in his Body and veneration of Christ in his Sacrament are inseparable (see 1 Cor. 16:17).

    Keep the Sign of Peace where it belongs, and to all the presbyters, I encourage: Teach, preach, catechize. That is your first obligation.

    I would also add that it is a presumption and a serious breach of liturigcal law for celebrants, Traditionalist or not, to suppress the Sign of Peace, which has been established by the Church’s supreme authority.

    “Say the black, do the red”, but read the praenotandae first!

  81. Sigh. Do you realize that this is not a new problem? It was a problem in the medieval and reformation periods as well. Before you decide you know all the answers, try reading Duffy\’s Stripping of the Altars on the fights about the kiss of peace in Marian England, or even Cities of God</a on what was done in the thirteenth-century. Then this conversation might have some foundations.

  82. John Enright says:

    Father Z said: “Folks: We cannot, should not, completely eliminate the Sign of Peace. It is part of the Roman Rite.”

    I disagree. The SOP is optional according to one of your previous posts. If it is optional, it can be suppressed by simply not using it.

  83. John Enright: Read my entry again, please.

  84. John Enright says:

    Father Z: I fully read your post before. Your comment, however, made the issue cloudy. If the SOP is optional, how can it be that it cannot be suppressed? Ambiguous statements don’t help. I don’t mean to get on your case, but I think clear guidance is needed. Do we need the SOP as it is performed in the NO? There’s nothing like it in the EF, and frankly, it freaks me out.

  85. DCS says:

    I’ve been to many NO Masses where the invitation to the congregation is omitted. It’s refreshing. I’ll say ‘hi’ to whoever is willing to stick around after Mass. Of course the Mass was said ad orientem as well, so there was a predisposition. My wedding Mass was done this way, mainly because the EF was not available at the time.

  86. Roland de Chanson says:

    Fr. Z.: Read my entry again, please.

    It appears to me that there is some significant equivocation here. Your original post implied that the SOP should be gotten rid of. Now however, you appear to argue that only the celebrant’s offer of the SOP should be got rid of. This is subtlety worthy of the most duplicitous Jesuit. Having been educated by the Jesuits (yet still retaining the faith), I congratulate you on a tour de force of casuistry. ;-)

    Get rid of the SOP. Get rid of the NO. Ripara la casa mia che cade in rovina.

  87. Fr W says:

    What I will say will not be popular here.
    I have heard women say, ‘The peace is the best part of the Mass!’ I think it is part of a culture that is so lonely and isolated, that such things affect them. I don’t think men like it at all.

    That being said, I think the Pope believes some such action demonstrating fellowship is important today, and to simply throw out this action would hurt people. So how can we have such an action, and yet fix the Novus Ordo? First you have to move the ‘sharing’ action,’ perhaps not even calling it a Sign of Peace. Then you drop into the Novus ordo the entire Tridentine Offertory to Communion, with the traditional Pax included for only the clergy. This would largely achieve the reforms called for at Vatican II. (Except please put back the prayers at the foot)

    Its just a theory, but I think that’s where he is going.

  88. TJM says:

    Fr.W – Pardon me, my wife and daughters think the kiss of peace is absolutely ridiculous. They also detest the fake sign of unity imposed by forcing people to join hands at the Pater Noster. Sorry, I’m not buying. It’s not a man/woman issue. If some people are telling you it’s the best part of the Mass, they really need some serious re-education in the Faith. Tom

  89. Son of Trypho says:

    Do you have to participate in the sign of peace if you don’t want to?

  90. shadrach says:

    The location of the sign of peace in the Eastern Rites should be employed in the NO as a remedy against polluting the Agnus Dei with the idolatry of community that so often can be seen – especially in American Catholicism and campus Catholicism. THe argument against cross-fertilisation doesn’t hold as long as ‘for the kingdom etc.’ is said after the Pater Noster in the NO. The moving of the sign of peace is a more realistic solution because so many priests will hold onto the rampant undisciplined SOP as long as possible. Moving where it comes in the sequence of the mass is the least bad solution for those pessimistic about many of the clergy’s willingness to rein in community/ parish self-worship.

