GIRM 152-154: Lord’s Prayer and Peace

The Lord’s Prayer is not a very controversial part of the Mass, and indeed, we’ve been using “elevated” language with it for decades:

152. After the Eucharistic Prayer is concluded, the Priest, with hands joined, says alone the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, and then with hands extended, he pronounces the prayer together with the people.

153. After the Lord’s Prayer is concluded, the Priest, with hands extended, says alone the embolism Libera nos (Deliver us, Lord). At the end, the people acclaim, For the kingdom.

Interesting that the final portion of the prayer is considered an acclamation. This is virtually unchanged from the 1975 edition of the GIRM.

154. Then the Priest, with hands extended, says aloud the prayer Domine Iesu Christe, qui dixisti (Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles) and when it is concluded, extending and then joining his hands, he announces the greeting of peace, facing the people and saying, The peace of the Lord be with you always. The people reply, And with your spirit. After this, if appropriate, the Priest adds, Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

The Priest may give the Sign of Peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so that the celebration is not disrupted. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, for a good reason, on special occasions (for example, in the case of a funeral, a wedding, or when civic leaders are present), the Priest may offer the Sign of Peace to a small number of the faithful near the sanctuary. According to what is decided by the Conference of Bishops, all express to one another peace, communion, and charity. While the Sign of Peace is being given, it is permissible to say, The peace of the Lord be with you always, to which the reply is Amen.

This last paragraph of GIRM 154 is an addition to the 2000 edition. Note the optional words for the greeting among those in the assembly, the repetition of the presider’s greeting, and that we don’t reply “and with your spirit,” but “Amen.” My own preference would be to offer peace wordlessly, but that’s a difficulty for a culture which needs a soundtrack and an explanation.

I’m not a particular fan of the 2000 prescription against leaving the sanctuary. In some communities, the distance of the clergy is itself a disruption to the faith community. Better would be an urging to maintain good order and leave the practice to the discretion of the minister. The American “exception” is well-taken for weddings and funerals, but I disagree with the presider “greeting” civic leaders. That sets the wrong message that a president, governor, major, business leader may be “greeted,” but not ordinary parishioners. Probably better not to offer any sign in such circumstances.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in GIRM, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to GIRM 152-154: Lord’s Prayer and Peace

  1. Liam says:

    That greeting of civic leaders is a token of the Roman love of acknowledgments of status in the (erstwhile at times, perhaps) name of good social order.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Does anyone really take this stuff seriously?

  3. FrMichael says:

    I inherited a parish Mass and choir that sings 70s era guitar hootennanny/OCP music. As far as musical skills go they are plenty good, so I have left them alone, but they have a sung setting of the Lord’s Prayer that is mostly the traditional English wording with the temptation wording changed into debts. I wonder who would have composed such a thing.

  4. Todd says:

    It might well be Fr Robert Beck, a theologian from my diocese. Composed in 1975, it found its way to my Newman Community 900 miles east and 4 years later. There is a “correctly worded” version out there.

  5. FrMichael says:

    Well, it certainly stands out from the other parish Masses, all of which use the chant that is found in the new translation. But once again, I live by the “let a thousand flowers bloom,” motto, so it lives on.

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