Thursday, March 26, 2009

Proposition 23

The implications of the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist are still being worked out, apparently the Congregation for Divine Worship are still debating proposition 23, of which many, many bishops were in favour.
Proposition 23

The Sign of Peace

The greeting of peace in the Holy Mass is an expressive sign of great value and depth (cf. John 14:27). However, in certain cases, it assumes a dimension that could be problematic, when it is too prolonged or even when it causes confusion, just before receiving Communion.

Perhaps it would be useful to assess if the sign of peace should take place at another moment of the celebration, taking into account ancient and venerable customs.
The is if the Sign of Peace were moved what would be the form of the Communion Rite? Some people claim the Our Father always ended with Sign of Peace saying the two things entered the Roman Rite at the same time - though not the Ambrosian Rite where it precedes the Offertory.

Presumably the Our Father will stay but what about the "Deliver us, Lord" with its reference to "give us peace in our day"?

It would be strange to have the prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your Apostle my peace I give you, my peace I leave you ...". What about the Agnus Dei, with it reference to "... grant us peace"?

So what might we be left with? Presumably

the Our Father,

maybe the "Deliver us Lord",

some prayer at the co-mixture,

maybe the Agnus Dei,

the "This is Lamb of God..."

the priest's preparatory prayer(s) before Holy Communion

the "Lord I am not worthy..."

followed by Holy Communion

It is quite similar to the Usus Antiquor Low Mass, isn't it?


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Yes, but my solution to the sign of peace is to treat it as a TLM, no peace exchanged in low/missa cantata, and servers only on solemn form. Saves the "theological headache" of moving the sign of peace, and it reigns in the prolonged sign of peace.

georgem said...

What goes around comes around.
I'm in total agreement with Joe.
Anything that stops the sign of peace being perceived as the pivotal moment of the Mass has my vote.

nickbris said...

It should be after the Confiteor.Then we can get on with it.

When it was introduced there was a lot of confusion so the older people just kept their heads down.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Ah yes, the glad-hand o' peace. Probably the most loathsome of all the Novusordoist inventions, and that largely because everyone is obliged to love it so much on pain of being called nasty names.

I can't count the times I have been kneeling, hands clasped together, with mantilla firmly drawn down and eyes tightly shut praying fervently for this revolting display of anti-liturgical, congregationalist chumminess to be over, only to have my right hand gripped by someone's eager claw and yanked out from under my chin. Ah yes, the peace of Christ eh?

How many of us dare to admit that they come late to these Masses in order to ensure a seat as far out of arm's reach as possible from other congregants.

catholicdiary said...

It seems silly to move it because of our own difficulties. And of course, because the Holy See has a free reign over these things, whatever is decided by the Holy Father will be done, and there will be no headache.

Anyway, it's nice where it is because:

1. People are used to it, and moving it will create a further separation between two forms of the rite. Any change like that is quite profound.

2. There is nothing wrong with the people exchanging the sign of peace. Though some use it as a greeting to their friends, it is after all a outward sign of our bond of charity as a congregation family.

3. The celebrant should always be aware of the people and if they wish to go on for a few moments exchanging peace with each other, he should give them a few moments to do so. He can, of course, shorten the process over time.

4. The people should be taught the meaning of the sign of peace, and be told that it's ok to shake the hand of the couple of people next to you, and not everyone in the church. They should also be advised to keep it brief, but this can all be explained.

Leaving it where it is a good teaching opportunity, and after all, messing about with our rite because it suits our culture and personal preferences is exactly what we shouldn't be doing.

Sorry: that was longer than anticipated!

mafeking said...

Hilary Jane Margaret White

Here, Here !!. I used to cringe at this part of the mass when I was a little boy and I still cringe at it now. It doesn't feel Catholic to me, it just feels right-on and PC. Let's just shelve it.

Simon Platt said...

So much for inculturation then, eh catholicdiary?

Cecilia said...

I know a no-longer practising Catholic who used to grit her teeth and mutter "Peace off" during the Rite of the Handshake. I also have had the recent experience at Mass of someone (ex-hippy, I presume) grinning at me and saying "Peace, Man" at the same point in the liturgy.
My view: get rid of the handshaking. Leave the formal Peace to be offered by those on the Sanctuary.

Newminster said...

You're right, Father. Just like the TLM! The question of course is what was the rationale behind the change in the first place.
I've always disliked it as a distraction in the build-up to Communion and at a stage of the Mass where we should be concentrating on God not on each other.
I'd rather see the back of it but if we MUST have it the Offertory is a better time.

georgem said...

"Sorry: that was longer than anticipated!"
Rather like the sign of peace, then.
Father giving the congregation more time? Greeting friends? Can't they do this after Mass?
I don't understand what teaching moment this is supposed to be.
Where is God in all this?

Pastor in Valle said...

I don't really see why there shouldn't be a more informal sign of peace early on in the Mass and a formal pax in its traditional place, but only on the sanctuary.

Father John Boyle said...

It's all down to liturgical catechesis. I cannot see anything wrong with the Sign's current position, (which accords with the tradition in the Roman Rite) just the way it's done in practice in some places.