  91. Bill Marshall says:

    when I attend the NO Mass I refrain from participating in the “glad-handing”; I only participate when cornered by some persistant modernist. I, also, kneel for communion.

    There are those that quietly look down their noses at me like I’m some sort of prehistoric creature. But I don’t really give a “rip”.

  92. Tom says:

    Personally, I am pleased that the Holy Father has requested the Bishops to give input on this rite and it’s placement in the liturgy.

    From my reading of liturgical history and reflection upon its development, it seems to me that there was a time when the Eucharist was celebrated apart from the “Liturgy of the Word”. These “Liturgies of the Word” concluded with a Sign of Peace.

    Speeking to the Christians at Rome [16:16], Corinth
    [I 16:20; II 13:12; Thessalonika [I 5:26], Saint Paul exhorted the faith community to greet one another with a holy kiss. Saint Peter concludes his First Letter [5:14] “to the exiles of the Diaspora” by writing: “Greet one another with the kiss of love”. It served as a way of uniting those gathered for prayer, confirming the bond of faith, and assured participants to be ever-ready to assist each other in any need.

    When the Church was recognized by Constantine and organized by local Bishops, it would be likely that all peoples would be welcome to various celebrations of the Word of God to praise Him, and to be catechized by the bishop and priests. Eucharist was reserved for the baptized. Indeed, in the Liturgies of Saint Basil, and of Saint John Chrysostom before the Profession of Faith, the bishop/priest declares: “The doors! The doors! In wisdom, let us be attentive.” Similarly, before the Eucharist Prayer in the Armenian Liturgy the bishop/priest says: Those of you who are not fit to take part in this Divine Holy Mystery, withdraw to the doors and pray.” Then, he says to the faithful: “Greet each other with the holy kiss.” In the Chaldean Rite, after the petitions, the deacon cries out: Let him who has not received baptism go. Let him who has not accepted the sign of life go. Let him who will not receive it go; and let the hearers go. Guard the doors.”

    Also, consider the contemporary Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: various types of liturgies of the Word of God are to be highly esteemed [Scripture services, Liturgy of the Hours, etc.] Catechumens are often invited to the Liturgy of the Word that precedes the celebration of the Eucharist, but are dismissed (with a blessing) after the homily and before the Creed. They do not share in the (Sign/Kiss) of Peace.

    Perhaps, if the contemporary Sign of Peace at Mass was re-located to this same place [before the recitation of the Creed] it could tolerate different forms of expression. At the conclusion of a celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, or any other liturgical Ritual, some form of Sign of Peace could be shared among the participants. At times it could be robust; other times it can be a smile across the room; at another time it can be the occasion for settling differences/reconciling a broken relationship with another member of the community of faith. There need not be any “formal” way of extending this expression of peace.

    Extending the Sign of Peace to other liturgical or communal settings would indeed moderate the way it will be shared at the Eucharist. Yes, catechesis will be needed.
    People can be formed to vary the manner of extending the peace. And, perhaps, they will truly express what needs to be expressed at that moment.

  93. Some of you are picking.

    The Roman Rite includes a Sign of Peace. It should be done correctly.

    Abusus non tollit usum.

    Let us be smart about this.

    Read what I wrote carefully.

  94. Simon-Peter says:

    I quite like the sign of peace…when it is done properly and I think it becomes more special when offered only in solemn Masses. It really does belong where it is at the moment, as Fr Z points out, where it has been for over a thousand years.

    I have often been to Mass where the sign of peace is not offered by the celebrant, but the sign is still made by the people…if it is going to be reduced in use, then it should go with explanation beforehand. So too we should be reminded that we do not need to keep saying ‘hi’ to our brothers and sisters when the Agnus Dei starts.

    I remember once I was praying with my eyes shut during the Agnus Dei (at a Mass where the sign was not offered), and a friend I was with told me another guy was quite offended that I didn’t notice him shove his hand towards me.

    I would be very sad if it does move.

