Peace Out

Not out, exactly, but peace moved. The AP picks up the story. Pope Benedict is reportedly consulting bishops before making a final decision on moving the Rite of Peace, probably to the end of the Liturgy of the Word.

Some progressives have suggested this change for at least two decades. Conservatives have seemed more inclined to lobby for its exclusion. Except now, when they seem resigned to its use in the Roman Rite. This move was suggested at the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist.

After the Prayers of the Faithful would seem to be a good location. Where would you suggest the Rite of Peace? Where it is? Not at all? Somewhere else?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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15 Responses to Peace Out

  1. Charles says:

    Funny – the ‘Piskies already have this one down. The passing of the peace, where it is in the modern Roman Rite, is a complete and total disruption before Communion. I realize that it wasn’t in the old liturgy as the people didn’t participate (except through their “representative” the acolyte).

    If there’s anything the Holy Father can learn from the Anglicans, it’s this.

  2. Liam says:

    I don’t think its placement is broke, and it don’t need fixin’. The Pax in the Roman Rite has a different emphasis than in other rites, and it’s intimately associated with the core of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

  3. Fran says:

    I do think that having the rite just prior to communion prepares us to be one body. I find it so opening and connective.

    The idea of more solemnity and reverence leads me to see that as more isolating and more of “Jesus ‘n me” – it may not be that, I am just telling you how I see it… and I don’t like fostering that.

    With due respect to Charles and others, I don’t understand the disruption.

  4. Gavin says:

    I agree with Liam. The placement of the peace is fine where it is. If any change were to be made, I would say that the peace could be immediately before the communion procession, or perhaps at the start of Mass. I also think pastors need to strictly charge the people as to the purpose of the peace – it’s not the time to greet one’s neighbor or gossip! It is the time to be sure you are in charity with those who will be receiving with you so that you do not profane the Lord’s Body!

  5. Charles says:

    In most of the Ordinary Rite Masses I’ve been to, the Pax = greet one’s neighbor.

    In the one I can think of where it was done reverently, the people hardly nodded at each other and didn’t shake hands or kiss.

    I think it makes more sense to have it after the Prayers of the Faithful instead of where it is currently.

  6. Todd says:

    I’d have to say that in my experience, the sign of peace goes a little deeper than meet-and-greet. Embedded as it is in the Communion Rite, it is colored by the rites preceding and following.

    My greetings to wife, daughter, and friends may look the same as a kiss, hug, and a double-handed gesture with a friend, but there is an inner reality present not there at other times.

    Maybe the question comes down to this …

    Which do we trust more: God to inform and deepen our human gestures or human gestures to dilute the rites we celebrate?

  7. Tony says:

    I’d suggest in the gathering space, right after the words “the Mass is ended go in peace” and the recessional hymn.

    Optionally to be accompanied by coffee and donuts.

  8. Neil says:

    Dear All,

    I’ve posted twice about the Kiss of Peace. Both posts are indebted to the Jesuit liturgist Keith Pecklers and say a bit about both placement and reverent practice.

    If you’re interested, see here and here .


  9. Mollie Wilson O'Reilly says:

    There’s a passage in the Catechism (#1345) that I read in our RCIA group to demonstrate how the liturgy conforms to traditional Christian practice. It’s a quotation from St. Justin Martyr, who described the format of Christian liturgy ca. 155, and it sounds like a sketch of any Sunday Mass… except for the placement of the kiss of peace, which he says happens after the petitions. Why shouldn’t it still be there?

    Personally, I’m of two minds when it comes to enthusiastic exchanges of peace at Mass — the kind that take five minutes and find people leaving their pews to shake hands with the whole congregation. In the abstract I think that’s great — I much prefer it to a limp handshake or a wave from the person behind me. But yes, it can be disruptive, and it always makes the Communion procession feel anticlimactic. Receiving Communion together should be the primary sign of our unity, not an afterthought once we’ve all hugged. So I would love to see the kiss of peace moved up to where St. Justin says it belongs.

  10. Jimmy Mac says:

    “Optionally to be accompanied by coffee and donuts” …. but not that darned grippin’ and grinnin’ and carryin’ on like friends and neighbors! The only display of emotion should be a limp, wishy-washy finger grip, accompanied by a slight (or larger, depending on to whom it is directed) grimace.


  11. Jimmy Mac says:

    I forgot the most important part: This is the Peace of Christ … not something to be enjoyed.

  12. Yeah, Jimmy, it’s not like anything really important comes next, right?

  13. Fran says:

    Mollie- you put that in a way that makes sense in a way I had not previously considered. Thank you for that.

  14. Brendan Kelleher SVD says:

    So who shall we support on the positioning of the Kiss of Peace, Justin or Augustine. I found myself wondering how Benedict XVI will justify a change, if made,on the basis of the “hermeneutic of continuity”.
    As someone who became an altar server in the mid 1950’s, I recall we used to recite the Confiteor after the Priest Communion and before that of the congregation. Now that I would consider an interruption. Remebering however, in accordance with established doctrine and ancient tradition, that when we receive the Eucharistic species, we celebrate both our communion with the Crucified and Risen One present in the Eucharistic species, and with those who present, who are also the Body of Christ, marking the peace that should be the fruit of our union both with Christ and his Body seems appropriate at this stage.
    I wonder how many of your commentators have bothered to follow the links to Fr.Kevin Peckler’s articles on the history of the placing of the Kiss of Peace.

  15. Tony says:

    “Optionally to be accompanied by coffee and donuts” …. but not that darned grippin’ and grinnin’ and carryin’ on like friends and neighbors!

    We do all that when we’re eating our donuts and drinking our coffee

    There’s even some huggin’ and smoochin’ going on. :)

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