82. There follows the Rite of Peace, by which the Church entreats peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.
As for the actual sign of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by the Conferences of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples. However, it is appropriate that each person, in a sober manner, offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest.
This last sentence is an addition from the 1975 to 2000 editions. It’s a bit of a curiosity, but I know other Catholics feel differently.
I could envision a lengthier sign of peace would be appropriate in an intentional community–a religious order or a parish with a strong bond–or on a special occasion, such as a retreat or pilgrimage or other spiritual event. It should be enough for the national conference to oversee this, and for the local bishop and pastor (whatever level seems appropriate) to make a determination. That said, I realize that introvert visitors to such a community or at such an event find a lengthy peace to be tedious. One would think the judgment on where to land is well placed with sensitive pastoral leadership.
However the sign of peace is conducted, let’s realize two things. First, it cannot be lawfully omitted from the Mass. And second, clergy and parishioners (supporters and detractors alike) must be better formed as to the reasons for it. And what are those reasons? Look to the first paragraph above. “Peace and unity” for people within the Church and outside of it. A shared expression of both communion and charity. In my thinking sobriety is not quite as important as sincerity. Unfortunately, it might also be true that communities that resist the Peace are probably most in need of it, and those fairly comfortable with it are often living it in the life outside of the Mass.
What do you say?