  95. Matthew Hysell says:

    The Catholic Encyclopedia on the New Advent website has an excellent article on the Kiss of Peace:

    The grand irony here is that those who call themselves Traditionalists are often ignorant of the Tradition or wish to suppress it. Didn’t St Paul command the Thessalonians to “hold onto the Tradition you have received from us”?

    We have received the Kiss of Peace from the Apostles. Q.E.D.

  96. Roland de Chanson says:

    Matthew Hyssell: We have received the Kiss of Peace from the Apostles. Q.E.D.

    Excellent point. Let us by all means preserve Tradition (especially when it gets published as Scripture).

    Mulieres in ecclesiis taceant, non enim permittitur eis loqui sed subditas esse sicut et lex dicit (1 Cor 14:34)

    Let women be silent in churches, for they are not permitted to speak but to be submissive just as the law also says.


    Bring back he KoP but out with the altar girls, lectoresses and liturgical ladies.

    (If my wife reads this, I’m toast.)

  97. Prof. Basto says:


    You nailed it, Father!

  98. DM says:

    How about leaving it where it is and just cutting out the “Offerte vobis pacem” part?

    Because the modus operandi of the Novus Ordinarians is to try everything except what works.

  99. Philippe says:

    Many thanks to Fr. Filton for the reference. So, that would be in the Missal proper, not in the IGMR? Interesting. Thank you for the tip.

    Now, as far as the place of the sign of peace is concerned, I don’t see why it should be moved to before the Bugninian non-Offertory. I agree with those who argue that the problem is about the form of the sign of peace, not its location (better reintroduce the traditional one, including its hierarchical transmission, all the way from the altar down to the congregation). Anyway, the kiss of peace in the Roman rite has always been between the end of the Canon and Holy Communion. In the East, not only the Byzantines but all of the Eastern Christians, as far as I know, have the kiss of peace roughly where our Offertory is. The traditional rationale for this is: “Si ergo offeres munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te, relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare et vade, prius, reconciliare fratri tuo et tunc veniens offer munus tuum” (Mt V, 23-24). A protestant might object to the Roman practice as anti-biblical but we are not protestants, are we?

    Among the Eastern Christian communities, including those Catholic, the Armenians, Maronites and Syrians (both Antiochian and Assyro-Chaldeans) have the kiss of peace before the beginning of the anaphora: it is a ritual gesture (this is crucial to the current problem of the SOP in the Latin Church) and it is passed on from the altar down to every member of the congregation. This is what used to be in practice in the Latin Church until the kiss of peace was limited to the Sanctuary. IMHO, this modus operandi should be restored in the West, both in the OF and the EF – at the Agnus Dei/fractio panis, however. I’d say that the OF (NOM) is beyond repair but, Deo juvante, doing away with the “glad-handing” may accelerate a complete return to the EF.

  100. Mitch says:

    I think the Sign of Peace belongs in the NO and UA as it shows some continuity between the two…However, I disdain the outlandish expressions of it on the part of the people….Perhaps the Holy Father should change the wording to prohibit the touching, hugging, kissing, walking around, etc. Something along the lines of “And now in the depths of our hearts, minds, and souls, may we pass along the Peace of Christ to all who are near to us” Rubrics indicating (no movement or gestures are necessary, however a slight bow of the head MAY be given) Any opinions??? Father, what do you think??? As for moving it to another place I think the Holy Father knows best and will decide accordingly..Personally I would like to see it moved…

  101. Philippe: So, that would be in the Missal proper, not in the IGMR?

    A bit more detail (from a post several days ago) from the OF Missale Romanum:

    Sacerdos, ad populum conversus, extendens et iungens manus, subdit:

    Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
    Et cum spiritu tuo

    Deinde, pro opportunitate, diaconis, vel sacerdos, subiungit:
    (“Then the deacon (or the priest) may add:”)

    Offerte vobis pacem.
    (“Let us offer each other the sign of peace.”)

    So the Rite of Peace itself — Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum conveying the Peace of Christ to the people — is clearly mandatory. But that “pro opportunitate” says that the Offerte inviting the people to join in is optional.

