The Armchair Liturgist: Peace In The Twenties

People are starting to think and plan more openly as the post-pandemic future gets a bit clearer. Like here.

I think the big picture issues are vital: parish viability outside the wealthy communities, plus the core issues we’ve stumbled on since (and before Vatican II), namely discipleship and evangelization.

One tiny bit of musing on a once-contentious practice from Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville TN:

(M)aybe the future sign of peace will be elbow to elbow instead of hand to hand.



Image result for Forearm To Forearm Greeting. Size: 196 x 160. Source: history.stackexchange.comMaybe the ancient Roman practice of grabbing forearms is a consideration–it’s slightly more hygenic, plus you get to check a stranger for concealed carry up their sleeve. Or an ace.

Another preference might be to bow.

As I think about many options, both the hand or forearm clasp or the mutual bowing strongly suggest a face-to-face encounter. The easiest elbow bumps are side to side, and don’t even require eye-to-eye contact.

What do you think? The Roman Missal legislates the Rite of Peace–it is mandatory. But there’s nothing official in how it is to be done.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Peace In The Twenties

  1. Tom McClusky says:

    I do hope the handshake does return. For now, many of us simply turn to each other or catch one’s eye from another area and flash a peace sign, which I do often anyway. The elbow bump is awkward and odd in my opinion and I simply cannot imagine that becoming standard. Though, who am I to say. More than likely I, like many, will follow along with whatever becomes the norm.

  2. Liam says:

    Based on conversations with peeps, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers over the last few months, I believe that, in general, grasping handshakes among strangers are not returning in particular force in many parts of the US, and it will be much more common for people to politely refuse to shake hands, but instead offer some non-contact form of greeting. Masks may be worn by many more people in unventilated indoor common area places from at least October-March (as has long been the case in many parts of eastern Asia); many people have discovered how their tonsils are no longer inflamed the way they normally would be, and that it’s wonderful not to have a few colds a year, for example, and that they are not as inevitable as previously assumed. And not grasping commonly handled things with hand skin unless sanitizer is at the ready; self-serve buffets may not be returning to as many willing co-participants.

    In suburban parishes in my area, the handshake as normative sign of peace among social strangers went away with the H1N1 epidemic and never returned in force, replaced by waves (ugh), and nod-bows (better). Urban parishes seemed more likely to resume handshake practice, but I am not sure how much that will recur after over a year of pandemic adjustment.

    The Roman Missal legislates the Rite of Peace – that is, the dialogical prayer “The peace of the Lord be with you always/And with your spirit”; the rest of it, if any, is functionally local option (in the sanctuary, but also in the pews), as it were.

  3. Liam says:

    As for parish viability, it will be … interesting? … to see what parishes are able to remain going concerns and how. It’s not necessarily the case that the wealthiest parishes will remain the most viable, especially in places where the wealthy class is *not* highly correlated with high public religious practice.

  4. James says:

    Kiss of peace means a kiss on the mouth. Men and women sit separate from each other (which the American church gave up long ago). Stop inventing things. Do as the apostles and fathers taught. Vatican II created a whole new religion, so why not continue to just make stuff up as you go along? Discipline isn’t some optional thing you can just toss aside when you think it makes sense.

    Covid has shown true colors of people. The vast bulk of the population has accepted the NWO technocratic plan of isolation, fear, and change. I refuse to go into a church where they require masks, because this shows they’ve accepted the plot of the devil.

    I hope Covid destroys most parishes, because these places were dead anyway. This is just helping to purge branches that died long ago.

    • Todd says:

      There is no problem with Catholicism developing new worship practices, recovered from the past, adapted, or even invented. Homilies are invented at most Masses. Most music in its localized form is adapted even from plainsong scores by the abilities of the singers, and the unique acoustics of each building.

      NWO is fake news. A devil’s plot is fake news.

      The hope that others will suffer a malady is sinful, possibly gravely so if indulged persistently, uttered publicly, or actively worked for. I will pray for your conversion to Christ and his mercy, and that you will repent of this evil.

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