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Sign of peace at Mass: Vatican says it stays put, but urges education (more details)
cns ^ | August 1, 2014 | Cindy Wooden

Posted on 08/01/2014 3:52:44 PM PDT by NYer


Congregants exchange the sign of peace at a Mass in February before a charity motorcycle ride led by Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski to benefit a Catholic Charities' center for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. (CNS/Tom Tracy)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The sign of peace at Mass has not always led to serenity among liturgists or within the congregations gathered each Sunday in Catholic churches around the world.

After nine years of study and consultation, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has told Latin-rite bishops around the world that the sign of peace will stay where it is in the Mass.

However, the congregation said, "if it is foreseen that it will not take place properly," it can be omitted. But when it is used, it must be done with dignity and awareness that it is not a liturgical form of "good morning," but a witness to the Christian belief that true peace is a gift of Christ's death and resurrection.

The text of the congregation's "circular letter" on "the ritual expression of the gift of peace at Mass," was approved by Pope Francis and posted in Spanish on the website of the Spanish bishops' conference. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed its authenticity Aug. 1.

Catholic News Service obtained a copy of the letter in English.

In 2005, members of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist adopted a formal proposition questioning whether the sign of peace might be better placed elsewhere in the Mass, for example at the end of the prayer of the faithful and before the offering of the gifts.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, current prefect of the congregation, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, the congregation's current secretary, said Pope Benedict XVI had asked the congregation to study the matter and, after doing so, in 2008 it asked bishops' conferences around the world whether to keep the sign of peace where it is or move it to another moment "with a view to improving the understanding and carrying out of this gesture."

"After further reflection," the letter said, "it was considered appropriate to retain the rite of peace in its traditional place in the Roman liturgy and not to introduce structural changes in the Roman Missal."

But that does not exclude the need for new or renewed efforts to explain the importance of the sign of peace so that the faithful understand it and participate in it correctly, the congregation's letter said.

It asked bishops to study whether it might be time to find "more appropriate gestures" to replace a sign of peace using "familiar and profane gestures of greeting."

And, it said, they should do everything possible to end "abuses" such as:

-- "The introduction of a 'song for peace,' which is nonexistent in the Roman rite."

-- "The movement of the faithful from their places to exchange the sign of peace amongst themselves."

-- "The departure of the priest from the altar in order to give the sign of peace to some of the faithful."

-- People using the sign of peace at Christmas, Easter, baptisms, weddings, ordinations and funerals to offer holiday greetings, congratulations or condolences.

"Christ is our peace, the divine peace, announced by the prophets and by the angels, and which he brought to the world by means of his paschal mystery," the letter said. "This peace of the risen Lord is invoked, preached and spread in the celebration (of Mass), even by means of a human gesture lifted up to the realm of the sacred."

In some Catholic liturgical traditions, it said, the exchange of peace occurs before the offering in response to Jesus' exhortation in Matthew 5:23-24: "If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

But in the Latin rite, the letter said, the exchange of peace comes after the consecration because it refers to "the 'paschal kiss' of the risen Christ present on the altar." It comes just before the breaking of the bread during which "the Lamb of God is implored to gives us his peace."



TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Worship
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1 posted on 08/01/2014 3:52:44 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 08/01/2014 3:53:07 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

In the Spanish Mass, it’s common to have a song during the sign of peace, often one that segues smoothly into the Cordero de Dios.

I suppose we’ll have to stop that in a decade or so, if this suggestion filters down to the parish level. Won’t bother me - I like to use that time to threaten my kids with death and dismemberment.


3 posted on 08/01/2014 4:01:55 PM PDT by Tax-chick (No power in the 'verse can stop me.)
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To: NYer

Pope Benedict once expressed a desire that Catholics return to receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling, at least in his presence.

That didn’t take too well and I don’t expect this “recommendation” will either.


4 posted on 08/01/2014 4:05:27 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: NYer

Barbarians at the gate. And this garbage. How many angels fit on the head of a pin?


5 posted on 08/01/2014 4:30:54 PM PDT by Long Jon No Silver
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To: NYer

I want nothing to do with this fraud part of mass.
Stop it now.