  102. Elizabeth says:

    Has anybody given thought to the idea that moving the sign of peace from it\’s present position in the \”ordinary\” form of the Roman Rite makes it look less \”Roman\”? What I mean is, the present position of the Church is that there are two \”Forms\” of the same \”Roman\” rite, the \”Ordinary\” form & the \”Extraordinary\” form. BUT if the powers that be persist in tinkering with the OF, presumably until they get it \”right\” (whatever that means) then they cannot be taken seriously when they continue with the fantasy that there is only ONE Roman rite. Or that the OF is a \”reform\” of the Roman rite.


  103. Alphonsus di Ligouri says:

    Not only do I believe the Signum Pax should be kept in its proper place, I believe and heartly endorse the return of the Holy Kiss as it was done in the Middle Ages. After all a kiss is an very intimate jesture, particulary that kiss. And since we are all familial and in communion not only with the Church but also God and His Saints I believe it to be the best expression of unity among Catholics. Just My two tuppence.

  104. Roland de Chanson says:

    (per Henry Edwards)

    Deinde, pro opportunitate, diaconus, vel sacerdos, subiungit: (Then the deacon or priest for convenience adds:)

    Offerte vobis pacem. (Offer yourselves the peace.)

    I would interpret the stating of the directive as an exhortation where suitable, e.g. perhaps where the congregation didn’t know what to do at that point. A more savvy bunch of NO’s would not have to cajoled and would commence the dervish whirl motu proprio. Even with my infrequent noviordinating, I know exactly when it’s coming and begin limbering up for the event several moments beforehand.

    To express possibility, permission, but not obligation, the more classical phraseology would be, licet diacono vel sacerdoti subiungere, d. vel s. subiungere potest, d. vel. s. subiungere velit (vellet), d. vel s. subiungat. The last construct is a hortatory subjunctive and might be construed as an obligation however.

    I am no expert in ecclesiastical Latin however. For example, I think that “et cum spiritu tuo” means “and with your spirit”, not “and also with you”, and “pro multis” means “for many” not “for all.” So I stand ready to be corrected.

  105. Liam says:

    Reading over the ongoing responses here, I am at the threshold of being persuaded that the problem is that the current ritual in the OR was only half-revived. The method described by Phillipe appears to be the best approach – this would mean that the ritual would actually take *more* time, not less, of course.

  106. No “anonymous” comments please.

  107. Michael J says:

    Not too long ago, the smallest hint that the Church had promulgated a “defective” rite that was in need of correction or reform would have brought charges of heresy.

    If Rome allows it, there can be no problems with it, right?

  108. Bruce T. says:

    While I don’t like tinkering, the Novus Ordo certainly needs modifications!
    I hope the traditional “Pax Domini nostri Iesu Christi sit semper vobiscum” remains before the Agnus Dei but without the exchange of peace. But, moving the exchange of a sign of peace (seen only in the High Mass of the TLM) is no loss to the Communion rite. Moreover, it might fit in well where the TLM’s “Dominus vobiscum” has been removed immediately after the Creed and before “Oremus” of the general intercessions.

  109. Geo F. says:

    Fr. W : please put back the prayers at the foot

    And put back the Last Gospel; I’ve heard it opined that members of other faiths (even ones that don’t hold that Jesus is the Savior) were instrumental in getting rid of that constant reminder of the Incarnation (how sad). Is there any truth to this (I have the V.II documents; but this seems more of a “common knowledge” thing than something that would present itself in the documents themselves). And WHY do/did we invite people of OTHER faiths to help the council decide pastoral issues ?

  110. Roland de Chanson,
    The English translations I provided are the official translations of the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) as per the current Sacramentary approved by the English-speaking bishops of the world. I would be one of the last to argue in favor of any particular English translation supplied by ICEL and approved by our bishops.

