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Vatican urges faithful to cool it during passing of the peace

Vatican urges faithful to cool it during passing of the peace

From Religion News Service:

In an effort to insure a more sober ritual, the Vatican has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of peace is exchanged during Mass.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments led by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, has sent a letter to bishops around the world expressing concern about what it considers to be ritual abuses.

Among them, he said, were turning the sign of peace into a “song of peace,” the priest leaving the altar during the interlude, or use of the ritual to offer congratulations at weddings or condolences at funerals.

Read more here. Pope Francis has reportedly approved this letter. Exchanging the peace can range from reserved to raucous in Episcopal churches. Seeing how close we are liturgically to our Roman brothers and sisters, what do you think of this effort to create a more “sober ritual?”


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Erin Garlock

My wife and I refer to this as “The Great Meandering”. We enjoy greeting multiple people – it is also an easy way to learn new names. We have multiple services on Sunday, each with a slightly different feel to them.

If the intent is to have a more “sober ritual” why is there celebratory song at various occasions and places within the service? It must be “sober”, unless we say otherwise.

Pepper Marts

People are amazingly diverse, with differing needs and tastes. From time to time it’s worth recalling that there are only two kinds: immanentists and transcendentalists. They are most easily distinguished at the Peace. The immanentist has greeted no one until all have been greeted; for the transcendentalist, greeting one is to have greeted all. I try to take care of both.


… Depends on the mood at the time. If liturgy is always sober, methodical and restrained, it’s going to put parishioners to sleep. I don’t thinks that’s appropriate either.

[Chaiyah – please sign your full name when you comment – thanks, editor]

Clint Davis

Considering the Roman Rite Peace is right after the Lord’s Prayer and right before the Fraction, I can kind of understand their desire for a more restrained and reverent Pax.

Ann Fontaine
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