Hands Again

Some Catholic topics never go away. I noticed that Patheos is recycling the hand-holding discussion here. But I found a reasoning cited I admit I’ve not seen before:

It can’t hurt to spread the word as much as we can. The more folks understand this, the less they’ll do it, and it’ll be a non-issue. Education is power! Jimmy Akin’s books on the Mass explain all the rules very well. He argues that lack of mentioning something in the rubrics is essentially the same as not allowing what is not mentioned. He gives all the documentation. Here are links to all three of them (one / two / three). And here is a 2006 article of his about hand-holding at Mass.


A lot of things aren’t mentioned in the rubrics. One thing I see fairly frequently, especially since 2011, is people and clergy striking their torso three times during the Confiteor. Reading the Order of Mass carefully, someone will notice that the rubric mentions one strike. For the distribution of Communion, the rubric mentions that the priest approaches the communicants–not the reverse. Taking a lack of mention as gospel, one would have to conclude with Mr Akin and Mr Armstrong that the clergy need to bring Communion to people in the pews.

I think there are more important liturgical fish to fry. Rubrics are important, and no priest, parish, or layperson is 100% correct in applying what’s in the book. But the bigger issues of engagement through good music, better preaching, and authentic welcome.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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