  111. Origen Adamantius says:

    Roland de Chanson

    Please do not atomize Scripture for convenience or sarcasm, that is take individual verses out of context (textual context, where within the same letter Paul assumes, without misgivings, that women pray and prophesy within the community: Ecclessial context, whereby Holy Mother Church has interpreted the passage as meaning something other than restricting women’s participation at the altar). Atomizations of the text, perpetuate the concept of private interpretations of scripture, the distortion of scripture and the ultimate dismissal of scripture.

  112. Geo F. says:

    shadrach:the idolatry of community or the “horizontal” paradigm of worship, if you wish are like government entitlements — once you start feeding from the trough it becomes a “right” [in the wrong sense] and is very difficult to change, alter or remove.
    The biological solution seems to be the only hope, which means that sadly many of us will not be around to see the fruits of the reform “seeds” that our Holy Father is now planting.

  113. Leave it where it traditionally has always been. The SOP has been done in a stately manner in the past [and in other rites too].
    Stop the congregational exchange.
    Allow it only within the Sanctuary among the priests and deacons with clear directives on what it means and how to do it.

    Until we get it right, it must stop among the congregation. Yes it is a distraction.
    Perhaps with good example from a newly-informed clergy, the people will learn?

  114. Matthew G. Hysell says:

    Roland de Chanson: Do be careful, please.

    1. We’re talking about the Kiss of Peace, not the role of women in the Church.

    2. I’m sure that Fr Z would agree that there is no such thing as a woman lector(or, as you call it, “lectoress.”) The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops went through this turmoil a number of years ago, and as you should know, the Holy See gave permission for women members of Christ’s Church to proclaim the Word at Mass in virtue of canon 230.2. Once in my canon law class, and again in liturgical law course, our doctrinally sound professor discussed this question in depth and explained that having women read at Mass is not a breach of ecclesiastical law.

    As I said before, we cannot contradict what has been established by the Church’s supreme authority.

    I would also add that misogyny is a grave sin.

    Peace be with all!

  115. Matt Q says:

    Well, it’s a good thing moving the peace sign is under consideration. I believe it should be. I wish it was opted not to be used at all but of course that’s wishful thinking. In any case, it should be done just immediately before or after the Offertory–or how about just after the Collect and be done with it?

    With the sign of peace itself, there should be a more demur way of doing it in the first place. How about just greet the person on either side of oneself rather than this mad hurdle over the pews to reach everyone within a 10-ft radius.

  116. Am I the only one old enough to remember when we’d never heard of the kiss of peace as the dangerous scrum it’s now become? (It was something the deacon and subdeacon did at Christmas midnight Mass, solemn high Masses being lower on our radar then than they are now.)

    But the we started being asked before Mass to shake hands with the neighbor on either side before observing a few moments of prayerful silence in preparation for the Holy Sacrifice.

    At the time, it seemed like an outrageous and shocking innovation for someone to stand up front and give any such directions — indeed, for anyone to say anything aloud in church before Mass. Now, those may seem like halcyon days.

  117. Roland de Chanson says:

    Matthew G. Hysell,

    I am afraid that you have totally missed the satire. Your use “Q.E.D.” was the object of that satire. I blame myself for ineptitude.

    BTW, I have been called many things in my oftentimes reprobate life, but a misogynist was never one of them. Rather I have erred on the side of excessive philogyny. I hope I will incur no additional censure from you for this comparatively venial sin.

    Again, my apologies for not having made my point more bluntly.

  118. Roland de Chanson says:

    Henry Edwards: … dangerous scrum …

    LOL! Excellent!

    BTW, I did not mean to imply that those translations were yours and not ICEL’s. I think we are of one mind about the treachery of translators!

  119. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I have to admit that in both forms, I find the kiss of piece in a weird place. It comes almost out of the blue after the embolism in which the main point is a reiteration of the request that we be freed from evil. Moreover, if the peace of the Lord has just been offered, why just a few minutes later do we say, “Dona nobis pacem.”? Clearly the OF framers found the sequence jarring in the Tridentine form and introduced the, “…You said to your disciples I leave you peace…” The problem was that they made a non sequitur into a unwieldy distraction. Am not sure what is the least bad way.

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