6 posted on 08/01/2014 4:36:06 PM PDT by Post5203 (For the first time in my life, I despise this country.)
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To: NYer
...the letter said, "it was considered appropriate to retain the rite of peace in its traditional place in the Roman liturgy and not to introduce structural changes..."
But that does not exclude the need for new or renewed efforts to explain the importance of the sign of peace so that the faithful understand it and participate in it correctly, the congregation's letter said.

This is key. I remember being a somewhat quizzical if not sometimes stingy giver until our pastor took the time to explain the spiritual foundations and results of tithing in great detail over several weeks. It was life-changing, sort of like when doctors discovered hand-washing before surgery. Now it is a much more spiritually profitable investment.

7 posted on 08/01/2014 4:49:07 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: NYer
It's good to get the official word from Rome.
And it's fun to await for the usual Pope bashers and Catholic haters to add their 2 cents.
How empty and vapid their lives must be.
8 posted on 08/01/2014 4:55:59 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Post5203

I agree. It’s the part of the Mass that has never set right with me.


9 posted on 08/01/2014 5:11:15 PM PDT by jmacusa (Liberalism defined: When mom and dad go away for the weekend and the kids are in charge.)
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To: jmacusa

“I agree. It’s the part of the Mass that has never set right with me.”

Good to have standards, even if based on personal feelings. Sola Feela.


10 posted on 08/01/2014 5:13:06 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( "I didn't leave the Central Oligarchy Party. It left me." - Ronaldus Maximus)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

I long to hear a Mass in Latin.


11 posted on 08/01/2014 5:14:05 PM PDT by jmacusa (Liberalism defined: When mom and dad go away for the weekend and the kids are in charge.)
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To: jmacusa

“I long to hear a Mass in Latin.”

My dad always said the same thing. I long to visit my grandparents home where I spent so many significant times as a kid. Sold long ago.


12 posted on 08/01/2014 5:16:44 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( "I didn't leave the Central Oligarchy Party. It left me." - Ronaldus Maximus)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

I hear you. “The Trip To Bountifull’’.


13 posted on 08/01/2014 5:18:54 PM PDT by jmacusa (Liberalism defined: When mom and dad go away for the weekend and the kids are in charge.)
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To: jmacusa
Come to my parish it's probably no where near you but people move here from across the country just to be a part of it.
14 posted on 08/01/2014 5:19:33 PM PDT by Legatus (Either way, we're screwed.)
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To: NYer

Originally from the title, I thought it had to do with Ebola transmission or communicable disease threats from UACs...


15 posted on 08/01/2014 5:20:36 PM PDT by mikrofon (Catholic BUMP)
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To: Legatus

Thank you so much friend in Christ for your generous invitation. However I live and work in NJ.


16 posted on 08/01/2014 5:21:40 PM PDT by jmacusa (Liberalism defined: When mom and dad go away for the weekend and the kids are in charge.)
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To: jmacusa

Being philosophical for a brief frmoment in time... I’ve begun to think the yearning for cherished memories, places and relationships is part of the yearning for eternity God places in the heart of every human... A desire for whole ness, perfection, lasting fulfillment, etc., that will only be satisfied in His presence.

“... He has set eternity in their hearts.” Eccles. 3:11

St. Augustine’s Confessions (Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5) “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Blessings to your heart...


17 posted on 08/01/2014 5:27:44 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( "I didn't leave the Central Oligarchy Party. It left me." - Ronaldus Maximus)
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To: jmacusa
However I live and work in NJ.

Lol yeah I understand. We did just have a man call from Kansas who is looking to move his family here for the parish. About one family a month or so move here for that reason.

Metro Greenville has never stopped booming, there are lots of employment opportunities. Gas is only $3.15 a gallon here right now too. Anyone who is looking to rediscover Catholicism is welcome to come to the buckle of the Bible Belt to find it. :)

18 posted on 08/01/2014 5:34:27 PM PDT by Legatus (Either way, we're screwed.)
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To: jmacusa

“I long to hear a Mass in Latin.”

You and me both.


19 posted on 08/01/2014 5:38:15 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: Post5203

Amen!!!


20 posted on 08/01/2014 5:40:43 PM PDT by coloradomomba (Lord God...please use me.)
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