The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of peace is exchanged during Mass. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic

Vatican urges priests to clamp down on excessive emotions during the sign of peace

By  Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service
  • August 5, 2014

VATICAN CITY - In an effort to insure a more sober ritual, the Vatican has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of peace is exchanged during Mass.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments led by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, has sent a letter to bishops around the world expressing concern about what it considers to be ritual abuses.

Among them, he said, were turning the sign of peace into a “song of peace,” the priest leaving the altar during the interlude, or use of the ritual to offer congratulations at weddings or condolences at funerals.

Pope Francis reportedly approved the letter, which confirmed the importance of the rite, before it was distributed to bishops’ conferences.

Fr. Anthony Ruff, a theology professor at St. John’s School of Theology-Seminary in Minnesota and editor of the blog Pray Tell, believes the Vatican letter will have little impact on Catholics.

“I suspect such local practices will continue and the Vatican letter won’t change much, since most people don’t find it irreverent to reach out in friendliness even if it’s beyond what the rules allow,” said Ruff.

Vatican expert Thomas Reese criticized the letter.

“It ignores the most ancient tradition where the kiss of peace occurred at the end of the liturgy of the word,” Reese, a commentator for National Catholic Reporter, told Religion News Service. “I pity the poor priest who has to tell his congregation not to smile during the kiss of peace.”

In the letter, Cardinal Canizares Llovera and the congregation’s secretary, Archbishop Arthur Roche, said the issue was raised during a synod on the Eucharist in 2005.

Two years later in an exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, former Pope Benedict XVI stressed the need for simplicity and sobriety.

He wrote: “Nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one’s immediate neighbors.”

Comments (5)

And all this time I thought religion was about relationships and discovering God especially in people.
People 1, The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments O

  Attachments
 

@catechist101 - according to the Catechism "101" - the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to worship God...I don't need or want to see people hugging kissing talking while the Body Spirit Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord is on the...

@catechist101 - according to the Catechism "101" - the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to worship God...I don't need or want to see people hugging kissing talking while the Body Spirit Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord is on the Altar...connecting with people can be after mass

Read More
  Attachments
 

Im new to the faith but I have most respect for the King there, not my benchmates. I cant receive Euchrist yet, long to do that soon, and I dont want to contaiminate the Holy HOSTs by shaking hands at sign of peace. PLEASE RESPECT THE LORD YOU...

Im new to the faith but I have most respect for the King there, not my benchmates. I cant receive Euchrist yet, long to do that soon, and I dont want to contaiminate the Holy HOSTs by shaking hands at sign of peace. PLEASE RESPECT THE LORD YOU ARE THERE FOR. NO HANDSHAKE, OR CLAPPING AT MUSIC PLS.

Read More
  Attachments
 

LATELY, I SEE PEOPLE DRESS VERY INAPPROPRIATE AT MASS.
GIRLS, GUYS, make sure you look respectful in front of the KING of Kings.
Amen.

  Attachments
 

The Sign of Peace began as an OPTION--but took on a life of its own. Unnecessary! Christ is present on the altar at this time and Christ should be the focus, not somebody next to me that I do not know. There are so many ad libs included at Mass...

The Sign of Peace began as an OPTION--but took on a life of its own. Unnecessary! Christ is present on the altar at this time and Christ should be the focus, not somebody next to me that I do not know. There are so many ad libs included at Mass that it is out of hand.

Read More
  Attachments
 
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location